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One of the Most Strikingly Powerful Birth Photos I've Seen

By Devan McGuinness |

This photo captioned “I Love You Baby” is in the running for National Geographic Photo Contest 2011.  Photographed by Lynsey Stone of Lynsey Stone Photography this is her second submission into the photography contest.

Taken in North Texas this amazingly powerful photo has Mom screaming joyfully “I love you baby” as her last son is born at home – head being delivered into the hands of herself and her husband.

The Grand Prize Winner of this contest will receive $10,000 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., to take part in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar in January 2012. Voting ends November 30, 2011, 9:00:00 a.m. US Eastern Time.

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To vote for this picture to win the National Geographic Photo Contest 2011 click here & you can also view the second submission by clicking here.

 

Read more from Devan on Accustomed ChaosUnspoken Grief
Follow Devan on Facebook and Twitter for all updates!

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About Devan McGuinness

devanmcguinness

Devan McGuinness

Devan McGuinness is the writer of the lifestyle blog Accustomed Chaos. After surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan founded Unspoken Grief, a resource and support site for perinatal and neonatal loss. Read bio and latest posts → Read Devan's latest posts →

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496 thoughts on “One of the Most Strikingly Powerful Birth Photos I've Seen

  1. Mergath says:

    It would probably be more powerful if she’d actually eaten during her pregnancy. There are a few too many bones jutting out for my taste.

  2. Ana says:

    I know everyone is going to ramble on about how beautiful this is. In some ways I can see that but the pose strikes me. I dunno….

  3. karengreeners says:

    I would like this picture a lot more if the woman actually looked like she was, you know, more than 20 weeks pregnant. I prefer not to have this picture represent what ‘real’ birthing women look like.

  4. Tiffany says:

    I understand how powerful labor can be after 25 hours with no drugs but this woman doesn’t even look like she was pregnant so I don’t find this picture breathtaking in any way. I know we are all built differently but for me to capture the essence of a pregnancy photo, the woman needs to atleast look pregnant, not ill.

  5. Jen says:

    I’m sorry, but this is just gross. The act of childbirth is a wonderful thing, but that doesn’t mean I want to see it. Especially someone else’s; it seems way too private to share with strangers. It’s not always a pretty sight. This photo belongs in the owner’s wallet.

  6. michelle says:

    I think giving birth is a beautiful thing, but like the other ladies said before me, I believe they should of picked a picture of a women who actually looks more than 20 weeks pregnant. And for some reason i’m not a big fan of the way she is on her knees. Most women don’t have their babies like this.

  7. michelle says:

    I still looked 8 months pregnant for about a week after I had my son… and i’m a REALLY smalled framed woman…

  8. Angela says:

    @Mergath & Karen & Tiffany – I am one of the skinny pregos out there. Not by my own decision but because I go through 9 hellish months of sicknesses (Hyperemesis) which makes me ALL BABY. I will begin my pregnancy at a normal weight & by the time I am 6 mths prgnt – I am down 20+ lbs.

    I spend countless hours in the hospital & have home nurses coming to take care of me. For 9 mths, I am bedridden. Yet, I have done this through 4 pregnancies in the hopes that I will meet my precious baby on the other end. It’s called: A mother’s love.

    I lost my 3rd pregnancy at 4 months due to this horrible sickness. My body, down 18lbs since conception – had to choose which one to nurture – ME or my baby. It chose me. And I will never stop crying.

    Before you judge someone BY APPEARANCE, THINK.

    Myself & countless women out there would much rather be plump and round throughout our pregnancies than sick & hospitalized.

    You don’t know someone elses walk til you’ve been in their shoes. Don’t judge.

  9. AngEngland says:

    She doesn’t look pregnant because the baby is no longer in her uterus. Your stomach shrinks in size quite a bit once the baby is born.

  10. Amie says:

    I do feel it is a beautiful photo. Of course she does not look as pregnant, since the baby is actually born! Think before you comment, people!

  11. Ky Momma says:

    Why is Mom’s hair perfect? How did her hand just happen to cover herself? Where is the blood and other stuff? Why doesn’t she look 9 months? Why is Dad is perfect postion in the shot? Why is his hands, her legs and the bed so clean? Why is the baby so clean and big? Is this picture fake? I am questioning.

  12. kmom says:

    Of course she doesn’t look pregnant. That’s because she’s no longer pregnant lol. Most women don’t look 9 months pregnant after birthing their baby. It’s amazing how much people hate on smaller women. Clearly she’s fit and takes care of herself. I think this is a beautiful photo.

  13. Megan says:

    Seriously guys how are women going to say she is too skinny?! Isnt that the same as a woman saying she is too big I was whole lot bigger than most when I gave birth but giving birth in general is a beautiful process and she is has a little build in the first place and when you have little builds no matter how much u eat u still don’t gain much weight anyways so for you guys to say she is too skinny is disgusting WHO CARES about size it’s not like this is a Victoria secret model contest it’s a birthing photo it’s about birth not the size of your body this a beautiful picture and the photographer did a wonderful job at capturing it remember the old saying if you don’t have nothing nice to say don’t say it at all :)

  14. Elexis says:

    no i looked six months pregnant once my son was born. your uterus stays large it doesnt shrink in an instant becuz of how thick the linning is and everything else maybe you need to talk to a obgyn and get your facts straight and in my opinion she dont even look 20 weeks.

  15. Megan says:

    God y’all should be ashamed at judging her size everybody is different I highly doubt she starved herself but yet took the route of having natural childbirth to have a heathier birthing experience and for you that don’t want to see it don’t look that simple this don’t not show anything exPlicit so why gripe that’s what’s wrong with the world these days negativity and hate! Pregnancy is life and a natural thing! Enjoy it and if you don’t then keep that to urself I’m probably the youngest on here only being 19 and I’m so much more respectful and nicer than you guys I would say grow up a little but I would just look dumb so instead I’m just gonna say have a nice day and smile it might just change some of your attitudes and I know you guys have ur own opinion but come one why be mean seriously or rude or judge if u don’t like don’t look as go on about ur day just trying to share some love maybe change the world a little bit :)

  16. Lauren says:

    This photo hasn’t won, it is in the running… don’t you people read? This picture looks staged anyway. There are a lot of better photos in the running, ones where the women look pregnant and giving birth in a “normal” position. For people who don’t like this photo, vote for the one you DO like!

  17. smitty says:

    I don’t like it. And agree, this is something that doesn’t need shared.

  18. Elexis says:

    Ooh and how do we know shes actually screaming i love you baby? for all we know shes just screaming and they wanted to get a better effect

  19. Frances Cheda says:

    Wish I could have worn my wedding at the time of giving birth. Wow. Is this picture real? lol

  20. Ann says:

    My youngest is almost 10 months old and I think my belly may still be bigger than hers! Lucky her, I guess, as long as she was healthy!! And the uterus doesn’t contract that much that fast; the baby’s feet aren’t even out yet! Obviously, you look different after delivering, maybe even within hours, but not while the baby is still coming out! She was clearly tiny!! I’m not a “childbirth is beautiful” person to begin with, but it is an interesting picture. I have heard of women delivering in all sorts of positions, though, particularly with people who are going totally “old school” in the birthing game! :-)

  21. Jen says:

    I would have definitely removed my wedding ring before being that close enough to scratch the baby.

  22. Joanna Silva says:

    I’m not sure if the picture is or isn’t staged (it does have a staged feel) and I’m not concerned about the mother size but the photo doesn’t move me at all (and I’m 7 months pregnant with my 7th child).

  23. Joanna Silva says:

    Just wanted to add that the second photo of this couple is the one that should be in the running, that picture definitely moves me. It has an authentic feel. Congratulations to the new parents.

  24. mary says:

    this is fake and quite sick people!!

  25. Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting says:

    For the love of whatever you consider holy, can you all stop being so freakin’ judgemental? Skinny or not, it was captioned, “I love you baby!” because it was one of the many things she screamed as she delivered her son. From her OWN words, here’s her birth story, with more pictures.

    http://www.birthstoriesondemand.com/home-birth-stories/2011/11/29/genas-birth-of-phoenix.html

  26. danielle says:

    Opinions are like a$$holes – everyone has one. I’m curious if any of the folks saying unkind, snarky things have ever heard the phrase “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. The internet is an echo chamber; get another hobby other than being a douche for the sake of being a douche. (ps. the picture is stunning, I did not look nearly that glorious pushing a 9 lb baby out in my diningroom so KUDOS to this mama!)

  27. NicS says:

    The so called “normal” position in childbirth isn’t what comes naturally to women. Many prefer to be on their knees, or squatting, or other, if only a hospital would permit it, along with eating and drinking fluids.

  28. Elexis says:

    whyy should we be ashamed at judging her size? ppl freak out and say its unhealthy to be too skinny anyways and she was this skinny during pregnancy? i honestly think this whole thing is fake. theyre all staged theres no way she was pregnant and whyys the dad naked too? really? this doesnt belong in national geographic. you wanna see a birth in national geographic is should be the ppl in africa giving birth in a damn jungle not stanging a birth scene on a bed.

  29. Christine says:

    Wow ladies! Aren’t we quick to judge?? I have to wonder if any of you would be so quick to comment if she were a large woman? Of course not, because that would be prejudice… This mother (& her husband) are obviously very comfortable celebrating the primal beauty of pregnancy. Shame on all of you who spewed out hurtful words while you’re hidden behind the safety of your computer screen where no one can actually hear what you have to say. If any of you should be so brave to put yourself out there, exposing your vulnerabilities for the world to see, I sure hope you don’t receive such senseless persecution just for being genuine.

  30. Shiloh says:

    I can’t believe the things I am reading here! People picking on this woman because she is too small? So what woman who are pregnant aren’t allowed to be skinny? I agree that she does look small but some women just don’t have a overly huge belly when pregnant. BTW giving birth on your knees allows the gravity to help push the baby out. Congrats on your birth. The baby is adorable!

  31. Christa says:

    It looks staged to me… it’s a bit to… perfect. Birth is messy. This looks very clean.

  32. Nichole says:

    I agree with several people on here. I NEVER looked pregnant because it was a hard pregnancy and I was so sick I didn’t gain an ounce. They had gotten to the point that they said if I lost weight they were going to have to put me in the hospital. The ONLY way I could even NOT lose weight was to drink those nasty Ensures 3-4 times a day. I also agree with it DOES look a bit too clean. Beautiful shot yes, but questioning how it came to be.

  33. Brandee says:

    Wow, you women are bitter and delusional. So many things are happening here that you’re choosing to ignore because you are jealous. This is her 4th child which means the chances are the labour was short, and her and her husband knew what to do. I can only imagine after birthing 3 other babies, she might have a sense of exactly when this one was coming. They are also at home, which is why she’s dressed how she is. And the hair? WHO CAN EVEN COMMENT? For all we know, they were out at a black tie event when she went into labour and she had her hair done. Or maybe IT IS JUST A MESSY PONYTAIL? Perhaps she isn’t only blessed with an amazing body, but also great hair…but then, that will only make you all hate her more.

    As for her position? Anyone who has ever read any books on birthing NOT written from the perspective of an old school OB KNOWS that the WORST position to try and birth a child is on your back. Nothing like trying to push something horizontal and somewhat on an upward incline. Think about GRAVITY. Have you never seen the bars above a bed in a birthing suit, there specifically to help women maintain this position during birth?

    And the wedding rings. I had mine stuck about 4 days before birth so as terrible as you all believe it to be, it was on my finger. OR MAYBE she had it there for strength? You know, because it’s a symbol of love and commitment.

    I gained only 21lbs with my pregnancy. I wore pre-pregnancy pants all the way through, and immediately shrunk to my 4 month size when my daughter was born. Funny how your body changes when you remove an 8lbs child, a placenta and several liters of fluid from it quickly. This photo is 1 moment, 1 perspective, 1 angel. Who is to say she wasn’t sporting a flabby pouch immediately after? This photo to me looks like she maybe just **GASP** exercised and ate well during pregnancy…some people don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to indulge in a bucket of ice cream every night.

    The internet never ceases to amaze me. If this girl was overweight, you’d all be talking about how she didn’t take care of herself properly and how it was gross. No wonder women are so messed up about their self image, even their peers are judging them unnecessarily.

    Can you all tell me what EXACTLY a pregnant woman is supposed to look like? Clearly you’re the authorities and I’d hate to dare have another child without sticking to the rules set forth by a bunch of random people who may or may not have had babies before.

    You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  34. Cyndi says:

    Oh my god, people, just enjoy that everyone is different. Not everyone balloons up to around 190 lbs more or less. Their photo got submitted. Quite randomly, it looks a LOT like my birth. Some people eat right, healthy, a lot, frequently, and exercise, but metabolize quickly. I gained 22 lbs, had a healthy 7.4 lb baby, and a week later, I don’t look like I just had a baby (unless you feel my belly). Toot toot, thats my horn, but thats how my and some people’s pregnancy goes. I lost my JOB bc of other women thinking “real”pregnancy involves gaining a ton of weight. Everyone’s different. This photo could maybe let you remember and admire your own birth, and if you had a horrible birth story, don’t take it out on nother people, we all have access to the same resources and info. Educate; stop hating.

  35. Brittany says:

    Wow, I CANNOT believe how judgmental and negative people are being! It’s disgusting! This picture is BEAUTIFUL and BREATHTAKING. It encompasses EXACTLY how I felt when I was giving birth. For those people saying she isn’t giving birth in a “normal” position… SERIOUSLY? There is no such thing as a normal position, and any intelligent mother who has had a child should know that! I gave birth in a hospital but under the care of a midwife, so I pushed standing up and gave birth on my hands and knees, it was MUCH more effective. The so called “normal” way of birthing on your back is the most unnatural way! Whichever way works for the individual mom, that’s the right way. Her hair is not “perfect”, it is tied up as you would expect, I didn’t realize that pushing a baby with your uterus should cause your hair to get messy? Her hand is covering her probably either because she’s trying to touch her baby, or because she knew photographs were being taken. Either way, how does that make this photo a “fake”? The father’s hands are in the “perfect position”, you say? Um hmmm, maybe because he’s catching his newborn son? How else should his hands be? And for those of you who “don’t want to see it”, how about, don’t look? Go to the next picture. Jeez. Anyway, amazing photo of an amazing moment! I love it, only wish I had one like this of my daughter’s birth!

  36. MonicaBielanko says:

    This might be some of the most bizarre comments I’ve ever read… and that’s saying something with the state of internet commenters these days. What a bunch of judgmental women y’all are. How do you stage a baby coming out of a vagina? This photo is stunning.

  37. NicS says:

    I went back and clicked on the link Lisa provided..It is a lovely story and you guys calling out her slenderness should see her tummy just before birth. She’s definitely pregnant, and she looks like she took great care of herself throughout pregnancy and before as well.

  38. Lindsey says:

    As a photographer, this image is amazing. I am saddened to see how, even during birth and pregnancy, individuals can be so critical of a woman’s body. This photo looks more similar to the four births I have watched and the two I have given (yes I am a small bodied person and pushed out 2 babies sans meds), than anything I have ever seen on TV or what Americans think it should be. Power to this women birthing and photographer for valuing the process of birth and sharing it with us.

  39. Teresa says:

    I can’t wait to make comment on this website about a woman looking too fat in a picture and see how people jump down my throat. Jealous haters.

  40. L&DNurse says:

    She is not pregnant anymore. She just delivered the baby. She looks like a thin women and her belly is actually the size I would expect after delivering her baby. Maybe if you have saw the picture prior to this you may think otherwise. Sorry to disappoint but everyone doesn’t have a huge belly after delivery…some have NO belly at all. I think that it is a great photo and captures birth perfectly!

  41. kelli says:

    About the size of her belly statements, after giving birth to my daughter I had a nearly flat stomach. Granted a had a pudge but compared to when she was still in the womb my stomach was very small no baby bump at all. I am a very tiny women and I was ALL baby in the belly. Once she was out you could not tell i had just giving birth to a child. She was a full term child as well. No premie.

  42. Teena says:

    I prefer the second submission. It really captured the emotion of seeing your child for the first time. It’s beautiful.

  43. Ann says:

    I don’t think this is ugly and I don’t think the woman looks unhealthy, I think she looks very fit. I do, however feel the whole thing looks staged, right down to the blood wiped on her thigh. It feels like the lady is a model and that it’s a set up. More power to her if it is real, every birth is personal and she be celebrated, but something does not feel “right” about this.

  44. Amy S. says:

    I have NEVER in MY LIFE read SOOO many hateful, judgemental responses. EVERY woman’s body is different. I am by NO means large or small…Childbirth IS a beautiful thing, LOVE is a beautiful thing, something THIS society needs to learn….and has forgotten. GET back to the meaning of life and love..of pain and joy. This picture is NOT gauge on WHAT you look like during a pregnancy or birth, but this is a HAPPILY MARRIED woman with TWO other sons, happy and healthy…NOT a 16 year old, single mom….OPEN your horribly narrow minds, YES I would love to look like this after 3 births, but I don’t…I don’t see hate or skinny, and when my 16 year daughter saw it she saw LIFE and a father/husband and the support and love of one another. Maybe I see life differently but maybe I CHOOSE that path, I’m happier for it, you should try it. Kudos on the photo..and Blessings to that beautiful family.

  45. Jessica says:

    Congrats to the parents, and major kudos to the photographer for these images! To everyone else, we teach our kids not to judge so we should all know better. I wasn’t small like this mom, but did deliver without meds. Reading her story reminds me of that exciting, scary, joyful, amazing experience, and I wish someone had taken such pictures for me. And great job to this focused mom, the only thing I yelled when my baby was coming out was ouch!!

  46. Lisa says:

    Personally I was sicktheentiretime Iwas pregnant and lost 15 lbs in the first 3 months and only managed to add 20lbs. No one thought I was really pregnant and then when my son was born I walked out of the hospital with a flat stomach so her weight isn’t an issue here to me. I do however find birth just kind of disgusting andI don’t really want to see it happening. But thats a totally personal opinion and I am especially sensitive since the sight of other peoples blood makes me throw up and pass out. Icould neverbea doctor or a nurse!

