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National Geographic Photo Contest 2011 Includes This Amazing Birth Photo

This photograph, taken by midwife turned photographer Jane McCrae, is an editor’s choice for the 2011 National Geographic photo contest  McCrae writes, about this picture, Only a mother can understand the joy of locking eyes with her newborn babe the moment they take their first breath. After the powerful journey of labor, Natalia embraces her babe for the very first time. Sheer exhilaration, joy and love describes the moment of bringing forth her child. The gentle hand of her midwife, trusting in the innate wisdom of birth.”

The picture captures a home birth in Tumbi Umbi, New South Wales, Australia. Last month I assembled a photo essay called, The Many Faces Of Labor that got lots of positive attention and feedback– I  really shouldn’t have been amazed by how moved people were by the images, these moments of struggle and awe and relief and love are what life is all about!

** Author’s note: I mistakenly noted in an earlier (now corrected) version of this post that this photo was the winner of the contest. But the voting continues until November 30th and a winner has not been decided.  You can  vote for the picture here.

Here’s a larger version:

 

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