  47. Poshbrood says:

    I’m mixed on this — love seeing these birth photos and empowered women giving birth non surgically. Yet also I’m struck with:

    Why the fancy black boudoir bra & updo? Why are they homebirthing on the bed on beautiful fluffy (Frette perhaps?) sheets? Why is Baby Daddy naked? Definitely strange…

    Yes, there’s a shady lack of cellulite but I’m just jealy. Congratulations on the new member of the family.

  48. Mergath says:

    This might be a strange question, but is this woman missing an arm or something? If you look at her right arm, it sort of… disappears below her husband’s hand.

    Also, I don’t think anyone is judging the size of her stomach. More the bones and tendons that are sticking out everywhere else. I don’t think we should equate obesity with health, but let’s not equate emaciation with health, either. Both are bad for the baby.

  49. Christine says:

    Wow, a lot of drama here! A few observations of my own (apart from the fact I think the photo’s lovely):

    1. Dad is not naked. He is wearing a tank top.

    2. My belly, even though it was ordinarily quite big, looked a lot like that during a contraction. Her uterus was obviously clamped down in the middle of an enormous push.

    3. No, her arm doesn’t disappear. You can see her fingers wrapped around the back of the infant’s head. Her other hand had probably been supporting some of her delicate lady bits. Having delivered 3 natural births myself, in various upright positions, I totally get THAT.

    That’s all I have to say about that. I try not to get all judge-y on the internet so that includes being critical of other posters. Spread the love, people!

  50. Jessica says:

    I think it is awesome! who cares how pregnant she looks, she is pushing out a miracle and her hubby gets to help! I think it is amazing. Yes, some of us stay big after we deliver and some just pop right back! Every woman should know this! This picture was professionally taken! duh!!!!! so yes, dad is in the perfect position because it was for a photo! come on people! I think any birthing picture is amazing because there are two miracles in each one….the baby of course, and the mother that has spent nine months nurturing and loving and growing another human being! All pics deserve to win!

  51. anonymous says:

    I hope this is not staged. The baby very likely could be one of those ‘Newborn dolls’ and like another viewer stated, rings that could scratch the baby; just a gut feeling inside of me says it needs to be really looked at and proved to be real.

  52. Athea says:

    How does a baby come out at that angle? Not saying that it cant happen, but it doesnt look real to me.

  53. Devan McGuinness says:

    I know this has been shared already in the comments but here it is again.

    It’s not staged — she is not wearing a fancy updo hairstyle – Dad is not naked & she is clearly very pregnant

    Check out her birth story in her own words & more photos of her amazing birth

    http://www.birthstoriesondemand.com/home-birth-stories/2011/11/29/genas-birth-of-phoenix.html

    & I have to say – i am shocked by some of these judgmental comments – seriously.

  54. Hannah Gardner says:

    Wow, so many mean comments!! She’s obviously not going to look 9 months pregnant when the baby is almost all the way out! And that position is the best way to push out a baby! It allows you to bear down easier and lets gravity help you. I just birthed my son that way three months ago, as my husband caught him. I feel very proud for this woman and wish I could get to know her :)

  55. Rhonda Anderson says:

    I cannot believe how judgemental most of these comments are about this woman’s body, her hair, her everything, down to her husband! What is wrong with women in our society? Are we all not built differently from one another? Not everyone gains 80 lbs or more during pregnancy. She was obviously already very fit pre pregnancy and probably continued her fitness throughout. I say good for her. Her limbs are long and lean and there is lots of room in her torso to “hide” her baby bump. Can we not ever just be joyful for another woman without ripping her apart. I am sick of this. You all would have been equally mean had she been a heavy mama and would have commented about how disgusting it was that she had so much fat showing. Women, we are our own enemies. Stop!!

  56. Kristina says:

    Wow, so you’re either too fat, or too skinny, your hair is too perfect or too messy, is nothing ever just ok? Everyone is different, this isn’t her 1st child birth, and everyone handles it differently. I got strange looks for doing a crossword puzzle after being induced with back contractions every 2 mins. It helped me focus lol. Stop being so judgemental, its a birth of a healthy baby, how the parents wanted, celebrate it!

  57. Jaime says:

    wow. you guys are a bunch of jerks. peopel have always made fun of me for being too skinny and you know what, it’s just as insulting and hurtful as saying someone is FAT. people have actually been mean to me because i do not weigh enough for them. i bet not one person feels sorry for me regardless. all the while, i have never made fun of someone for being over weight. all of you judgemental assholes can kiss my ass.

  58. Caroline says:

    alll I can ..our mom .rest in peace ..when she had 6 kids..she did’nt show at all..She had me at 7months..I weighed 1#…I slept in a she box or a dresser draw..they cut up a diaper in 4 ..they were stil to big…my point is please stop picking on the women that dos’nt get that big…my other brothers and sisters weighed in at 3#…give or take a little…so god bless all moms big and small…we have our kids that weighed 5# more than I did…so pleas don’t judge..god bless..ps great picture….we say these things in Jesus name ..Amen..

  59. Lotus says:

    Wow, is that all anyone does anymore is make small minded judgments? This is a real picture of a real birth by a real woman. I stayed lean and fit throughout both of my pregnancies as well and had two perfect, healthy babies. Yes, that can be reality as well, everyone is different. Gaining weight and keeping it is not “more” real just because it is more common. I find this picture to be very beautiful and powerful.

  60. Darc says:

    i agree the woman in this picture just looks ill and not full term. i too was sick for the whole 9 months of both of my pregnancies but still managed to gain some weight in the arms and face even tho i lost 20 lbs during my 2nd pregnancy. she looks frail and anerexic , and certainly not like she should be attemting to give birth without medical supplies ready to assist in case of the need. maybe she had a perfectly healthy pregnancy but i think the photographer should have chosen a someone that looked a tad bit more appealing .

  61. Erik (Daddy of 3) says:

    Women are so stupid!!!!

    Here’s a pic of a woman giving birth and all the comments are about how she’s not fat. My wife gave me 3 wonderful kids, this woman’s my hero, and she ate like a champ gained 25 lbs but made sure to exercise. She looked so beautiful pregnant. Maybe you cows should appreciate the wonder of birth instead of your lack of esteem.

  62. M Kocher says:

    Sorry I think this picture is gross. I gave birth twice. We have two wonderful sons my husband and I but I would be in a real frenzy if a picture would have been posted for the world to see. It’s a private moment with agonizing pain where the sun does NOT shine so why would I post this willingly? We ALL know what giving birth is like and yet you don’t see us running around showing everyone what it was like.

  63. Alley says:

    While i never wanted anyone aside from the medical staff and husband in the room while my kids were born. I do have to admitt that contrary to most peoples beliefs in the US it is much easier and natural to deliver a baby in this position, and laying flat on you back. And as for her tummy size, it is most likely do to a number of things. She is lean to begin with, and probably had really tight abs. A lot of people i know looked very small and yet gave birth to 8lb. babies, and then adding to baby there is also fluid that protected the baby before birth. Now that the kiddo is officially born the size of the belly will be smaller just prior to her crowning. Amazing picture though.

  64. Bonnie says:

    Before judging this woman’s entire pregnancy and labor based on one photo you would be wise to read her birth story. You will see that her hair is in a ponytail, she is wearing a regular black bra (did you expect her to go out and purchase a tattered granny bra just for her labor? I don’t know about you but I still wore decent bras during my pregnancy!), she said herself that her 3rd baby “literally fell out” – no pushing required (as did my second baby – it happens!) so she probably wasn’t pushing for long. I’m not sure what some commenters consider to be a “normal” birthing position, but this is a very normal position. As previously stated any upright position using gravity is far superior to giving birth flat on your back – I have never actually met a woman who had a home birth and delivered flat on thier back.

    ***As anyone knows each woman’s birth is unique to her and her baby – so you are right, YOU might not have looked like this when giving birth. But SHE DID.***

  65. Lori says:

    You just can’t win when you’re a mother. The same women judging this mom for being too thin or too perfect would also probably judge me for not losing all the baby weight when my kid is nearly 5 and call me a fat, lazy cow. I’m so over all this mean girls crap. Is this high school? Anyway, for the record, I think this photo so beautiful and it has nothing to do with what the mom is wearing, whether she is thin or thick, or her hair.

  66. Lindsay Anne says:

    Wow, all the crap this photo is getting is beyond ridiculous.
    It’s an amazing photo and everything is in place because the photographer was a good one and was ready. The mom’s hair is not all done up, like someone said, but it’s barely in the shot, and again, the photographer took a good picture and there’s good lighting in whatever room this is. I could go on… to photographer and family, all negativity is unjustified. You are all amazing for the parts you played in creating this photo.

  67. Cheryl says:

    I know this family. I love this Mama. She is beautiful, and sweet, and special. Every. Single. Day. Even more so when she is birthing her babies. She dedicates her life to her family and to helping other women have healthy births. She IS real. This birth IS real. The love between her and her husband and her baby is real. Nothing about this photo is staged. Nothing. It grieves me to have such an amazing, victorious, sacred moment ripped to shreds. Why? Why is it okay to hide behind the internet and say such vindictive things?

  68. Cheryl says:

    … AND I honestly hope she NEVER sees this thread. It’s been enough already.

  69. Theryssa says:

    As others have said before, I can’t believe how hateful women are about other women. We all gain different amounts of weight while pregnant, and she obviously doesn’t gain much. Enough about that.
    Lynsey also photographed both of my births and truly has a gift. Knowing Lynsey and her character, it’s incredibly offensive that people would mention this being staged. Why would that be necessary? Seriously? She NEVER draws attention to herself to get a shot. Not once did she say “look this way” or “put your hands here or there”. She captures beautiful moments that somehow make mom look amazing…not that that’s important or her focus. It just happens. My daughter’s labor and birth were very short so I didn’t look nearly as run down in those photos as I did with my son. These are things you need to consider before making such ugly comments.

  70. Mae says:

    I have to say something. I know this woman in real life, she is one of the strongest women I know. How DARE you question anything about her you cowards. I can guarantee you she’s anything but frail, if she were, she’d fall flat on her face with all of the hateful comments you’ve written here. She’s one of the smallest women I know, but she also literally holds women up for hours at a time during their labors, as she’s a doula and birth assistant. This image has inspired more women than I can count to have confidence that no matter WHAT they’ve been told their body can/can’t do, ESPECIALLY based on what it looks like, that they can have their baby.

  71. Jayme says:

    Look at that baby’s head…….it’s definitely just emerged from the womb.

  72. Annoyed says:

    Ignorance knows no bounds.
    The photo was presented to a photo contest.
    Idiots make idiotic comments.

  73. LG says:

    As far as birthing pics go, this is a stunning pic….but I guess i’m in the camp of some things shouldn’t be for publich consumption..i.e birthing photos. Sex can be beatiful too…but we call photographing that porn (no, I’m not cmoparing sex to giving birth)…i’m pointing out that some thigns are just private. That’s all.

  74. Lana says:

    These are literally the worst, most judgmental, most screwed up comments I’ve ever read in the history of the internet. READERS BEWARE – HERE BE JERKS!

    This photo is graphic, it’s visceral, it’s ART.

  75. snakecharmer says:

    I went over to her blog and saw the other pictures and she’s definitly one woman who only gains the baby in terms of weight and nothing else…just a wee tummy and that’s it. Good on her I guess. The pictures do come across as staged (the lighting, the placement of hands, the ‘set’) but then again, the couple hired a professional photographer to come in and capture the moment…kinda weird since they were doing a homebirth (did she call the doula/midwife first or the photog?). Maybe they’re just one of those couples who are hyper aware of imagery (maybe they work in marketing and advertising). I don’t think it’s the best representation of birth though but that’s my opinion.

  76. Sharon says:

    @Snakecharmer – it was a freebirth. No one to call and it was their last baby so they wanted to capture the moment.

  77. AO says:

    Wow. Here’s a comment for all the negative jerks, coming from a very sassy, 8 day overdue pregnant woman….GROW UP and stop being so self righteous and smug! This woman is beautiful, this moment is amazing, and I can assure you that it is not staged (I follow Lynsey’s work.) I can’t believe how much negativity is stemming from this. Happy holidays, you miserable & judgmental nutjobs!

  78. TIFFANY says:

    ummmmmmm ladies not every birth is done laying down

    when OUR grandparents and greatgrandparents were born, some women would sqaut or sit in a metal tub………….. the fact her body is being judged is terrible……. i for one wish i had been allowed to move around during my 5 labors……. i remember feeling the urge to sit on my heels and let gravity help with my last 2 pregnancies…..

    SMH i like this picture, its different

  79. Patty says:

    i only gained 13lbs when i was pregnant, when i went into labor i had other women in the doctor’s office that were 9 months pregnant look at me with a double take while i was on the phone with my husband telling him im going to labor and delivery…i am not a small framed girl either, i had complications thru my pregnancy, which in turn made my baby only 5lbs even when born. You shouldn’t judge her based on how small she is, everyone is different when they carry a baby. I remember what my doctor told me “ALL PREGNANCY’S ARE DIFFERENT, NONE ARE EVER THE SAME!”

  80. Stacie says:

    This woman probably didn’t gain much weight during her preganacy, but who cares! I gained 35 pounds with my first child and only 4 with my second! I ate right (I ate all the time with the second) and he weighed 7 pounds and was really healthy! My mother wore her pre-pregnancy jeans to the hospital to have her 3rd child. So, it doesn’t really matter what the size of the belly is and how much you gain as long as the child is healthy and you take care of yourself. Everyone’s body is different.
    Also, THE BABY IS NOT IN THE WOMAN’S BELLY ANYMORE! Of course it isn’t going to be bulging!
    I swear, people are so freaking crazy.

  81. TIFFANY says:

    and as far as her hair who knows her hubby could have pulled it up for her, its not your place to pass judgement or scruitinize another womans experience

  82. Julia Graves says:

    She’s brave, but stupid! Was there any medical professionals around? Thank God it didn’t, but something could’ve went wrong!

  83. Stephanie says:

    Question the validity of the photo.. fine (it does seem a little too perfect), but to the haters who are commenting on how thin and frail she is, that’s just wrong, and you should feel ashamed. I have always been thin and had to endure negative comments about my weight, even during my pregnancies. It hurts just like it hurts to be called fat. Think before you speak.

  84. Stacie says:

    And another thing. Someone mentioned where’s the blood and the other messes that comes with birth, if you actually looked at the picture you would see the smear on her upper thigh!

  85. Nacia K. Walsh (@MomsInBoyland) says:

    This sums it up: “Wow. Here’s a comment for all the negative jerks, coming from a very sassy, 8 day overdue pregnant woman….GROW UP and stop being so self righteous and smug! This woman is beautiful, this moment is amazing, and I can assure you that it is not staged (I follow Lynsey’s work.) I can’t believe how much negativity is stemming from this. Happy holidays, you miserable & judgmental nutjobs!”

    AMEN!!! Seriously stop hating on this beautiful woman.

  86. Amanda says:

    Amazing. Beautiful birth photos and birth story. Thank you to the mother and photographer for sharing your baby story!

  87. The Mom: Informed says:

    This isn’t staged and she is just fine in weight. THIS is what birth should look like. The lithotomy position with wires and epis and doctors galore is NOT what’s right for birthing a baby. maybe if people weren’t such a$$hol*es then they would know she is in the PERFECT position to give birth.

  88. JEV says:

    “Most women don’t have their babies like this” because we live in a country where most women have been made to believe birth is dangerous and belongs in the hospital. In hospitals most women are made to push their babies out in the lithotomy (on your back with knees up) position for the convenience of the attendant when in reality this position is the one that is LEAST effective for pushing. I gave birth to my second child at home. On my hands and knees. The above picture is a VERY REAL depiction of childbirth. Just not the one we’ve all been conditioned by the media to believe.

  89. Luschka says:

    @ANGELA , the first thing I thought when I saw this picture was Hyperemesis. I lost 20kg with my first child, and 10kg before going onto medication with this pregnancy. I can’t believe people are focusing on how SHE LOOKS. Jealous cows.

    I love this pose – it’s awesome seeing something other than the Hollywood Standard: Stranded Tortoise pose!

  90. Erin says:

    Love it. Love seeing a healthy momma, love seeing a natural birthing position, love seeing two parents who trust birth.

  91. Melissa says:

    I’d like to say to all of you that have a problem with “how pregnant” she looks….thats a load of crap….just because she was a small pregnant woman dosent make it less beautiful…..tho I do think the position is a but fake because who gives birth like that….But I was about the same size as her at nine months with both of my kids and I ate healthy and took care of myself and had healthy beautiful pictures…..You say to make it look more “real” she should look more pregnant….well she looked as real as I did and I’m sorry but not everyone gets big when they are expecting…..and shame on all of you saying it takes away from the beauty because she looks ill….I could just as easily say for a woman at 9 months whos bigger that she FAT and it takes away from the beauty of the picture….but guess what I wouldnt ever say that because it is not true…..we are all beautiful small or big… So I really think some of you ladies need to rethink how you judge someone for not showing as much as you did…..It DOSE NOT mean she is not healthy or she is sick it means thats how her body is.

  92. KalamityKristen says:

    WOW so many haters here. These comments are making me lose faith in humanity; typical woman-hating garbage. She’s too thin, you think? I have so many choice words for that comment, but I can’t put them here… Basically go *&^% yourself if you think it’s wise to sit around complaining that a woman who has just given birth no longer looks 9mo pregnant. Did ANYONE think that one through??

    Her hair is too nice? Her bra is too nice? Her birth is not messy enough for you?? You people are outta your minds. Did everyone just have a bad day today, or what? Have you no idea how petty & jealous you sound?

    As for birth being “private”– birth might be private for YOU but it is not for everyone. Some women want lots of medical staff there, including students. Some women want ZERO people there. Some want video, some want photos. Some put their birth videos on youtube. If you’re seriously going to get upset that this birth is not private, you should take your concerns over to youtube– You can spend the rest of your life complaining there!

    & For the record, the photo is real: http://www.birthstoriesondemand.com/home-birth-stories/2011/11/29/genas-birth-of-phoenix.html

  93. Sandra says:

    I can’t believe how many negative comments I just read…jealous ladies? This woman is beautiful!!

  94. Jennifer says:

    Amazing, girls (I almost put ‘ladies’ but most of you are not ladies). Get over yourselves. Our aesthetics may be different but why would you personally attack this woman because of her size & beauty!?!? I happen to think that this is the most gorgeous & powerful birth photo that I’ve ever seen but everyone’s tastes are different; however, this is a very real picture of a real woman who deserves no criticism for how she looks. Jealousy is a nasty monster… try attacking it first before you attack those you are jealous of.

  95. ErinM says:

    I looked like this while pregnant. I wasn’t sick or anything. I looked 7 months pregnant at 9 months. I’ve also had 2 kids, both pregnancies were like that. I was ALL baby. It’s called GENETICS. I also had 8lb+ babies too. I also looked maybe 2-3 months pregnant AFTER giving birth. I was able to wear my pre-pregnancy jeans upon leaving the hospital. We’re not all the same. So stop judging! It is beautiful and doesn’t look staged to me. And don’t judge on the pose she’s in either, she did what felt right for her and her baby, not what some doctor told her to do.

  96. a says:

    lol i love the comments of the people who are judging the people who are judging this photo..lol they are a lot worse then the people who said they didnt like it.. lol But i agree a photo should not win on national G that doesnt rep most of he real women in this world..and most dont have hair done, make up on and toned thighs with no belly.it doesnt matter if it was staged or not it looks like it was. and by the way 90% of photos are staged or touched up in this world if not more… still its not a winner for me but all childbrith is amazing.

  97. KalamityKristen says:

    “I think the position is fake because who gives birth like that?” UMMM LOTS OF WOMEN DO. & Lots of animals too. Kneeling is actually a great way to give birth & I have seen it many times. Anyone watch The Business of Being Born lately? Are your minds really so small that if a woman doesn’t give birth in the exact same position as you & her tummy doesn’t look exactly like yours, you criticize her & call her birth photo fake?

  98. Mel says:

    My homebirth was not messy. The sac broke two pushes before DD was born. It is clear fluid and you can’t see it in my pictures. There was no blood until after the birth and the placenta delivered.

    The babies head has clearly just been formed. (Check out the fontenelles on top!)

    This is a good position for deliver. Delivering on your back is something Dr’s have devised. It is a very un natural position for delivery.

    Some women have friends come in early labor and do make up and hair. It is a huge event and it can be very empowering to feel beautiful through it. :)

  99. Jasmine says:

    It’s no wonder women have a plethora of body image issues. You think it’s because men have unrealistic expectations of what we should look like? Read above and think again; it’s because other women spit venomous comments about other women. I can’t believe how hateful some posters are towards this beautiful image. It is powerful and gorgeous – a testament to what a natural birth can be and something I was also able to experience.

    As a photographer I can assure you we take 5-10 (or more) shots of the same pose in order to find the “right” one. So I can tell you that this is NOT staged. It’s the result of a skilled eye. As for the kneeling position – I feel badly for you women who have been brought up to believe that the only way to birth is on your back. What a God-awful way to have a baby. Perhaps you would have had a better experience birthing like this, with gravity and a wider pelvis to help.

    I love this photo and am glad it’s stirring up so much debate. Women need to see what real birthing is like.

  100. Samantha says:

    I am floored at these comments.

    “Birth is messy”: Mine was about as messy as this. She has birth fluids (a mix of amniotic fluid and blood from what I can tell) on her leg, baby is covered in vernix.

    “Dad naked”: no, he’s wearing a sleveless shirt

    “fancy up do and bra”: regular bra, and looks like hair has been pilled ontop of her head like many women do

    “she doesn’t look pregnant”: uh, that’s a uterus mid contraction birthing the rest of her baby’s body,specially baby’s hips and legs from what I can tell, sorry you don’t know what that looks like.

    “it’s staged/tooperfect look how her hand is covering everything”: that’s called supporting her own tissues to prevent tearing.They can and do tear that direction as well.

    “Remove the wedding ring”: why? I didn’t!

    A good chunk of the above comments are shameful. I’m sorry you don’t know what a normal unhindered birth looks like, or what it can look like. I’m sorry people feel it necessary to judge a woman in the throws of labor. I don’t know what you some of you are getting out of saying such hurtful things.

  101. Angela says:

    I have to say when I was about 100lbs overweight i probably would have had something negative to say about her weight because I was ALWAYS super jealous of people smaller then me! Now I have lost 100+ pounds She looks fine to me. She looks healthy and I do see a prego belly! Just because you become pregnant you don’t have to gain 1000lbs and be the size of a barn. Its not healthy for you or the baby. I know! When I was pregnant with my 3rd Child i tipped the scales at 270. :( thats super sad. As for this pic. I would never do it myself cause it just looks uncomfortable! but more power to people that want to try different things. I hate seeing negative comments everywhere. Grow up already!

  102. Clara says:

    I am so disheartened by the judgemental comments here. If you do not wish to see to women giving birth, then why are you looking? Mommies, babies & daddies come in all shapes and sizes. I’m sure some of you remember when women were strapped down in the stirrups to give birth, and drugged out of their minds during the birth process and rendered unconscious as sson as the baby was born. Forceps were standard “operating” procedure, because gving birth was thought of as a surgery. Babies were wsiked away to the nursery, and momies were only given a certain amount of time to bottle feed thier babies, and breast feeding was not encouraged.
    Not all pregnant women become blimps. Naturall thin, and/or already athletic women may certainly maintain a “healthy pregnancy weight” as well as thier athleticism.
    As for the dear women here and elsewhere who were ill during thier pregnancies, well
    A) Bless your hearts
    and
    B) BRAVA!!!!!
    As a woman who actively chose to not have children, I am particuarly in awe of the beauty, LIFE and LOVE expressed in these photos. And as Registered Nurse, I can tell you that my labor & delivery rotation during nursing school was truly magical, heartening, frightening, amusing and yes, awe inspiring!!

  103. Megan says:

    I was nothing but belly when I was pregnant and believe me, your stomach goes down quite a bit immediately after having a baby! Mine did.I actually remember thinking as they were cleaning up my newborn, weighing, etc. “wow, I don’t have a huge belly anymore.”

  104. Amy says:

    I’m speechless as well. I was skinny during pregnancy – I gained a whole 22 lbs and was back to pre-pregnancy weight within a week. I gave birth on my knees. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxjcDGbdKfs Here’s my birth photos. Obviously all the negative comments are from ignorant people who have no idea what they are talking about — a shame that everyone is so quick to judge!

  105. Megan says:

    Also, an upright birthing position is actually more effective than laying on a bed because of gravity.

  106. Mama T says:

    It makes me sad that so many women feel that this is either gross or fake. Birth unites us, as women– no matter what it looks like. And yes, it is thoroughly possible for a woman to give birth upright, with her hands on her baby. There’s nothing staged about it. The so-called “normal” position happens to be the one that closes off the pelvis the most, and yet typically, in hospitals, we have no other choice.

    I have photos of my daughter emerging at birth, and they’re no “messier” than this. And I am always happy to share those photos with people, especially other women, not only because it was my proudest and happiest moment, but because I want to show other women what their bodies are capable of, too.

    And as far as the rings go– first off, some of us don’t experience swelling during pregnancy. This woman in particular probably followed a very careful diet during pregnancy in order to achieve a natural birth after a long labor, and she should be applauded for that, not criticized!

  107. Melissa says:

    hahaha I think you all are being way too critical. Birth is a beautiful thing and just cause she is skinny and beautiful doesnt make it fake and yes I have seen births like this it isnt always lying on your back. Some people are small minded and ignorant. Kudos to this mama!!! and the baby does look real to me, how is a newborn supposed to look?? Covered in blood…come on

  108. Ann Mulnix says:

    This is the most disgusting thing I have seen in awhile. It does not looke real as many have said .She does not look pregnant at all. Too many bones showing for her to have a baby. As for your comment Jasmine ,hurtful is not what people are saying. Just the truth. You must have looked like that.

  109. Stephanie says:

    It’s staged. I don’t care how skinny or fat the mom is. There is no blood on the white carpet…. but you can see it smeared on her leg…. and she’s screaming her head off…. why???? the baby is already out….. the painful part is over….. the painful part of the birth process is getting that head out….. the rest is cake after that….. no screaming…… FAKE!

  110. The Deranged Housewife says:

    I think this is a great photo, capturing a wonderful moment of intense joy and emotion. Have you ever seen professional weight lifters literally grunt, scream or vocalize loudly when they lift massive amounts of weight over their heads? That is something like this – the rush, the endorphins, the adrenaline – everything! It’s an intense moment, to catch your own child, one that many women who give birth in hospitals are likely never to experience because it’s all about the rush rush rush to clamp the cord, get the baby to the warmer, blah blah blah and mom is left there like a specimen on a table. In most hospital births, women are simply an afterthought, even though they are the ones who just went through an amazing process!

    I find that most of the comments on here reflecting what “birth is really like” probably get their ideas from watching TV shows, bad movies and soap operas. Please. You can give birth in other positions besides flat on your back. :/

  111. The Deranged Housewife says:

    And you can’t see any of dad’s bad except his head and arms – why on earth would you assume he was naked?? You can clearly see a tank top in the photo – look a little closer, please!

  112. Suzan says:

    O.K., so, I guess alot of people don’t like this picture or question how real it may be.If you don’t care for it,don’t look at it and don’t vote for it! ..SIMPLE….I am REALLY surprised and disappointed in all the hate coming from people who, out of their OWN nasty mouths,know nothing about this woman or her situation.And people have the nerve to act as though they have nothing to do with the mess the world is in. Keep hating if it makes you feel better about yourself……

  113. The Deranged Housewife says:

    *dad’s body

  114. Aleah says:

    Such a beautiful picture. <3 Look how strong her legs look! And I love the smile on her husbands face. Not all births are messy, ladies. Just because she's not birthing in a supine position with a fresh epesiotemy (c.s.?) and cord blood all over the place does not mean there needs to be blood everywhere. This looks like a truly NATURAL birth to me. Not staged or gross at all.

  115. Andrea says:

    There is no such thing as a “normal” birthing position, however, if you read books on natural childbirth, you will find that this is a very effective way to deliver. Your birth canal shortens a lot and is much more effective than the typical “lay back” position that you must have when receiving an epidural (it’s also the most common seen on tv and movies).
    She looks done up because she purposely had a professional photographer taking the photos. I think she looks awesome. And some women don’t pop out like others, even after nine months. I’ve seen these women in person, and she may very well be one of them.
    I think this picture is authentic and raw and beautiful!

  116. Andrea says:

    PS….I just read her birth story and saw the “before” pics. She is WAY bigger before she delivered, and that baby definitely is covered in goo and has just been born. This is a real photo.

  117. Angela says:

    It is sad how bitter so many people are in this world.

  118. Suzan says:

    Oh jeez,I didn’t even see the comment about dad until just now..people are so hateful that “dad” even gets pulled into it.Any hateful comments about the baby out there? C’mon, there must be someone…..

  119. Mama C says:

    I disagree. It is mainly striking to her and her husband and the baby I think. This photo is very disturbing…. I am sorry to say that, I am a mom too. I don’t thinking screaming to the camera so the world can see my baby coming out between my legs is cool at all.

  120. Deb says:

    I thought at first it was staged but then I read the story and the picture makes more sense.

  121. rowan says:

    This woman and her family rock. Its a wondrous thing, to be sure. Love wins.

  122. Doris Gillespie says:

    How do have a baby on your knees? Wouldn’t you be more comfortable lying down? Why does the man look naked? I think having a baby is a beautiful thing too but the way I was raised it sould be more private. Thumbs down.

  123. Judy says:

    To all of those who think this picture is ‘staged’ or ‘too perfect’, you all really need to stop thinking of women birthing on their backs as what is considered “normal”. It may be what is acceptable by our current standards of care in teh US, but is nowhere near what a “normal” woman would be doing in a “normal” delivery.

    Seriously one of those ignorance filled list of comments I’ve ever seen.

  124. Diana says:

    Jealousy and ignorance is an ugly thing If you are of average weight and height you should only gain 25 lbs, underweight 35 to 40 lbs and over weight 21 lbs ( and they say for people who are overweight it is healthy to lose weight and exercise) http://www.fitpregnancy.com/pregnancy/health/how-much-weight-should-i-gain America and England along with a few other country’s are highly obese. http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-obesity In other country’s they gain even less. http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/hs/pubs/Pregnancy_wgain2003final.pdf ,http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=12584 now this link everyone should read http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20265998/ns/health-pregnancy/t/docs-want-pregnancy-weight-guidelines-lowered/#.TtestmMocW8 women in other countries gain far less weight and have healthy children who grow up to contribute to society and not be a burden due to ill health of obesity . . This women is a testament you can have a healthy pregnancy without gaining an over abundance of weight our ancestors were opportunist eaters and forager’s unlike there descendants of today with readily available food to gorge on. They gave birth without available high cost medical by themselves, This beautiful healthy mother and her beautiful HEALTHY family do not deserve negative comments fueled by jealousy and out rage due to low self esteem and of ignorant lard asses who did not take care of themselves and do nothing to change it . This photo looks staged because it is, she hired a professional photographer for her birth. if you look at the other photos they are not staged and I must say heart warming and breathtakingly touching. She had a healthy beautiful 9 lb baby boy, did not even have one stretch mark (and if i read correctly she has 3 other children wow) because she did not outstretch her body. with excessive weight gain, kept healthy and active. when you are pregnant . it is healthy to be active. and exercise. Such hatred , get over yourselves I bet every negative comment was fueled by a 1000 lb stretch marked loose skin porker with no tact or morality. How about you say it to her face. you spineless wimpy hogs.

  125. ISeeDumbBitches says:

    This is one of the most strikingly beautiful birth photos I’ve ever seen. She is using the most effective pushing position and appears to have maintained a healthy weight throughout her pregnancy. What an amazing woman!

    It’s sad that so many other women are fooled into getting fat (or thinking it’s okay to get fat) during pregnancy and then being convinced that laying on your back is the proper way to push. How ignorant and uniformed can people be? Women, pregnancy and birth are your most important jobs on this planet. I think it’s about time you learned to do it correctly.

    And until you do it’d probably be best if you don’t make a bunch of snotty, judgmental, hateful comments about how someone else is doing it.

  126. Diana says:

    http://www.naturesplatform.com/health_benefits.html one more link to educate the many who are uninformed of natural healthy ways of giving birth. http://www.naturesplatform.com/health_benefits.html

  127. Lisa Stepp-Sorrell says:

    I love birth photos and love breastfeeding, pregnancy, etc… photos, too, but this one is just odd and does nothing for me. When I first saw it (before I read anything) I thought it was staged…and the mom’s face does not look like she’s happy or even in pain…she looks mad?!!! Just not a good photo at all, except for the position to get the baby coming without showing her hooha.

  128. Rebecca Geddes says:

    Makes me relive the pain and joy all over again… I love birth and pregnancy!

  129. ZELDA says:

    Just because this woman isn’t on her back with her legs spread eagle, you think this isn’t normal??? This is actually an EASIER birthing position since you have gravity working for you! People only think that the “on the back” position is “normal” because most doctors won’t even let the woman have a choice on what position is comfortable for HER…so in the stirrups you go.

    I don’t see this photo as being staged at all…her hubby was helping her deliver so he would have obviously had her hands between her legs. She was helping deliver so her hands would have been covering her pubic area. Since this was a home birth, she wasn’t rushed into pushing so she allowed her cervix to dialate naturally and all the skin around stretched naturally as well…she probably didn’t even tear! Lots of blood on babies comes from tearing of the mother’s perineum or from the doc cutting an episiotomy. Maybe some of you should learn more about how NATURAL childbirth works!

  130. Colette says:

    I don’t think that’s what she’s screaming.

  131. Anabella says:

    I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder . . .but, personally, I don’t find this one even remotely moving. She looks as if she is having an incredible orgasm rather than delivering a baby. Strange picture. Strange comments. That is all.

  132. Pam Corey says:

    My gosh,

    This is not a platform for judging a woman’s weight or if the scene is staged. Just goes to show that as Americans and woman we are so obsessed with weight and beauty that we can’t even look at someone this beautiful while giving birth, which is a beautiful thing, by the way) without trying to find fault, I especially abhor the one about her bones sticking out and her stomach not being big enough! Good heavens the babies head is already out and she is pushing down having a contraction. If you don’t know what you are talking about please don’t comment with your ignorant and hateful remarks. I think this photo is remarkable and commend everyone involved. When I had my babies 40 yrs ago I was treated with disdain because I was very heavy in the delivery room, had gained 50 plus pounds and had a scary, experience in a hospital where my husband was not even allowed in the room . I then could not even hold my baby because it was decided that I had a cold and shouldn’t touch the baby! So I look at this with such awe and thank the powers that be things have changed. I was in the delivery room when my first grandson was born and it was awesome!

  133. Jennifer says:

    Such judgement on her size. Every woman is different naturally and each pregnancy is different as well. If you can see the baby is over half way out of her and therefore her tummy will go down as well. I know that is how it was for me and I gained 30lbs and was in my normal jeans within 2 weeks. I think it’s beautiful and amazing!

  134. Andrea says:

    A couple of things to keep in mind….this may be her first little one, and believe it or not it is possible to be a fit pregnant woman….it’s just a bummer we all don’t have that ability. Especially for those of us that have had more than 1. I have had 4 and I never looked this awesome. Photo shop also helps. Her hair is a very awesome messy but hey, good for her. Yes, my first thought was … this is not “real”. But then again, whether it was real or not, whether she does or does not represent the “real” birth experience…it’s still an awesome experience. And oddly enough…the “real” birth experience, often would recieve more criticism for it’s ~all too realness~, which for most of us… isn’t all that pretty.

  135. Joni says:

    I agree this picture looks extremely staged. The size of the mother doesn’t really bother me as much as what is missing from this birthing picture. After looking at the second picture I would have chosen that one also. The emotion and feel is so much more real life. Best of luck to the new parents but as a photographer myself this is lifeless, emotionless and poorly planned.

  136. Jackie says:

    What is the MATTER with you people??!! Seriously! Who do you think you are? I can tell you for sure, that you are NOT perfect. You are NOT god’s gift to woman-kind. You ARE, however, bitter, cruel, judgmental, and you’re acting like you’re in the 2nd grade. Wow! Just, wow! I wonder why you all looked like while giving birth. I would bet that you had similar expressions at one point during your birth, it’s just that no one captured it on camera for you to ridicule yourself over.

  137. Kiraly says:

    Her tendons are showing because she is pushing out a baby. Anyone who has ever lifted weights knows that with extreme effort they will look exactly like that. You know what I see on here? A bunch of women who gained a million pounds during pregnancy, used it as their “right” to eat themselves sick during the whole nine months and will probably be the same women who will have a year old complaining about the “baby weight.” Newsflash: that’s not baby weight it’s FAT…from too much food and too little movement. This woman is obviously extremely fit…her legs and arms are beautifully toned. Her stomach looks exactly like mine did…not everyone becomes enormous. I’m not sure what kind of horrendous mess you all think goes on during birth but this is pretty much it. After the baby is out there is more blood with the placenta delivery but it’s not a huge bloody mess. As for her bra, hair, etc. if I hired someone to photograph my child’s birth I wouldn’t be sporting hideous lingerie and looking like I just came in from a rainstorm. Ummm…THEY hired this photographer and were obviously going for the most picturesque delivery. It was their 4th child…pretty sure they knew how things were going to go. Not everyone has an out of control crazy birth. Mine was perfectly calm and I was totally in control and if I had wanted a certain “look” during the birth I have no doubt I would have been able to pull it off. They obviously had a plan. Oh, and dad did have to catch the baby. Maybe that’s why he was so perfectly positioned?

  138. Carol says:

    I am speechless at the amount of rude, judgemental comments I have read here. What kind of person sees that picture and instantly thinks “skinny bitch”? Do you really have that much hate in your hearts, folks? All I can think is what a beautiful strong woman birthing her baby and how fabulous is it that her husband wanted to catch his baby. All I see is love, strength and beauty in this picture. Any photographer who has enough compassion, skill and will to capture such a shot is an artist I want to see around for a long time. Congratulations, Ms. Stone for such a fine piece of work!

  139. diane says:

    How can some of you say this is not a good representation of birth?? How many of you had a natural birth? I bet most of the negative opinions and the ones saying it looks gross or staged or misrepresented allllll had epidurals. Im not judging the epidural, had one myself, but in a purely natural birth you are free to try different positions and um, hellooo, once that baby is ‘THERE’ and the head is thru, in a natural birth, the mother will know and the father will be able to be RIGHT THERE if he wishes to birth the baby…Do you know what YOUR face looked like when you gave birth.. If it was an epidural birth, you probably didn’t show pain, you may have had an episiotomy which caused it to be bloody and messy. Not every baby comes out all bloody, some just come out covered in vernix, some later term births aren’t. C’mon ladies. Aren’t we here to revel in being pregnant and be a ‘community’.. The only thing about this pic that bothered me is that she did look like she was in pain and for one wanting to go natural for the first time (1st was a C, second a vbac w/ epidural), it scared me just a little- lol ;) .. And about the rings. I gained the textbook 25 for both my previous pregnancies and my rings NEVER got too tight. I never took them off in fear of scratching the baby (which never happened) so that’s just silly…… Birth is beautiful, birth is a miracle and let’s look at the beauty and stop w/ the cattiness….

  140. Kimberly says:

    Gee…I think this is an image similar to what some of our ancestors saw, way back when.
    I was just told, the other day that my great grandmother (a Mother of 11) would be out working in the fields stripping tobacco, where she had to squat to give birth when there was no time to get to the house.
    It does look traumatic, but it is a image of reality.

  141. Melissa Booth says:

    I just want to say… she IS giving birth in a “normal” position… a beautiful, amazing, powerful position!

  142. jessica says:

    I like the second picture better – the parents looking at their baby and the joy in their face is great – She probably did her hair up knowing a photographer was there (that is usually planned- I mean the photographer doesn’t just show up at your birth )…. just because you are giving birth doesn’t mean your hair has to be messy :) I like first picture just like the other picture better. Birth is beautiful whether you are fat, skinny, just right people… get over it! I only wish my belly looked that small after I still looked prego for DAYS! LOL

  143. calipso says:

    ‘And for some reason i’m not a big fan of the way she is on her knees. Most women don’t have their babies like this’

    No, they don’t have their baby like this because they are not allowed to…not convenient or comfortable enough for the doctor.
    Come and see more home birth and you’ll see that’s the way women have their babies when you let them take the postion they want in a ‘normal’ birth.

    This pic is just so…real and amazing.

  144. Melissa says:

    I feel uncomfortable looking at this picture. Why do some people feel they need to share every nook and cranny of there lives with the world? Having our sons were sacred and precious to me and my husband. We own those moments. Having the rest of the world view me as I’m screaming with half a baby hanging out of my birthing canal is not what I call beautiful.

  145. Tracy says:

    Every body does pregnancy and childbirth differently. This woman might have quick and “easy” labors and her body naturally stays fit and trim during pregnancy. When I was pregnant, I was the ‘Three B’s:’ Breasts, Belly, Butt. I would NEVER have given birth at home because at that time in my life I didn’t believe I had enough meditative ability to stay calm. She is beautiful, the baby looks healthy weight, and the head is misshapen, so it’s clear it’s newly born. Take another look at the photograph and find the joy in it: a new little person has entered the world. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it.

  146. Abby says:

    Strikingly powerful? More like nauseating. Being a mom to be, most births I’ve seen make me a bit emotional. This just makes me want to puke….

  147. Marnie says:

    When I delivered my beautiful son, I weighed in at 292lbs. And it was BIG and messy and Beautiful and to heck with what anyone else says about how a woman’s body “SHOULD” look in delivery. This family is beautiful and sacred and the power of sharing such an intimate moment of time is wonderful. Celebrate the joy, people! This is a documentary photograph – if you don’t like it – move on. :)

  148. hbmidwife says:

    I am a homebirth attendant and I have seen MANY moments like this one. It is as earthshaking as one would imagine……to watch a couple birth together and bring their baby into the world without the bells and whistles going off and mom being thrown into stirrups or leg supports. The size of the baby in the photo is a testament to how well this mother ate during her pregnancy. And birth is not always messy and bloody. Some are, but if she had just been in the water and nobody was there stretching her bottom like an worn out tube sock, then there probably wasn’t a lot of blood. Your bleeding doesn’t begin until after the placenta delivers usually. People believe too much of what they see in the movies and on those awful Discovery Channel Baby Story shows. That is what it abnromal. Just because something is accepted by society as normal doesn’t make it so.

  149. Tracie Caldwell says:

    I am for all things beautiful. I think childbirth is one of the most beautiful things, however for some reason my first thought when I saw this picture was “oh god” And I am not sure why. If it was a picture of me giving birth I would treasure that picture forever it really is a beautiful image.. to be shared with family. We know what birthing looks like.
    I am not going to lie, the first time I looked at this image I also thought she didn’t look healthy, but as long as she was that’s all that matters. I don’t think people are necessarily judging “the skinny ones”, its natural to feel concerned when you see a very slim pregnant woman.

  150. Jana says:

    Why so much judging?? Cover the baby with your hand and look just at mom. The expression on her face and the veins in her neck and hands, along with her belly are a really beautiful study of the human female body and the life-giving process. Look at that thigh muscle! At first, this photo was uncomfortably striking to me. I think it was the strange birthing pose. But as I look again now, I am seeing it as a really honest portrait of childbearing process, where primal emotion and pain drive physical strength and the “push”.

  151. Elaine says:

    How sad that people can’t get pass this woman’s individual pregnant body to see the power and passion and beauty and strength of this mother that this photo captured. Isn’t that what this contest is about? Capturing that moment when a child and mother are born?

  152. hmm says:

    aren’t we beyond griping about people’s looks? I was a big fattie when I was pregnant. I ate everything that moved and didn’t exercise so that might have something to do with it. This woman isn’t. So what? Do we need to bitch at her for that? Are we in 7th grade? Maybe she’s a athlete. Maybe she’s one of the lucky tall skinny types who couldn’t be round to save her life. Seriously folks, why do women feel the need to cut on each other about how we look? Would be be so snarky if she was 200lbs? (although I have to wonder if she was 200lbs if she’d win the photo contest) But serioulsy, let’s be grown ups. I feel like i’m back in high school.

  153. Lisa says:

    I can see everyone’s point (apart from those saying its private because once I had my baby, I would happily share my story and every moment with complete strangers) because it’s beautiful and I’m so proud that I, and my husband, created something beautiful.
    I was not a skinny mum although I did suffer from a Drastic weight loss of almost 3 stone in my first 4 months because I was sick all the time. Not pleasant. Luckily It wasn’t dangerous. Anyway, I was ALL water by the end. My daughter was 3 weeks early and weighed a healthy 7lbs 3oz but my stomach was so swollen from water. As soon as he was born, I mean like right away, my stomach was the flattest it had been in years! It was brilliant so I wouldn’t judge. Yes this woman is thin but that could just be the way her body is.
    I have no problem/issues with her being represented in this category as she deserves it. We all do; those of us whom carried our children were pregnant after all ;-)

  154. Dawn says:

    I think the photo is great! AND, how nice of this loving couple to share their birth. I actually prefer the 2nd photo as far as a vote is concerned.

  155. Wendy says:

    BEAUTIFUL! Her tummy IS small :) But look at those muscles in her thighs! Look at the power she is glowing with in the most wonderful moment a woman can experience. She looks strong and beautiful!

  156. John says:

    and here come all the jealous mothers who didn’t look like that during their pregnancy.

    my wife looked the same way, she ate all the time. A LOT. just because YOUR body gained a crap load of weight doesn’t mean ALL bodies do.

  157. liz says:

    I am not saying it’s staged but I like some other comments wonder how come her hair is so perfect? The other thing is why isn’t here more of a mess on the inside of her thigh? I see something but the baby is covered in it and her thigh isn’t the least bit.

    The other thing is, I see her finger at the babies neck which is good but how can you be in that much pain, she looks like it, and be able to focus on holding your babies neck?

    I don’t really find the picture beautiful. It’s so so to me.

  158. Kym says:

    I wasn’t moved by this photo. It has nothing to do with her weight or her appearance, or anything else; the photo simply didn’t move me, and to me, that visceral response, whether it’s goose bumps, tears, or even disgust, is what’s important when looking at submissions like this. I agree that the other photos were better.

  159. daniellea says:

    Seriously, this is a beautiful pic. Odd as it is for some ppl to admit. R u all jealous, I am. I looked like I was 20 months n after I looked 6 months. I still do 8 months later. I have known ppl who were 9mos n could pass as 5mos. Look at her stomach, she is bulged n has a popped belly button.
    Home births r the rave, I have seen several very neat ones. U can c the Goo on babies head n dads hands. N for the girl who said dad was naked..look at the pic, he is clearly in a black tank to match mom. N her position is perfect for gravity, read what to expect while expecting, or watch I didn’t know I was pregnant. Do u kno how many deliveries r made standing, in a tub, on hands n knees or squatting. I have 5 kids n was stuck in bed, I wanted to deliver vertically but wasn’t allowed. Also she’s not in a hospital, but the comfort of her own home. You are more relaxed n at ease. I always wore my rings, just had to remove my belly ring.

  160. Jackie says:

    This woman looks amazing – for all those jealous women out there, try eating a little less during pregnancy, there is really no need to gain any more than 6-10kg, in Scandinavia almost all women look like that when they give birth. Any more is just fat or excess fluid. Do you realise that when pregnant the recommendation now is to eat no more than usual throughout and perhaps a little more in the last few weeks? And to exercise every day? I looked great right after birth, everyone asked me how. It’s called HOME BIRTH. As for the position, I suppose that “normal” birth has you lying on your back, does it? Women have been giving birth in the upright position, which is much better for both mum and baby, for hundreds of years. Lying on your back is not normal, it’s just what the stupid Ob-gyn wants you to do to make it easier for him. It’s much more dangerous and will make your labour much slower. Get some proper birthing education and then come back and comment.

  161. alisabashaw says:

    umm anyone who has ever given birth knows that this photo is a fake. first she is wearing underwear which is apparent to the left and is hidden well. second the baby is fully laying on its back which would be impossible if it was truly being birthed at that point. in addition she is not in proper squatting position to birth a child in that way. sitting the way she is would cause the baby coming out with it’s head bent to its chin basically cutting off its breathing. And finally the biggest reason this photo isn’t real is that there is no evidence physical of a birth taking place, no blood, no nothing and I doubt if this was real time they would take the time to clean up the mess and believe it def is messy. The concept of the picture was decent but who ever staged and took the photo has never experienced a live birth

  162. Jo says:

    Beautiful! Go Mumma (and dadda) Inspirational!

    (can hardly pose a newborn coming out, and not everyone eats for 10 when they are pregnant! jeepers – go be miserable somewhere else!)

  163. Katie says:

    This picture is beautiful! My first daughter I did not start showing at all until I was 34 weeks. I’m a thinner person. Everyone told me I was hurting my baby or didn’t believe me that I was pregnant. With my second still really thin I didn’t start showing until I was 24 weeks pregnant. I was still smaller than the woman in this picture. Everyone carries differently. Plus the baby is half out of her..Of course her stomach is going to look smaller. My stomach went flat as soon as both my baby’s came out. This picture is beautiful and so is this mother. Stop being jealous.

  164. Karalyn says:

    I think this photo is AMAZING! and it DID give me goose bumps!! Anyone who has experienced natural childbirth would get this photo. Her expresion completely sums up the last final push/feeling/rush of adrenaline all in one. She is putting every emotion and ounce of energy into birthing her baby. It is beautiful.
    Do some research on natural birthing before you judge and write comments on something you know nothing about.
    And P.S. – If I had a professional photographer at my birth i’d probably try to keep my hair nice too, just sayin…

  165. Autumn Sluder says:

    I think this is a beautiful picture. I have always been slim framed and the same through all three of my pregnancies. (I have gained about 30lbs each time) but I always walked out of the delivery room with a flat tummy and could fit in my ‘fat’ jeans. Being pregnant is beautiful no matter what your size. Us as women should never judge another’s body. We are only hurting ourselves. Lets all play nice

  166. Stephanie says:

    This is what a healthy pregnant woman who was probably very muscular and thin before her pregnancy SHOULD look like as she gives birth. It’s obvious (if you looked at the picture) that the baby is pretty much completely out of her, that’s why she “only looks 20 weeks pregnant”!! SHE ISN’T PREGNANT ANYMORE! People, just because she may have gained only 25 pounds during the pregnancy and not 50 like some moms, doesn’t mean this isn’t a beautiful and powerful photo. I think from an artist’s perspective that showing she has some masculine traits (like muscles) combined with the clearly feminine theme of giving birth is quite unique. It’s a “different” picture than we are used to and that’s where the appeal comes from.

  167. Julia says:

    So many of these comments are the reason women do not rule the world. Is it so hard to look upon this miracle and not see the beauty? Who cares if she’s thin and who cares if you weren’t. This is a photo contest and the photo captures the miracle of life beautifully. The joy and beauty.

  168. Clair says:

    Wow, how messed up is the world? Here’s a woman showing how beautiful child birth is and all of you are whinging about is how much she weighs. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

  169. Stephanie says:

    like I said earlier…. I don’t care if the mom is fat, skinny, or in between….. it is staged. I do not doubt that this is some moments after the actual birth. If it isn’t staged then mom, regardless of how skinny she is, is a big fat puss! All the pain is over with at this point, the baby’s head is out…. If she were looking down, exhausted but adoringly at the baby, I might believe it more…. She has no reason to be screaming in pain at this point, her hand down there to protect from tearing is bunk…. any danger of tearing was over the minute the baby’s head presented. After the baby’s head is out, it’s all downhill from there, this is when a doctor would finish pulling the baby out in a hospital, provided the shoulders can fit…. the baby’s shoulders are out as well, all the big painful stuff is over.
    And on a side note talking about how everyone is being hateful and they are the reason for the decline of our country….. REALLY????? Everyone has the right to an opinion, that’s the beauty of living in this country… they can be hateful if they want, it will affect no one but them. To all who said that if we don’t like this pic don’t say anything and go vote on another… You don’t get to have the right to tell anyone what they shoud or should not say… we can comment if we like. I did go vote on another that looks more authentic…. but it is my right to say that this one is a bunk picture if I want, and if it’s not staged, then the mom is a baby herself!

  170. Kelly says:

    THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL MOMENT BEING CAPTURED. I cant believe women would be so judgmental commenting about such a profound experience! If you’re queasy about birth, then simply don’t look…and some don’t like HER position?? The liberating aspect of bringing a baby into this world without epidural is the Freedom in which you have to move into the most effective and comfortable position during the process, including the birth itself!! Why judge her body?? I don’t know her story but I personally spent 8 months of pregnancy bedridden with nonstop nausea. I would have loved to experience cravings and such but my experience was much different and I could barely hold anything down! I already have a small frame, so I was “all baby” too. Everyone is different and experiences pregnancy and birth in a unique way. What is right for you is right for YOU that’s it. Question your own insecurities before bashing another. Bravo for sharing this amazing picture!

  171. Kristina says:

    I am pregnant with my 3rd child and when this baby is born it will mean that I have 3 kids ages 4 and under. Even though I have had them so close together, I have been small with my last 2 pregnancies. My 2 yr old daughter was born at home and she was born at 9 lbs 7 oz and I was back to wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans right away. With this 3rd pregnancy I didn’t start showing until 20 weeks and even then only my husband and I could tell. No one else could start noticing I was pregnant until I was 24 weeks. Now I am 28 weeks and still very small for being 7 mos pregnant. So I expect to be back in to my pre-pregnancy jeans after the birth of this baby right away. So, to reiterate what many others have said, she doesn’t look pregnant because once the water breaks and all that is out, then her baby is almost completely out, the only thing left is the placenta, why would her stomach look huge? There is basically nothing in there! lol I love this photo. I began giving birth in this position as well before moving to a squatting position which was necessary b/c of my daughter being so big. So, rather than putting her down you should consider her blessed to be one of those mothers that can get back to her healthy pre-pregnancy self sooner rather than later!

  172. Meg says:

    Wow, some of you are very harsh and rude. Maybe you should judge less. I looked HUGE when I was pregnant with my son and as soon as he was birthed my stomach went down to the size I was at 18weeks pregnant so before you are quick to judge maybe you should all realize what happens to SOME women AFTER they give birth. Not everyone is going to have a big tummy after, nor will it be flat as a pancake. I don’t think she looks “sick” at all and to be honest even if she was sick I am sure there are reasons for it. I know a good friend of mine that is sick 24/7 through out her pregnancy to the point of needing IV fluids to keep her hydrated. She lost a lot of weight, made her tiny and not so big pregnant looking.
    We need to realize this nature, it’s beautiful and raw and what REAL birth looks like. And yes a moment of giving birth can be a very private moment for one, others want to share something they think is so amazing and beautiful to others so who are you to say she needs to keep it to her self? Woman need to see pictures and images of strong powerful birth so WE can take back OUR birth and way nature intended it to be instead of being brain washed by western medicine and obstetricians. Have an open mind!

  173. Toni says:

    I am laughing so hard at you right now Stephanie!! You are calling this woman a wuss?? This woman, that just birthed a baby UNASSITED, in her own home, without any medical professional, only her husband & a photographer, without any pain meds, ALL natural, a wuss?? I THINK NOT. Stephanie how many babies have you birthed naturally in your own home by yourself huh? Can YOU deliver your own baby? I’d like to hear about it if you can.

    BIRTH IS NOT MESSY you MORANS. There is RARELY any blood until after the baby is born. Both of my babies came out beautifully clean, and I didn’t bleed until AFTER the placenta started to detach. I also birthed just like this, in a squat in my own home and I catch my baby without the help of anyone. Just because you are in pain doesn’t mean you can’t focus and catch your own baby. How ridiculous!

  174. Timo says:

    So many women hating on this slim, beautiful woman!

    1) Some women take care of their bodies–don’t feast at McD’s and holidays like they’re going to die in a day, so eat WHATEVER WHENEVER and turn in to a huge YAM–whether pregnant or not. So don’t be jealous if you have no will-power to stay healthily slim while pregnant. (Medical conditions excused, of course.)

    2) Her kneeling position is not weird or bizarre–it’s natural and logical. Only in America do women give birth upside down, which is going against gravity, nature and the best position for the mom. Laying down w/ legs up is the most unnatural way ever to give birth, and is ONLY for the convenience of docs and nurses in what is often a cold, overly technical environment that stresses the mother, baby and family.

    3) I only wish my ex-wife had stayed like this our entire marriage, not only while pregnant. It’s not pregnancy that’s ugly, but the excess body fat. Sorry, people who like chubbers can keep them. I like slim goodies, and I keep fit and slim myself. It’s not an elitist thing, it’s a aesthetic and sexual thing, and it may be mostly a guy thing–but it’s how I am. Literally, I can’t keep it up if my partner is too overweight. A little bit isn’t bad.

    4) If you want to understand a science-based good weight to be at, check out the World Health Organization data. These data are based on worldwide populations, not ethnocentrically like the (mostly) very narrow and American views expressed above.

  175. Hawk (yes, like the bird) says:

    She is beautiful, the baby is beautiful, the husband looks loving and the photo captures a great moment in their lives. The comments that this doesn’t portray reality, a “real” labor or a “real” to term woman reek of insecurity, jealously and hate. Why make hateful comments on a beautiful moment? To the people who think labor is too personal to share: It is a birthing photo contest; you have the choice to look at the photo, or click on a different link.

  176. person says:

    Stephanie, I’m sorry but I think your comments are stupid, I don’t care if you have a right to say whatever dumb thoughts you have or not. To call another woman a ‘baby’ for showing pain and emotion during a NATURAL CHILDBIRTH (or any birth for that matter) is just horrible… How disrespectful to this woman, and all childbearing women.

  177. Alexandra says:

    I was as small as she was, when pregnant.

    Her smallness isnt’ an issue to me.

    We all form opinions based on what we know.

    I’ve had three children: all births were extremely bloody.

    And very messy.

    Hers is so clean.

    But, what do I know.

    Just because my 3 births were soaked in body fluids, doesn’t mean hers has to be.

    Maybe it is a real photo.

    Not anything like my non epidural births, but maybe hers is real.

    We don’t know.

  178. leeanne says:

    no need to judge the poor lady, i was as big as her while pregnant with my son who was born a very healthy 9pound 8 ounces. every woman is different.

  179. Heidi Anne says:

    She is a beautiful woman who looks like she is in a lot of pain. My hat goes off to her for doing it “natural”. As for her size I agree with most of the other posts that all of our bodies are different, and that every pregnancy is different. That being said, it is a very intimate photo and somewhat shocking as it captures a very personal moment, but it was their choice to submit it. I think it warrants consideration.

  180. diane says:

    for those of you that think this is staged, and for the judgemental, take a moment to read this woman’s birth story. Take a moment to send your ignorance and obnoxiousness elsewhere:

    http://www.birthstoriesondemand.com/home-birth-stories/2011/11/29/genas-birth-of-phoenix.html

  181. Annie says:

    The photo is beautiful but I feel like it is staged after the birth. Her hair looks perfect, her hand is relaxed. Perhaps she had a very quick labor and delivery but still she doesn’t appear to be in much pain.

  182. Christine says:

    I have no opinions about her size or looks but this particular shot/pose is just a bit too much for me. Not only do I not want to see others this way, I can’t imagine that that baby or her husband would ever really want to see this pic…..She is lovely, the process is lovely, but not from this angle…For me.

  183. Jennifer says:

    What a beautiful position for giving birth. Just the way nature intended it to be!

  184. tracey says:

    Not being judgmental, I just think she looks like she’s gonna eat both the baby and her husband after she’s done. Just sayin.

  185. Adriane says:

    This is an amazingly GORGEOUS picture of a GODDESS that looks like she probably does a lot of yoga, eats rights!!!! HEALTHY PEOPLE are not fat… and some of them tend to be on the very skinny side. People gain weight or don’t during pregnancy. There are SO MANY factors. I can not believe with my own eyes that people would take the time to dislike something so amazing! This is a VERY NATURAL position to give birth in… using gravity on your side, not laying in bed like an american hospital labor ‘patient’ drugged up and at the doctors mercy. This picture exemplifies the 30 hrs of natural birth that I experienced…. and I am not of her body type either. And to share this with the world is even more amazingl! GORGEOUS!!!

  186. Denise says:

    Its pretty ridiculous all the negative comments about the picture, or judging why she looks so good, or why she was in that position, etc. (jealous much?) Geeze people! I think its beautiful and I cant wait for my home birth (any day now!) and only hope I can get a picture of my birth that is anywhere near as beautiful as this. She is not too skinny – my sister never looks more than 6 months pregnant by the time she gives birth because she is tall and has a long torso and naturally skinny frame. I on the other hand looked like the woman in this picture when I was 25 weeks pregnant = doesnt mean she or I are unhealthy, just means our bodies are different.
    I agree with a lot of the commenters who are wondering why people feel like the internet is the forum to just tear people down all the time! Grow up!

  187. Kate says:

    She is one beautiful and fit mama! There is nothing more amazing for a woman than to give birth and this picture shows it. Even amidst her obvious hard work and pain, she is still gorgeous and athletic! The fact that her husband was there to help is amazing – just shows the fullness of marriage in that one big moment. What a perfect picture!

  188. Michelle says:

    ahahahah irony much:

    “Babble is a supportive, diverse community.”

    So much judging. You people are sick. Be ashamed.

  189. Jackee says:

    Brought tears to my eyes :) She looks great. And as far as her looking so tiny, the baby is out my goodness! I stayed small framed and was pretty small again just hours after delivery! Good job mama!

  190. Kimberly S. says:

    I think she is Beautiful! What an awesome picture! Her expression says everything and the Father looks proud! Nice job!

  191. Rob says:

    If you wanted the best for your child you should of went to a hospital where they can save you and the baby if somthing happend. Doctors are educated and around for reasons. This picture is sick to look at if she was on her back in a hospital bed might be a different story.

  192. Sarah Sparkles says:

    My birth was much like this – all 3 babies I birthed on my knees that was natural to me
    I am slim framed I could still wear my rings at the time of birth my hair was pinned up and as the midwife commented my god woman you barely shed a bead of sweat!
    birth doesn’t have to be this horrid agonising horrid sweat blood bath

    I have lots of beautful photos where the babies born quite clean
    a bit of blood on their scalps covered in that gorgeous vernix

  193. Samantha says:

    I hope mom never, ever, reads these comments. That’s a real person that’s being commented on. That’s a real baby’s birthday you’re calling staged.

    Stephanie you need to learn a thing or 2 about birth. You can tear any time during the birth of the baby’s body, women will naturally support their tissues until baby is all the way out. Pulling the baby out IS NOT NATURAL. Also Stephanie the baby is NOT all the way out, if you actually look the baby isn’t even born to the umbilicus. The baby’s arm is right under where mom is supporting her tissues, still inside mom!

    THE PHOTO IS *NOT*, I REPEAT *NOT*, STAGED.

  194. Tracey says:

    so many jealous woman

  195. Christine says:

    YES! What a beautiful and perfect way to depict birth instead of in some sterile hospital room with wires and plastic and feet in stirrups wearing a hideous hospital gown. THIS is what birth IS and can be ladies – and after 4 home births myself, I can venture to say that yes, this is absolutely real! Well done! I hope this wins.

  196. Nicole says:

    Pregnant bellies come in all shapes and sizes. I hardly looked pregnant when I gave birth to my son last October. I don’t know if they allow you to post links here but this is a photo of me the morning my son was born. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150113099455775&set=a.10150113099425775.316423.514200774&type=3&theater

  197. Delia says:

    I think this is absolutely beautiful.

  198. Nena says:

    I am appalled at the horrible comments saying this mother is too thin..judgment and criticism is what makes this world a shit place to live in.. Where’s the love?? Every shape is different, who are you to say what’s the ideal baby body? And truth be told, this woman is actually healthy, not overweight and unhealthy. Jealous, nasty bitches.

  199. kristi says:

    You people are bullies! You should be ashamed! This is beautiful

  200. Belinda says:

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=74647126951&set=a.54471891951.64136.46038581951&type=3&theater

    for those who don’t think it is real…this IS the face of a woman who has just given birth!!

  201. Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com says:

    I think this is beautiful. Momma clearly looks HEALTHY and what a gift to have the father catch his darling child. Congratulations on the new little, family!

  202. Pamela says:

    For all you whining women who are so jealous of this beautiful mama that you must be just about gagging on it, there really is no need for conjecture, her birth story is right here:
    http://www.birthstoriesondemand.com/home-birth-stories/2011/11/29/genas-birth-of-phoenix.html
    Complete with plenty more photos, so you can quit with the speculation, it’s all right there.
    And you know what? Her hair wasn’t perfect, she looked beautifully round WHEN NOT CONTRACTING, the little one was covered in vernix (there’s a shot of it smeared on her bra), and the shouting was “I love you baby!” from total joy, so she isn’t a puss or any of the other ridiculously bitchy things posted.
    She felt powerful, and primitive, and joyful.
    And she looked gorgeous while doing it. Suck on it.

  203. Heather Lei says:

    So many things to address.

    Mom’s weight: I was, and am still, big after giving birth. But I know many women who look like that right after giving birth.

    Blood and Other Stuff: It is a B&W shot. The small amount of blood and other fluids wouldn’t show up as much. Looking at the big version you can clearly see the baby is covered in something.

    Mom & Baby’s Positions: I accidentally gave birth on my toilet. (It happened that I was much further along in labor than I thought.) It wasn’t the position I would have chosen but it worked well and more importantly, I had no choice. When the pushing started there was no moving. My baby was at this angle because I caught and held him there to keep him from falling in the toilet. Her hand being there is perfectly natural, she’s not covering herself, she’s birthing her baby. The photographer is a pro and got herself in position to get the best shot possible.

    Mom’s Hair: Maybe it just happened to look good. I’ve seen many women who have the prettiest “casual” hair-dos that are really just them getting it out of the way. It just happens to look good.

    The Ring: Really? I wore my ring as well. It never occurred to me to take it off. Guess what, it never scratched anyone during my birth.

    “I Don’t Want To See This Sort Of Thing”: Don’t look.

  204. Melanie says:

    A woman in all her glory, I love it.

  205. Sondra says:

    I think this is an amazing photo, its less about the emotion and more about the process. I am looking forward to my second midwife birth (this one at home) and seeing photos like this makes me so excited about whats to come (hope my hubby will catch this one).

    Its a shame so many women are critical of this women’s body, I too am a small pregnant women, this time around. I have had several health problems that have forced me into a strict candida diet. I have lost all of my unnecessary body fat but I am growing a huge baby (which is what happens on a high protein diet).

  206. Melissa says:

    I am shocked at the amount of judgmental responses here, you all who left negative feedback must not have anything else to do but to pick apart someone else’s life. These pics are powerful and amazing.

  207. john says:

    I don’t like this picture. But I can’t explain why.

  208. Caress Lepore says:

    Judge much. When I had my daughter I gained six pounds total during my pregnancy. I gave birth to a healthy 7lb 6oz baby girl. I left in my regular clothes and had a flat stomach. So was something wrong with me? I think this picture is absolutely beautiful.

  209. LOL says:

    Damn that gorgeous woman is being ruined by that ugly baby. Poor woman looks like she is in so much pain.

    I wish the picture would just involve the woman, no birth and no baby.

  210. Isa says:

    Wow, I thought the people who left comments on youtube were mostly idiots but this takes the cake and kind of ruins my future enjoyment of this site, knowing I keep company with so many petty uninformed judgmental and downright hateful readers. Yikes. There is such a thing as differing opinions and there is such a thing as courtesy and they are not mutually exclusive. This doesn’t seem like a dialog between parents and people interested in childrearing at all. More like those illiterate teen comments on the latest People photos of vampire movie heartthrobs and their girlfriends and how egregious their taste in clothes or shoes or partners might be. For goodness sake, rethink why you feel compelled to comment on her weight and the staging and her hair and his hands and the sheets, and why you don’t have something intelligent to say about birthing, parenting, partners’ roles, natural vs. medical, the highly unnecessary increase in c-sections, even overpopulation or photographic skill with f-stops and foreground vs. background focus. Anything relevant, really. But seriously, her hair? Her belly? Her bra? Not everybody’s has to look as bad as yours did, apparently is the takeaway. It’s not a medical journal expose, requiring upshots of her crotch to prove to us she just gave birth… it’s a memory they wanted captured by a professional and I’m sure they wanted it to look as nice as possible. They probably hid the cat litter box and the toys that were in the room before the birthing began… oh no, those fakers! When I paid the photographer to take photos of my newborn daughter, I certainly didn’t put ratty clothes on her to make it look more legit and less pampered. I wanted her to look nice because someone was taking a photo that I would have as a memory. Wiping the gunk off my baby’s brow didn’t mean she was any less a newborn and any less legitimately birthed and it certainly didn’t mean that I had not worked hard and earned my stripes bringing her into this world. Go to youtube, people. You will be in good company.

  211. Becca says:

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  212. Jillmarie says:

    Thank you, thank you for sharing such a beautiful and private moment. Don’t listen to most of these women on here. I’m sure they were medicated out of their minds when they were giving birth and had a belittling instead of empowering experience. I want you to know that this picture brought tears to my eyes, you look so fantastic.

  213. JKrug says:

    I love this photo. I think so many people leaving comments are so disillusioned as to what ‘normal’ birth looks like. It’s sad, and slightly humorous, that anyone questions the legitimacy of the photo just because it’s not what you see on Baby Story, or in a normal hospital setting. As far as her size is concerned, people these days are overweight, she is normal, I looked just the same, and my hair was up the same way too.

  214. Ashley says:

    To all of you people who are making these RUDE, UGLY, and HURTFUL comments…..birth is a beautiful process no matter who is participating. One of the biggest reasons that is, is because it is only females that can have this wonderful experience. This woman looks healthy and, most importantly, so doesn’t her child. Someone had mentioned that most women don’t give birth this way…..it is not true in any form. Hospital births can be very restricting to a woman’s labor, but when you labor at home, free of any interventions, or even having the presence of a mid-wife/doula its astonishing how the mother-to-be is the sole person responsible for what is best for THEIR body. This photo is strikingly powerful because 1) the father is able to receive his child into his own arms and not into a strangers, 2) the position she is in is actually one of the most beneficial ways to allow a child to come into the world the most naturally a woman’s body can allow 3) the expression on her face signifies an amazing accomplishment having worked 9 long hard months to create this lifes by bringing this beautiful blessing into the world and 4) THIS BABY IS NOW EARTHBOUND and that in itself is what makes it so powerful because it occurred through the most amazing experience; BIRTH.

    What an outstanding photo! Congratulations on your beautiful baby! <3

    I hope and pray that others who have written disgusting comments educate themselves on the miracle of life and the true natural process of giving birth!!

  215. Elisabeth says:

    I really like this photo. This is awesome!
    Anyone who is being negative to this has no heart. :)

  216. Alex C says:

    Dumb a**es. Her belly doenst look pregnant anymore… because the baby already came out! You see him there??? So shes not pregnant anymore. Just because she was obviously very healthy during her pregnancy doesnt mean she didnt eat. This is an amazing photo and a lot of you will never truly know how amazing it is to give birth bc you allowed yourselves to be brainwashed that birth is a horrible thing. I find that to be very sad. You will never get to experience one of the greatest joys in life as a women as long as you dont trust your body and birth without fear!

  217. kristen says:

    Congrats on a beautiful baby and birth. It’s sad that anyone would say anything negative about this miracle. I’m having my 2nd as a hbac and I know it will be amazing. GREAT JOB!!!

  218. Sara says:

    How absolutely pathetic that some of you women are bashing this! I understand you may be jealous, I get that, not every woman is as powerful and gorgeous as this woman is, but really? Name calling? I hope you’re raising your children to be better people than that!

  219. KyP Mom of 2 says:

    I think this is a beautiful photo and a snapshot of a perfect moment. I bet even the photographer feels awed the they caught this moment so beautifully. I screamed through both of my entire labors and deliveries .. I actually lost my voice both times from screaming, so I think its perfect that her face doesn’t look serene like some birth pictures portray because that certainly wasn’t the case for me.

  220. ashley says:

    To everyone, I know the photographer, and I also happen to know that this image isn’t staged. For the skeptics, I have had a home birth and imagine that if I had the privilege of having Lyndsey Stone present, I probably would have had a picture quite like this. I had my baby standing up between my bed and my dresser. My husband happened to be right there to catch her. A lot of women have their babies in that position, and it is actually a lot better for you than the “classic” laying down position.

    And by the way, babies aren’t covered in blood when they’re born unless something went wrong. You can see the gunk and gross stuff stuck to baby’s head and neck.

    It is clear to see, if you have EVER attended a normal home birth, that this image is NOT staged.

  221. sara says:

    This is awesome, and squatting IS a normal birthing position.

  222. AmPri says:

    I think it is a beautiful photo! In fact, the first thought I had was, You GO GIRL! Doctors have stated before that exercising during pregnancy is actually VERY healthy and women who exercise have easier/healthier births. I envy the willpower. I ate everything in sight, had no self control and gained 100lbs. But ya won’t catch me bullying another mother who chose different. My sister never even had to wear maternity jeans- and she gave birth to a 7lbs 8oz healthy baby boy!

  223. Azraa says:

    I think this photo is beautiful. Those who claim her position is “not normal” should take a look at the human pelvis. Being on your back is literally pushing the baby uphill which is by every definition of the word not natural. No woman assumes that position in childbirth – unless forced to by a midwife or OB for their own personal convenience.
    Many women are naturally thin and above that, many women do not have very large “baby bumps”. I worked in the childbirth field for years and saw some women have massive stomachs and some were barely visible even till the time of birth.
    Don’t be jealous of this woman’s beautiful birth and ability to birth how she saw fit. Be happy for her.

  224. Erin says:

    Shame on you ALL for posting all these horrible things.
    Every woman is different in size, including what she looks like when she is pregnant and post birthing. You don’t know if this woman was deathly sick the whole pregnancy.. YOU DON’T KNOW SO PLEASE STOP ASSUMING.

    Birthing is beautiful, and for all you who say “this is just gross”… don’t look at it. This is the art of photography at its best. Yes.. some art is going to be nude because this is the beautiful way that God made us. Pure and raw. The only reason we cover ourselves is because of original sin.
    I find this photo to be so compelling and naturally beautiful. I wish I had my birth captured with pure emotion the way this one was.

  225. Tammy Reeves says:

    Thanks for sharing this picture with the world. It’s a different birth than many people are used to, and perhaps some folks feel threatened. I think it’s beautiful. I had my son about 10 months ago—-my arms thrown over a squat-bar, my man sitting behind me, holding my butt up in the air. I’m guessing people would have countless negative things to say about my unorthodox birthing experience, but it was the most amazing moment of my life. Best of luck on winning the contest!

  226. Reannine Teer says:

    Wow, you people are so negative and jealous!!!!!!! Her bones aren’t sticking out but she is obviously straining to push a baby out! Aside from that, the baby is more than halfway out and so it would look wrong if her belly was still completely swollen and round. This is a beautiful picture and all of you are just jealous jerks!!

  227. Jenn says:

    This photo is beautiful, this woman is empowering … I think all of u need to stop criticizing this woman’s body … She may look small but if she weren’t healthy do u think her doctors or midwife would have allowed a homebirth ?!?. Secondly her stomach is CONTRACTING to help push her baby out.. And to the person who said they they didn’t like her birthing on her knees … Have u ever given birth? How the hell do you know what made her comfortable during her birth? And isnt the mothers comfort paramount in labour? (oh Golly gee whiz thats why epidurals were invited was for comfort)…she just chose a different form of comfort. And if comfort isn’t enough to sway you what about gravity … The position she is in is allowing gravity to do its job …. Some of the comments I have read here today sicken me … And I can tell you the person who would dare make such comments about a heavy set person or someone who had an epidural or a c section would be tarred and feathered … So what gives you the right to judge this woman?!??

  228. ChrissiHR says:

    This is an amazing photo of a beautiful moment in the life of a family. I think it’s achingly beautiful! The world needs more empowering photos of women delivering babies the way their bodies feel comfortable doing so. This photo is a wonderful testament to how empowering it can be to give birth upright and engaged in your precious baby’s welcome to the world.

  229. Nikkiak says:

    I hope this picture wins just to shut up all you caddy b!tches. Seriously, what is your problem?! “she’s too skinny” “there’s no blood” “baby is to big” “her hair is too perfect” “childbirth is gross”. So ready to tear everyone down. This is what is wrong with society. Just because she doesn’t look like you or the idea you have of what a pregnant woman should look like you tear it apart. Her hand is we’re it’s at because she is feeling the baby come out. Her husband is where he is because he is delivering the baby. She’s squatting because guess how women delivered before medical beds. Caddy, ignorant, jealous, insecure girls.

  230. MBM says:

    The spite and snark are unbelievable.

    She’s not in a “normal” position? Uh, yeah she IS. Lying flat on your back is probably the least productive position to birth in. It’s more common in hospitals because everyone from the doctors, nurses, interns, and I swear sometimes the janitors want to stick their hands in there and be able to see what’s going on. Gravity works people. It’s easier to move a baby DOWN than push them UP.

    As for the comments about lack of blood, hello? It’s a BLACK & WHITE photo! And actually if you look carefully there is a smear across her thigh.

  231. Christa says:

    This picture is so very incredible! All the criticisms… please. Some people stay thin when pregnant. Seen it before, will see it again. her hair’s in a ponytail. big woop. Where’s the ‘blood and other stuff’? My water broke early on and I had nearly a bloodless birth. Contrary to popular belief, birth doesn’t have to be blood and guts everywhere. And that’s a perfectly normal homebirth position. You all sound like a bunch of jealous high school girls… good lord, can we just appreciate the power of women and the miracle of birth?

  232. Caken04 says:

    I don’t understand all of these people judging her size. I am 5’10″ and I gained 40 lbs with my pregnancy and looked maybe 20 weeks pregnant at the end. I was all baby and back in pre-pregnancy clothes 2 weeks later. Look at her legs, she obviously really fit (I am not, just carried small and I am skinny anyway).

    I say kudos for such a powerful photo :)

  233. Amanda says:

    You haters should all be ashamed of yourselves!! Your hateful jealous comments are infuriorating. Who are you to judge!? This photo is so beautiful and so empowering!! When I gace birth to my daughter i lost all but 10 pounds of what I had gained, which was 34lbs and as far as birthing in a normal position goes she is working with gravity. Not laying on her back fighting it. She is beautiful, you all sound very ugly. This is so beautiful. If you want to look at a woman laying on her back, giving birth in a pair of scrubs, drugged out of her mind take a look at your own photos, but if you want to see a natural birth, here it is.

  234. Becca says:

    That’s so beautiful! I hope it wins!!!

  235. KayTee says:

    Some of you are absolutely ignorant. If you’ve never seen or had a natural birth at home, what would you know about what it looks like, or should look like?? I delivered in nearly this same position with my last two, born at home, with my husband ‘catching’. We had NO mess to clean up, just threw away the under pads. You clearly have NO idea what real birth looks like and have only seen in depicted in dramatic television shows!

    -Pregnant with #6

  236. NicoleTrapenberg says:

    Ive read so many comments about how she doesnt look pregnant or she doesnt look like she ate during her pregnancy and that kind of vexes me big time I looked like that when I gave birth to my boy. Had a horrible time my entire pregnancy because everything i ate i would throw back up. So most people here seemed to be saying that because i was tiny like her then means that i wasnt pregnant am i supposed to have looked like a cow then!??!?! come on people! I was a pretty pregnant and with a tiny belly my boy was born healthy (6.6lbs) and very long (58cm) I fin this a beautiful picture as i myself recall screaming more then once during my 12hour labor with no drugs to calm the extreme pain. For me its a winner!

  237. proudmummy says:

    Must be jealousy producing some of the nasty comments here,you can have your freedom of speech buut where’s your morals,must only be in America cus I’ve never heard an Aussie women be so derogatory.
    as for not being on her back,up until the English king decided he wanted to view childbirth women gave birth upright,so we have a man to thank for introducing laying on our backs,the worst position to labour in,but any educated women would know that!
    I’ve had four 8pound+ babies,and with each weighed less at 9mths then when I concieved. Pregnancy uses a womens body that’s why you need additional nutrients not calories.
    Really though,its awesome,better this photo than her anathetized having her uterus torn and baby being ripped out by men in sterile clothing and masks.

  238. Mary says:

    birthing on your back is not “normal”…..when you have an epidural you have to birth on your back, but that doesn’t make it NORMAL. Are you people so guilty over your own birth choices that you have to slam anyone NOT LIKE YOU??? Pretty sad ladies, pretty sad. Read a little and educate youeselves about birth before you make yourselves seem like a bunch of bitter, narrow-minded, mean-spirited women. Why do so many women end up with c-sec.’s, because they eat badly, don’t exercise and try and birth on their backs! Heaven help me!

  239. Molly L says:

    a beautiful picture of birth. yuo should be very proud of yourselves, you’ve made a beautiful child and given them the best start by doing it as nature intended.

  240. magreen says:

    Wow, a lot of ignorant comments here! Any women who has home birthed could relate to this position, They could relate to “saying” I love you baby! In your great lioness cry – if not literally in words. And, yup – everyone’s hands are exactly where they should be! This is one of the most powerful natural birth photos out there. And yes, i am a bit jealous of how gorgeous (ahem, skinny!) she is. I was a lot heavier in my pregnancies, but I would say my photographer captured me at my most beautiful when I home birthed our 3rd child too. It’s amazing what a woman looks like when she is totally uninhibited!

  241. candice says:

    Women are terrible to each other! More power to them and their family…she looks great! It’s so funny how people are saying what she SHOULD be doing or how she SHOULD be feeling….really? Every pregnancy/labor/delivery is different…how dare you insult this woman as she brings her child into the world…

  242. amy says:

    one word: BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!

  243. Julie says:

    Seriously ignorant people in America. No wonder our country is in the state it is in. We are so far removed from what is natural and sincere, full of cheap grace.

    Wonderful picture. Beautiful moment. Stunning family.

  244. Kellan says:

    @Rob: Last time I checked, a man can’t give birth. That being the case, why don’t you keep your mouth shut about a subject you can never go through and know? Especially if you can’t at least show some manners! FYI: if doc’s truly knew so much about birth, there wouldn’t be so much controversy surrounding the subject. What they know is birth-turned-medical, which isn’t the way it was designed to be. So please, the next time you want to type on a subject that you can never know as someone who’s been through it, REMEMBER YOUR MANNERS, no matter your personal opinion.

    To the women on here, giving this person such a horrible time: Wake up, ladies! Whether it looks ‘real’ or not, can’t you at least say something nice? No matter what it looks like to you, that’s a very vulnerable moment in any mom’s life – how would you like it if others were so negative about your most vulnerable experience? Y’all need a good dose of manners as well!

    @Devan, while I tend to agree that she’s much too thin, & her position doesn’t even square with my idea of a HOME birth, it’s still a powerful, beautiful picture of such an awesome moment! I’m glad Lynsey took the photo, because it has helped my broaden my own views of how a woman can labor. Thanks, mama, for allowing your moment to be shared, & Devan, thank you for blogging about it!

  245. alle g says:

    I think this is an absolutely beautiful and inspiring home birth picture. This mom did what u have always wanted and hoped to do. Thank you!

  246. Karyn D says:

    I would just like to defend the woman in the photo…I see a bunch of jealous ladies commenting! You wish you looked this good and had this awesome a birth. So sorry for you that you can’t handle the fact she made the choice to have this beautiful birth instead of having it interfered with at a hospital like most people.

    I had a home birth. I loved it. I was not this glamourous, but that is because I was in labor for 38 hours then pushed for 2. The next day I weighed 5 lbs more than prepregnancy. I know it’s possible to be “all baby” because I was. My girl was 8 lbs 5 oz. I really think that if you eat unhealthy you’ll get a smaller baby because only what they need gets to them. An unhealthy diet will go straight to YOUR WAIST and healthy foods will build a healthy, big baby. You eat junk, you’re starving the baby.

    To the pp who said the bed is clean…well duh…they aren’t on it! Birth doesn’t have to be bloody, or messy. The husband isn’t “pulling” because the baby doesn’t need to be pulled.

    Oh the ignorance. Please research before posting, people.

  247. Robin Ambler says:

    I think it’s a beautiful picture. I think the bigger question begging to be asked is, “Why is it so difficult for us to celebrate those who are “different” in some way from ourselves?”

    ‘”Judge not lest ye be judged”
    What a beautiful refrain’

    - Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe

  248. Kim says:

    Wow…I’m so stunned at the complete and utter ignorance of some of the comments on here.
    You know what….not ALL women have the same build, before pregnancy, during or after. I thought for sure I would gain 40+lbs. (& I’m 5’3″ and 125lbs) and I only gained 15 and I ate like a horse too. My baby was all of 6lbs 7oz and I went back down to pre-pregnancy weight w/in two days. I didn’t ‘look’ pregnant until I was nearly 7months along, as did my twin 15yrs ago, when she had her first, starting out at only 115lbs.. Just because pregnancy looked a certain way on YOU, doesn’t mean this woman should’ve looked the same or that she didn’t eat or is unhealthy.She looks very fit, well toned muscle, actually. I’ve seen many women built like this at full term. They usually ate very healthy diets, had a healthy exercise routine during pregnancy and generally just took good care of themselves.
    Oh..and btw…for you morans who think the only birthing position is supine (legs in air, flat on your back)….get educated. Most home births are not like that and it’s easier to give birth with the help of gravity rather than pushing upwards, against it, just so your doc has easy access to your girly parts to catch the baby. Do you actually think, for centuries, women only laid on their backs to give birth? ha! That’s only been in the last hundred! The majority of the world still gives birth in other positions than supine.
    Her husband was obviously catching the baby-duh! No mystery there folks!
    It IS a very intimate moment…for her birthing her child into the world and her husband having the extreme joy of catching his own child, instead of a doctor doing it for him. I’m glad they chose to share this photo with the world. Obviously more people need to see what birth outside a hospital looks like.

  249. Karyn D says:

    one more thing. There IS a smear of blood on her thigh, if you’d look.

  250. Ashley says:

    To everyone that’s posted negatively on this, I feel sorry for you. Sorry that you cannot see the true beauty in life, the ultimate sacrifice a woman goes through to bring her child into the world. Yes, I’ll admit that I hated my body when I was pregnant. I was swollen, walked like a duck, and it was an epic quest to pick anything up from the floor. But going through all that brought me my daughter, my meaning to life. Nobody goes through a pregnancy the same way, and I guarantee you none of you know how hers went so have the common decency to at least keep your trap shut. You are the reason women seem catty and vindictive and malicious. What if hundreds of people said that you looked too skinny or too fat during your pregnancy? Or that you were a horrible mother for getting an epidural during labor and therefore putting drugs into your newborn’s system? It wouldn’t feel too good would it? I certainly hope none of your children turn out like you: judgmental and condescending.
    Remember that whether or not you believe it, Karma (in some form) will come back around.

  251. Chey-Anne says:

    Wow, I cant believe how JEALOUS and ignorant, not to mention STUPID people sound on here. This is a beautiful photo. Stop judging her because of her size. Seriously, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?! So, if she were “fat”, people would think its more moving. seriously? -.- Shame on you guys.

  252. Nathan says:

    Congratulations on a successful home birth. We tried to do the same with our son, but he kept throwing an arm over his head and getting stuck. We eventually had to transfer to a hospital for an emergency cesarean. We’re hoping for a home VBAC if we have another.

    I don’t understand the horrible negativity of many posts here, but some people have poor self esteem and have to tear down others who succeeded where they failed. And also anonymity + internet = asshole.

  253. Jenny S says:

    Shame on all you women attacking another woman who you don’t know. We all carry pregnancy differently, me, I get huge, but some don’t. Deal with it. There is NO reason to attack her or slam this photo. So easy for you all to sit and judge behind your computer screen. Remember the golden rule people…

    This is a beautiful photo, it’s priceless. Kudos to them for sharing such a powerful, personal photo, and also to the photographer who took it.

  254. Liann says:

    Beautiful picture! :) I sure do wish women weren’t so catty when it comes to someone elses body. This IS of course a woman, who naturally gave birth, OBVIOUSLY she was pregnant, so just because there is a larger percentage (OF *US* women, because I have never looked THAT good during pregnancy or afterwards) that are heavier during/after a baby, that’s not right to say that they should find someone who didn’t look 20 weeks pregnant. How ignorant of a statement is that? some people don’t gain like others… I am glad God created us all equally, it’s not HIS fault we’re not all the same size ladies. Grow up.

  255. Leigh says:

    She looks healthy…and empowered. And her husband looks handsome & healthy too :) Maybe the women can’t quite decide if she’s womanly enough – that’s chicks for ya. But her husband is good example of how involved the father can be during birth. Now, that’s a man!

  256. Leigh says:

    Also…if the picture *feels* disturbing or stirs a feeling of akwardness, it’s probably because it is unfamiliar. We fear what isn’t familiar and hate what we don’t understand. Fearing what we don’t understand has never resulted in any good: The Trail of Tears, Nazi’s, Segregation… When you move outside your comfort zone you learn all kinds of new things! Builds character too ;)

  257. Leigh says:

    Also…if the picture *feels* disturbing or stirs a feeling of awkwardness, it’s probably because it is unfamiliar. We fear what isn’t familiar and hate what we don’t understand. Fearing what we don’t understand has never resulted in any good: The Trail of Tears, Nazi’s, Segregation… When you move outside your comfort zone you learn all kinds of new things! Builds character too ;)

  258. Jenna Alive says:

    The comments on this photo are completely offensive and ridiculous.

    This is a woman who made the birth choices that were right for her and her family, who obviously took care of her body and her baby, and who made the brave and generous choice to share this intimate experience with the world in order to educate and inspire other women about birth and what it CAN be (as opposed to what we’re all taught is “normal” and “right”).

    Good for her. Good for her husband. Good for her baby.

    Shame one everyone for judging her body, her motives, and everything else they don’t have any facts to back up.

  259. Helen says:

    I think it’s very beautiful! And I personally am 290ish pounds, so I don’t understand the horrible comments.

    I am really tired of people tearing down women because ‘they don’t represent real women’

    Newsflash! Not all women are overweight. Just like we overweight women don’t look like the skinny ones, they don’t look like us. But we are all still women and mothers who should be supporting each other.

    I looked hugely pregnant despite my weight, I’m really short so out was they only way for my babies to go. Many of my overweight friends never looked pregnant. Sometimes the small women really pop out, but sometimes taller women don’t get as big because the baby has more room length wise to go.

    Some of those comments were odd to me. Women saying that’s not how people give birth, on their knees. It is, people do it everyday all over the world.

    Either way, this is a beautiful birth scene, and yes I’m a little jealous, I had emergency c-sections after days of labor because fetal heartrate was weak. But I am not jealous and full of hate, and anyone who is…Well, they are pathetic.

  260. Meek says:

    LOVE IT!! Don’t hate people appreciate!! I was in great shape with my 2nd child and was all belly and nothing else. You can tell by the photo that both her and her husband are in shape!! Amazing photo!!

  261. Jessica says:

    Haters always be hating. I looked like that during the home birth of my healthy eight pound baby, too–not everyone gains the same weight in the same places, and that is okay! My baby was born in an upright position and caught by my husband, too, with very little blood until after the placenta was born. Let me break it to you: this is what healthy, empowered, unhindered birth looks like! Don’t get nasty just because she came to her birth on a different path than many in our culture–everyone has a different birth story, and just because hers looks like this doesn’t mean that you need to make personal attacks. Thank you, beautiful mama, for sharing this image and helping to normalize healthy birth in our culture!

  262. Christina says:

    WOW jealous jealous jealous! This is beautiful and reminds me of my 3 births, yes my hair looked good and so did I. That’s just how some people are, get over it.

  263. ss says:

    What is more representative of “real” women? This beautiful photo or these commenters’ ugly scorn?

  264. Jen says:

    What a beautiful moment captured on film! :*) How incredible, and gracious of them to share this moment with the world!

  265. Jen says:

    And to add….when you have a baby there isn’t always a ton of blood. Much less usually when born naturally without drugs and able to move around. Women birthing are more likely to tear when lying on their backs because its not a ntural way to give birth. And her baby is almost all the way out…of course her belly isn’t as big as when she was when the baby was still in there! Its the last push too so her muscles are all pushing, flexing, and flattening to get the baby out. Her body is doing what its supposed to and its beautiful. She obviously took good care of herself during her pregnancy. Not everyone becomes a whale when pregnant….contrary to American belief…

  266. Diana says:

    Really? She should have ate more? Jealousy is a terrible disease, get well soon, hun. This picture is beautiful.

  267. niyaf says:

    oh my goodness you people are so rude and cruel. My belly got smaller after I had my baby and there wasnt that much blood either. And for all the people that said this isnt the normal birthing postition, so what is the normal postition cause its not laying on your back. All births are a wonderful thing and I have seen women give birth and their hair and makeup was not messed up at the end. My hair was only messed up because I didnt have time to do it like I wanted.There are people that dont even show the entire 9-10 months of pregnancy. All you rude people need to get a life.

  268. Cheryl Ann Dwyer says:

    Um ladies… get a life!!! This woman just delivered a baby boy, a joyous moment and all anyone can do is complain. I WISH I looked that good, but as someone who gave birth three times without any pain relief, epidurals, etc Not everyone can do and this woman did a great job while maintaining herself….congratulations honey to you and your family!!!

  269. Kim says:

    I can’t believe all of the judgmental comments on here! If you would take the time to educate yourself on home birth and natural, un-medicated birth then you would come to realize that the joy, position of birth and the lack of blood is completely normal for a baby birthed in a gentle and loving environment: his home.

  270. Brooke Waaga says:

    That’s the position I gave birth in. And this woman is obviously a healthy weight and so is the baby. I have NO idea why anyone could possibly have a problem with this?

  271. Blaize says:

    “Who are you to judge the life I live?
    I know I’m not perfect, nor do I live to be, but before you start pointing fingers
    make sure you hands are clean!” -Bob Marley

    “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
    -Mother Teresa

    “Time will change and even reverse many of your present opinions. Refrain, therefore, awhile from setting yourself up as judge of the highest matters. ”
    -Plato

    “God Himself, sir, does not propose to judge a man until his life is over. Why should you and I?” -Sammuel Johnson

    “Envy is the ulcer of the soul.” -Socrates

    “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” -Wayne Dyer

  272. michelle says:

    LOL Of course her belly looks to be of about twenty weeks lol Did you happen to notice the baby is pretty much out of her?lol Do yo think that could be why she does’nt look bigger? hello?hello? wow!

  273. michele. says:

    just breathtaking. that woman deserves a high five for AWESOMENESS.

  274. Leah York says:

    To The Mother in this Photo: You are amazing, what a daring, beautiful thing to do.
    To all the people with negative comments: YOU are disgusting. get a life.

  275. Cindy says:

    I think this is a beautiful, powerful photo. I cannot understand why people are so quick to judge the mother for her size. People come in all different sizes, shapes, and color. It is something we learn in preschool for goodness sake. When women dis other women for being too skinny, ect.. it is a sure sign they are uncomfortable with their own self image. It’s childish and it reflects poorly on the person making the snide comments.

  276. Bpianogirl says:

    Simply beautiful roars can be heard in this perfect moment when love meets life.

    Congratulations to the parents pictured here and to Lynsey Stone for making this photo available to us!

    P.S. The negative comments are written in ignorance, which means the sayer is lacking knowledge, awareness, and information about labor and birth.
    Our culture has been brainwashed into thinking birth is a horrific and terrifying emergency and In some rare cases, it has been. Remember that we rarely or have never seen or heard about the beauty of becoming pregnant, laboring, and then birthing a baby, so many people assume it cannot be a reality. Don’t be satisfied to go with the flow. Ask questions. Seek answers. Then ask more questions!!!

  277. weavermomo says:

    Her expression does not look genuine, someone else commented it looks staged, I agree that it does also.

  278. Katherine says:

    You people should be ashamed! Do you realize how hurtful it is to hear things like this when your pregnant? I know from experience.
    When I was pregnant with my first I lost 10 lbs my first tri, and gained only 20lb. I was down a lot in size after my DD was born and wearing pre pregnancy pants upon discharge. By one week I had gotten down to my pre pregnancy weight. You only really need 300 to 500 extra calories a day while pregnant and most Americans eat well over their caloric needs as is. Likewise a strong abdominal core can hide pregnancy very well, and did any of you consider her abdominal muscles are contracting in this photo to assist in getting the baby out??? People can be so moronic.

  279. Freya says:

    Beautiful, powerful, & inspiring. Congratulations to the new family & thank you for sharing this moment with us.

  280. Penny Lane CNM says:

    This mother is beautiful – love the picture! Love. Love. Love. I don’t see bones, but health and wellness. She isn’t frail, but fit and fabulous.

  281. monica says:

    Gorgeous, powerful photo of a beautiful, miraculous moment. Perfect.

  282. Melody says:

    It seems like common sense has left some of the comments.You are not going to “see” the blood as it is in black and white. Which if you want to get down to the knitty gritty. Look at the newborns hair you can still see some of the blood even though it is black. Of course she doesn’t look that pregnant anymore. She doesn’t have her child in her uterus.
    No a lot of people who give birth are not in this position because they give birth in a hospital. This is actually one of many ways to deliver a child.

    I actually personally feel that this is a very powerful picture. It is beautiful. I gave birth in a hospital on my back because that was what I was told to do. That is supposedly the worst position to be in.

    By the way, Home births it is not uncommon for one or both of the parents to catch the baby.

  283. Birth Without Fear says:

    I know this mother in real life. She is naturally very tiny (jealous here!). I also know the photographer that captured this picture (in real life). So, I can testify that she is just a tiny person, the birth was real and the photographer did an amazing job. Beautiful birth, mama and photo!!!

  284. RT says:

    What is wrong with all you hateful, jealous people? Try eating well and getting some exercise and maybe you won’t be so fat! Haters!

  285. chelsea says:

    I have had 2 children and didn’t look more then 6 months pregnant threw both of them..I also left the hospital not looking like I had just giving birth to a full grown baby let alone been pregnant at all.. EVERYONE is diffrent and bodys take to pregnancys diffrently..havent you ever seen the show ” I didn’t know I was pregnant” ? those girls never even show a belly and carry there babys to term. So it’s not set in stone that you have to have a giant pregnant belly in order to be full term… It’s a beautiful photo and I feel like people are being really nasty about it.. the point is she had a wonderful moment captured beinging a child into the world..its not a fashion show.

  286. Michelle says:

    This is a beautiful picture! I did not give birth in a “normal” position with my last child either. I gave birth to him on my hands and knees and it was way better then with my other two where I was forced to lay on my back. Birthing on your back is beneficial for doctors, not you. My midwife for my last birth was amazing! And I see nothing wrong with how she looks, there are women out there that don’t blow up to over 200 pounds because they figure they are pregnant and can do nothing but eat and lay around. She looks like she is very fit. Besides, the baby is coming out so her stomach is not even gonna be as big. And her husband is awesome for helping deliver. Most husbands don’t even want to be in the room, much less help. Mine stood with me but with his eyes closed, lol. Just a bunch of jealous people commenting.

  287. Elizabeth says:

    Sefl esteem issues much! You women making negative comments need to be quiet. No matter what the woman looks like, child birth is NOT an easy thing and NO ONE should EVER be talked bad about. I bet y’all looked like beached whales as I did when I gained 60lbs. during my pregnancy. Take your negativity and choke on it :)

  288. MSMomma says:

    I was at least this small when I had the baby nearly all the way out.

  289. Lisa says:

    Breathtaking! Beautiful family, perfect representation of birth and giving life. Bless Mama for showing us how it should be done.

  290. Brandi says:

    This is an actual position to give birth. who cares how she went about it as long as the baby is healthy? its not your birth, you have no right to criticize her for her method of having her child. Her stomach is small because the baby is out of it, shes a small framed woman so she probably didnt gain much weight, and you dont see enough blood because of gravity people. if this is how she stayed the whole time, my guess is the blood etc… went downward instead of everywhere.

  291. Kate says:

    With my first pregnancy, I fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans the day after. I was also horribly “morning sick” throughout my entire pregnancy, so I wasn’t that big. My second pregancy, I hardly had any sickness and was as big as a beached whale. People have different bodies, body shapes, metabolisms, and even reactions to being pregnant. For the people that thought it was too perfect and “staged”, let me tell you this from a photographer’s point of view. You see 1-5 pictures. We’ve taken hundreds of pictures in the hopes that out of them, we’ll have three or four pictures where everything falls into place….the pose, lighting, background, etc… For those who think it is fake, then check out her blog and see her other birth pictures.

    http://www.birthstoriesondemand.com/home-birth-stories/2011/11/29/genas-birth-of-phoenix.html

  292. BeckyJ says:

    All of you women who are posting negatively are SICKENING! I seriously hope you’re not mothers, with your judgment and picking this woman apart. Every woman comes in different shapes and sizes, even pregnant ones. This woman wasn’t strapped to monitors on her back in a hospital, so you don’t like that she was on her knees, which is one of the most common, instinctual positions to give birth, which you wouldn’t know about because you’d rather be oblivious on your back, purple pushing while the nurse makes you push to a count to 10 with an epidural in your back. What I see here is jealousy that you didn’t get over your fear of birth and didn’t actually educate yourself of what women do during a natural labor process. Obviously, this woman is small and it looks like she was very fit during her pregnancy too, which I applaud. Quit being a bunch of bullies and be happy that she brought her baby into this world drug free, unlike probably 50% or more of the negative commenters.

  293. yolanda says:

    photos in black and white always seem beautiful to me. I know it’s the miracle of childbirth but that doesn’t mean i want to see it happen.. sorry but bodily fluids gross me out.

  294. Emberli says:

    As a mom who wanted to give birth naturally and was robbed of the chance by having preeclampsia rear its ugly head after my water broke and being confined to a bed, full of IV lines , and eventually ending up with a c-section when my labor stopped I ring this photo beautiful and compelling. Yes it is a private moment, but it is also primally universal. Sure I’m jealous and sure its not the kind of thing I want to look at in my daily life but it is an amazingly captured instant that shows an act that every person ever is united in: we were all born into this world from a mother who’s body sacrificed for us, that alone should be enough. Who cares if this woman carried well and didn’t gain too much? Who cares that only the baby is covered in lochia and blood? The only reason I’m even responding to this is because it bothers me how ignorant some of the other responses are. It angers me that we as a culture cannot get beyond the horribly unnatural labor position of laid back feet up to the point that when we see a woman giving birth in a far more natural and functional position we are confused and disturbed by it. And also it is apparently not obvious to everyone but seriously the photographer obviously knows what they are doing and likely took many shots throughout the birth process for this couple to have as documentation of a joyous event, anyone with an ounce of sense would know that a photographer will fire away then pick out the best of what is caught, this was not the only picture, it was just a great one that’s why the dad is in the right place, its not a set up, its the way photographing an event works. It is ridiculous that people have to criticize everything and I only hope that the couple shown and the photographer don’t put any stock in all the poor responses from jaded people.

  295. Kayla says:

    Beautiful photo!!
    and to all who is judging I believe you are all jealous! that is a fact. I know plenty of women who only have belly weight and no where else. She is a gorgeous women giving birth to a beautiful healthy baby.

  296. sjf says:

    shes almost sitting on the floor ,that looks like it would be uncomfortable for the baby coming out,thats why the mom is usually laying back at least a little or standing up ,or i would think you might damage the babies neck or something

  297. Kari says:

    I can tell you a few things here, based on study, reasearch and personal experience.

    Not all woman gain weight during pregnancy, even when eating healthy. Some of them puke for the entire 9 months of pregnant (hyperemesis) and puke everything including water. They consider maintaining weight a good thing. Some woman just gain and gain and gain, even though they don’t have gestational diabetes. Weight gain or loss during pregnancy means nothing, except that their may possibly be a problem, and even then if could be how your body reacts to pregnancy.

    The “normal” position for birthing a child is one of the worst positions you can birth from. The baby’s position on you cervix isn’t applying even pressure, your baby has to move uphill to come out of the birth canal. An upright position as she has taken can relieve pain, put the baby in the optimal position, enhance the space in your pelvic area, reduce pressure in the rectum. Because of the position, gravity helps with the delivery of the baby, and makes it easier for the mother.

    As to how pregnant she looks, you have to remember that by this point her water has broken. When that happens you lose a lot of the 9 months pregnant look. Even in labor, your body is still producing amnotic fluid, but in 3 hours it only produces 1 litre. Go look up how much amniotic fluid there can be, now take that out of your belly and you lose a lot. Also, her baby is nearly completely born, at this point you have the placenta, any remaining fluid, and stretched out muscles. Honestly, go look up her blog about it, there’s before photos where she looks extremely pregnant.

    As to her hand, she was putting pressure on her pernium. Hair is out here and there, she wasn’t laying in a bed to mess it up as much as anyone else, laying in a bed and pushing. The reason her husband is there is because he’s helping to assist his wife.

    So for everyone out there who wants to tear into her for how she’s birthing, what she is doing (because with screaming, she’s atleast breathing properly, which is another topic all on it’s own) and her size, I urge you to take time to study it out. What she is doing is the natural way, the way her body is telling her to birth, rather then the medical, everything is an emergency, this position is easiest for the doctor way of thinking now a days.

    This is a beautiful, amazing picture. It shows birth how it should be, a woman doing what her body tells her do, when it tells her to do it. Reading her blog and getting the full story, rather then one moment captured in a photo is just as amazing, and just as wonderful.

  298. Anita says:

    What the HELL is wrong with the women on this comment section? Are you all really that petty and pathetic that you can take a picture of one of the most special and important events in another woman’s life and rip it apart JUST because she’s not a size 20 like most of you???? Grow up, get OVER yourselves and seek help. You all really REALLY need it.

  299. Angelica says:

    I looked like this while pregnant. She doesn’t appear to be an unhealthy weight, just skinny. Not everyone over eats while pregnant and some people are just naturally skinny. I find it funny how Americans can no longer recognize a healthy weight for someones bone structure. Fat women are “curvy” and fit women are “sick” You people are so judgmental. And wrong about your judgments 99% of the time at that.

  300. Jennelle says:

    I think this is beautiful, i am guessing they did put some effort into getting the perfect shot because it says this is her second time entering the contest. So I would assume that is why her hair looks so nice ect…you women are ridiculous that want to be so hateful and judgmental over a picture that is unique, beautiful and amazing! If you think this if fake did you notice the veins popping out of her hands and neck? She is clearly in pain, you can even see the nerves the dad is feeling all over his face, well what you can see of it…It is clear to me this is real, but yea I also think they put effort into making the picture beautiful and unique and there is nothing wrong with that, I would too for $10, 000. Get over yourselves people! Job well done to this family!

  301. Heather says:

    to all those people out there commenting negatively on this photo, you need to get your facts straight. Please do not post such demeaning comments because no one hear wants to read them.
    YES that is a NORMAL birthing position. to those who say it isnt. you had your baby in a hospital where they FORCE you to lay on your back. this is a NORMAL birthing position for natural, at-home births.

    here is the website where her birth story is for those who are interested:

    http://www.birthstoriesondemand.com/home-birth-stories/2011/11/29/genas-birth-of-phoenix.html

  302. Adel says:

    It is tragic to me that so many women cannot accept that birth can be beautiful. Lay a woman on her back, stick lines in her, put her feet up in stirrups, take a photo and you will have a representation of “normal” birth in America. NOTHING NORMAL ABOUT IT! And NOTHING worthy of a photo contest.

    I love this picture. Not only because it is physically beautiful, but because it captures SUCH an amazing moment, and anyone who’s given birth should know that. I have had two moments like this, and they were the most amazing of my life. The second happened in my bedroom, and while I might not have looked as beautiful as this to the careless eye, in my heart I felt like a goddess. This picture captures that amazingly well. I wouldn’t have been brave enough to post a picture like this, but I don’t see anything indecent about it. It’s actually pretty modest. And it is photojournalism at it’s finest.

  303. Christy says:

    I don’t have time to read all the comments, but wanted to respond to some I noticed. This awesome picture is not at all a fake. I just had my fourth baby. My last three were all born at home, and all caught by my husband. No one else was present at the last two births except for our other children. One was born while I squatted in the floor, one while I sat on the edge of the toilet, and one while I was on my hands and knees on the floor. I never felt compelled to birth on my back with my legs in the air. I gained less than 20 pounds each time, and have no stretch marks on my belly. I do not get big at all, and never look pregnant until close to the end, and I never look big enough to be as far along as I am. Right after I give birth, I do not look as if I were ever pregnant. I don’t swell, and never look pregnant from behind. Why? I have no idea, but I’m always thankful as I have a far more comfortable pregnancy than most women. I’m mentioning all this to show that there are some women who just don’t look very big, but still birth normal size babies. Also, the blood comes out after the baby.

  304. Stacy Weiland says:

    I think this is an amazing picture. She is a small woman, obviously, but she doesn’t look too small, or as someone commented: ill. Anyway, the focus should be on the amazing event that is taking place, not on what some stereo-typically think “real women” look like. I had a c-section so I can’t even begin to imagine a drug-free vaginal birth, let alone at home instead of a hospital. But that’s what’s so amazing about birth: the variety of options us mothers have. And you know what? they’re all great! I was pretty sick during my pregnancy and was actually 6 pounds lighter after giving birth than I was before I got pregnant. Anyway, I think celebration is a better response to birth-not criticism. :)

  305. Angelica says:

    Oh, and how is this position not normal? Its normal for a natural birth. So is on you hands and knees, ect ect. Hospital births on your back are “not normal” they are not natural. It is fact that there are much more effective ways to give birth than on your back for both opening the birth canal, pushing effectively, and managing pain. Oh wait, we wouldn’t know that with all the over use of drugs and c-sections these days!

    I’m not usually one for birth photos as I find it a private moment. However, I can not deny that the photo is both natural and powerful. It does not appear to be staged in anyway. I was not a bloody mess when I gave birth, I walked out of the hospital in my pre pregnancy jeans and a nice fitted top also prepregnancy, and my hair wasn’t a total mess either. Shes giving birth not mud wrestling, why would she be a mess?

    Also, they are not in perfect positions. They are in natural positions as Dad is guiding out the baby. Its the PHOTOGRAPHER who made them look perfect. As a photographer myself, I can say yeah, thats the photographer JOB! Lol @ you crazy people.

  306. Angie says:

    Wow. I’m honestly disgusted by the judgmental, horrifying comments some of you ladies have left here. What bones are sticking out, please do tell! Also, do a bit of research before assuming you know what a “normal” birth position is! For heavens sake ladies! Do we not have enough men judging us on a daily basis that we have to bash and ridicule one another for something so beautiful and wondorous as a non-assisted home birth? I could only wish I had the fortitude, courage and follow through this woman has and wasn’t a chicken who birthed all 3 of my children in a hospital! Seems to me HER birthing position is much easier and NATURAL (who gives a darn about “normal” anyway?)than any position a doctor ever put me in! Congrats to the happy family. Thank YOU to mommy there for having the courage to do what is right for her, her husband and her children! Wish I could be more like you, yes, but will NOT turn green with envy that she has what i don’t!

  307. Megan says:

    You can tell this is real for the following reasons:
    You can actually see the uterus is contracted. the fundus -or top of the uterus- makes a ball shape and tends to protrude during a contraction. She is a small woman, with not much body fat so this is pronounced– not a layer of fatty tissue that other more voluptuous woman may show.
    The baby’s head is molded and there is presence of vernix (white waxy substance) in the hair.. You can also tell by the look/color shade of his face he has not yet taken a breath. If watch enough births you’ll know what im talking about.
    In natural births, this position is used frequently as it opens the hips wider and allows more space for the baby’s head and is more favored by women that squatting as it is less tiring.
    You can see her veins and some tendons because she has a HUMAN BODY. Blood volume increases when pregnant which explains the size of them. she is also pushing out a baby and straining usually makes veins protrude.
    The angle of the baby could be 2 things. He is either in an “L” shape with his legs still in the birth canal or he is already birthed and laying on the blanket under the mom and was birthed a second or two before.

  308. Kathleen says:

    It is both curious and bothersome to read so many comments from women bashing this woman!! This photo is incredibly beautiful and strong, as is this mother! Thank you to the photographer and mom for being willing to share this photo with us!! As many have already mentioned; the baby is almost out. Secondly, the uterus is CONTRACTING in this moment to push the baby out!
    Now for my own two cents! I am quite tall and slender. I have never had an eating disorder or body issues in my life. I have had 3 children by birth and did not even show until well into my 6th month of each pregnancy. At term, I was never the size I would have expected (prior to being pregnant!) and many people would comment on this. But, surprise, my pubic bone to fundal height measurements were always correct, and my babies were all average size! Every woman’s body is different. Every baby’s birth is different. Can’t we celebrate that?

  309. Knitted in the Womb says:

    Yes, she is slender. As has been pointed out…the baby is already out, and some women are just thinner than others. I wish I could be about halfway between her and what I really am.

    Her hand strategically blocking view? It is actually rather instinctual for a woman to reach down and touch her perineum during pushing because of the burning. She is seeking to put pressure on it to stop the burning.

    Her husband being there? Well it isn’t like she just all of a sudden spit the kid out. She probably had been pushing for a while and he just sat there waiting (and supporting her) to be ready to catch.

    Kneeling not being the “traditional” way to birth in America? Yeah…maybe more women ought to try upright postures. They might find the gravity is helpful and helps to prevent tearing.

    Lack of blood…see above.

    Obviously people who are questioning the authenticity of this photo have only seen medicalized, highly managed births. Those of us who have been priviledged to see women really being able to work with their bodies and find their own strength know that this photo is spot on accurate.

    http://www.knittedinthewomb.com

  310. Kristi says:

    Different women are different sizes at 9 months. My grandmother was asked to leave the hospital while she was in labor because she didn’t look pregnant (she probably looked smaller than this woman) and my mother looked like she was going to have triplets, but it was just me. Plus the stomach does shrink as the baby comes out, considering the baby is what makes the stomach look large.

    I also had a friend who had a very rough pregnancy – she had morning sickness the entire time, so she was barely able to hold enough food down for herself and the baby, so by the time she gave birth, she was pretty thin.

  311. Brittany says:

    WOW!!! SHE IS AMAZING! We are ALL AMAZING! I myself am very cushy chunky pale skinned, freckle covered, 5ft tall red head. My stomach is like a pile of bread dough covered in stretch marks from the pregnancies of my two boys. Both of my boys had to be delivered via c-section; but ya know what I am still amazing for carrying and giving birth to life from my body. This woman is AMAZING for doing the same thing! This picture is raw with power emotion strength and love!!! She is fabulously fit and awesome! Makes no difference that she is toned, and I am not! If I met her we could totally be friends!!! She can eat her salad while I eat my cupcakes; kudos to her for being a powerful woman! Shame on the rest of you for tearing her down! You are just perpetuating highschool mean girl jealous bullying, you haggard old crows! Enjoy yourselves, your bodies, your uniqueness, be proud of every part of you or change it! Smile!!! Be happy! Spread Joy and Love!!

  312. Lexasmom says:

    Really people? Really? She is giving birth in this photo and you all want to pick on her hair or her figure or whether or not she should have removed her wedding ring? Are you ppl serious? EVERYONE carries and delivers their babies differently. Can’t we just respect that? There is no one particular position she should be in to give birth. Lying on your back is not necessarily the most comfortable position to give birth in. A lot of women prefer to sort of squat like going to the lavatory. I mean long before there were hospitals women gave birth at home. Long before technology women gave birth without pain medication. I can’t believe the small-mindedness and lack of compassion toward another woman/mother. smh

  313. Kayle says:

    This photo is beautiful, this woman looks to be a healthy weight for her size and HELLO! The baby is almost all out of course she dosnt look very pregnante any more…. Stop being so negitive ppl, and see this photo for the beauty that it is

  314. Bri says:

    Literally, the best birth photo I have ever seen, hands down. I cried a little the first time I saw it. Shes looks healthy and gorgeous and full of raw emotion.

  315. Priscilla says:

    Wow! This photo is absolutely STUNNING!! Gorgeous pic and congrats to the happy new mommy and daddy! And, for those who are angry because she doesn’t look “fat” enough – really? You couldn’t leave those comments to yourselves? First of all, she looks healthy, as does her baby. Secondly, the baby is on the way out and is mostly there so of course her belly isn’t huge.. AND, she’s flexing every muscle in her body! As I recall from my own three births, labor tends to be pretty taxing on the body.. Oh, and for those with the “it looks staged” comments.. Umm.. of COURSE it’s “staged”! Duh! She and her husband had a good nine months to decide how they wanted to do the photo shoot and it wasn’t a surprise that she was having a baby. So, when she went into labor (which can take a loooong time in the initial phases) she got ready and they prepared for the shoot. What exactly is the problem with that, again? Does the fact that she put on make-up invalidate her birth experience? Lastly, as far as her position: lying down on your back for birth is the worst possible position for labor for the mom and baby but best for doctors, which is why the position is so widely used in hospitals. Obviously this woman is laboring at home and isn’t restricted to that position. Laboring while squatting, leaning, on all fours, etc., is much more natural than on your back. *sigh* I wish we could all just appreciate the beauty of this shot rather than letting our *ahem, jealous* judgments get in the way.

  316. Jennifer says:

    Every birth is different. Every mother’s body is different. Everyone has different opinions of what is beautiful and artistic. I think the issue here is does this photo capture the true meaning ,visually and emotionally , of childbirth.
    On a personal level although a beautifully shot picture it to me does not emotionally stimulate me.

  317. Meredith says:

    This picture is beautiful, and yes, it’s real. I am a childbirth educator and a doula(for those of you who are completely uneducated, that is a person who attends births for a living to help the mother while she is in labor). Most of the births I attend, the mother is UNMEDICATED(no drugs) and can/does assume some really interesting positions! And yes, the dad is RIGHT there to catch his baby! And for the fact that she doesn’t look very pregnant…a woman’s uterus(where the baby lives for almost 10 months before being born-for the uneducated, again)can be tilted BACKWARDS, which means she won’t “show” for a pretty long time, until the very end of her pregnancy.

    This is exactly why *real* childbirth needs to be shown…so that you IMBECILES will learn something…it’s not what hollywood protrays it as…now go grow a brain and some common sense please…

  318. Eryn says:

    this is the correct position to give birth… Great work! laying down is a western hospital method that is highly uneffective and makes birthing much more challenging…. they look like a really nice healthy couple, im glad they are procreating. its wonderful to see a woman not using her pregnancy as a reason to “eat for two” which you really shouldnt be doing!

  319. Happy Mommy says:

    Notice all the ignorant comments are coming from illiterate dumb a**es who cant even spell!!!! I just had a baby 2 and a half months ago and after i gave birth i went right back to my normal size with a little extra booty. You women are harsh and ignorant as hell. This to me is the most beautiful birthing picture i have ever seen and i think giving birth is disgusting (even though that was my fav. part of the whoooole pregnancy) I can guarantee that more than half of those snarky childish comments are from women who have self esteem issues and thats sad. Last time I checked we were WOMEN not ignorant hating high school MEAN GIRLS!! SHEESH!!

  320. rachelle says:

    For all of you that have commented about how there is no mess and she is to skinny and all that your all tripping… ive had 2 kids and with my second i had a large baby and not a great deal of blood or ‘mess’… mind you this is a black and white photo and if you actually look closely you can see a bit of blood on her leg and running down the hand the dad has under baby… also with both of my births my uterus shrunk to a 1/4 of its size within the first 48 hrs after giving birth and my belly looked exactly like hers straight after birth… yes she may look skinny but not all women put weight on all over… i put on 40+ pounds with my daugther and it was all belly and breasts…. she was 10lb an.d came out looking like a 3 monther compared to my son who was 7lb 9oz… perhaps the people her who cant be nice should get off their computers and find a real cause for negatively commenting on like whaling or logging or things that are destroying the environment rather than slagging a photo that shows one of the most beautiful acts of life… gripe over!!!!

  321. Leonora says:

    You’re not really ‘sorry’ though are you Jen? What a helpful comment though…thanks for that, not sure how you stumbled upon this photo of a birth…anyway, I think what you meant to say was ‘I think/in my opinion this photo is gross’ I gave birth sitting upright, but wouldn’t personally feel comfortable posting pictures of myself. I quite like the photo, though don’t feel a particular connection to it as I do when I see some photographs..

  322. Katrina W. says:

    Amazing!! Powerful and stunning photo to capture a beautiful birth. Congratulations!

  323. Amy Jones says:

    I am a 5’1″ 110lb woman whom has given birth to 2 children…I do not have as awesome pictures as this woman has HOWEVER I do have to say before I EVER delivered the placenta my stomach was flat and even the dr made a statement of “well you don’t have to worry about the weight again this time!” so yes women can do this and do it OFTEN!! Quit being jealous!

  324. Makayla says:

    when i had my baby, i instantly went back to my previous size, by the time they released me, you couldnt tell i was just pregnant, and there wasnt blood everywhere like you would see in some horror story. Her husband could be in the perfect position as all of you are saying because he was pulling the baby out. DUH!! her hands probably in the perfect spot because shes either trying to help him, feel her baby or she knows someone is taking the pics… and people birth babys in a kinds of positions , laying down, standing up, ON THEIR KNEES, with their ass in the air, even bending over a bar.. so what if shes skinny, you dont know if shes had pregnancy problems or if shes one of those people who just dont gain weight. Stop judging people you dont know and get a life

  325. Jess says:

    So sad for all you who feel disgusted and horrified about her looks and the process. The photographer is a professional and this is only one of many that she took so no surprise how she was able to get a “staged” photo as they probable just fell into place at the right time.
    I gave birth on my knees and that was hard enough, there is no way I would give birth on my back without drugs, it’s just too painful and goes for too long.

    I have a friend who had twins and had been tole a week before they were born that there was no one she could be having twins. When she realized he was not joking, she nearly fell in a heap, she felt that they were judging her as not a good parent before she had even delivered (this was her first pregnancy) so I would suggest people watch what they say as you don’t know what the other person is going through and how it would affect them.

    As for those who didn’t want to see it, the link was clearly marked as a women delivering her baby, if you didn’t want to see it, then you shouldn’t have opened the link

  326. krs says:

    “i’m not a big fan of the way she is on her knees. Most women don’t have their babies like this.”

    I don’t know whether to laugh at this comment or slam my head against the wall. You don’t have to be a fan of it. Birth in whatever way YOU want. This is how SHE wanted to birth. But contrary to what your limited mind believes, MANY women birth in this position (except in America where we experience the highest rate of fetal distress during delivery). It’s actually the safest and quickest way to deliver for mother and baby. If you want to significantly increase the risk of putting your baby in distress and also ensure you tear your perineum to pieces, then by all means, lay down on your back. And next time you’re constipated you should try pooping on your back too with all gravity pushing down on your intestines. Let us know if that works better than squatting on the toilet.

    As for the rest of the comments about how skinny she is, perhaps your stomachs remained fat and bulky even once your baby was out, but there are some of us in the world who loses the gut once the child is OUT. I had a flat stomach three days after birth. The uterus should start shrinking immediately, even before delivery of the placenta.

    PLEASE women, educate yourselves on childbirth. Our country is in a grave state when it comes to birthing. We will never increase mortality rates and empower women if we remain medically brainwashed.

  327. krs says:

    @ Elexis

    “your uterus stays large it doesnt shrink in an instant becuz of how thick the linning is and everything else maybe you need to talk to a obgyn and get your facts straight and in my opinion she dont even look 20 weeks.”

    This is 100% FALSE. If your uterus doesn’t shrink within 24 hours of birth that means you will have a postpartum hemorrhage which is lethal if not caught. After birth contractions are what cause the uterus to shrink. The uterus should be the size of a tennis ball or smaller within a day after birth. The lining also does not remain. That’s why you bleed after birth…you’re shedding it. If you have an OB who has told you otherwise, change care providers immediately. That is deadly advice.

  328. Kimberly says:

    For those of you who are being horribly judgmental, I would be embarrassed if you were my friends. You are taking a beautiful moment in this couples live grinding it into the ground because you are either uncomfortable with yourselves, or bodies, or your own personal birth experiences. Grow up.

    As for the photo, it is absolutely beautiful. And I’m so happy to see dad in there supporting his wife and baby.

  329. Holls says:

    We all have our moments of pure beauty and perfection, though often we do not have a photographer present to capture them nor the platform to share them with the world. Don’t hate on this mama just because a talented photographer captured one of her moments. This is a powerful image of birth, beautiful in its stark simplicity, glorious in its imperative nature. It is but one representation of what a woman goes through to bring life into this world.

    Please, I call on you to share your love and joy for this moment rather than unloading your own baggage upon it.

  330. Francine says:

    I am from Australia and it is not common for women to deliver on their backs in hospitals. We are encouraged to walk, to kneel, to sit, to be on all fours, to use birthing chairs and big bouncy balls, to do whatever feels right at the time, and gravity is definitely encouraged – it assists the baby to reposition constantly to the best position for delivery. Being on your back does not allow this and can lead to longer labours. I gave birth in a hospital, with my Aunty who is a midwife (and frequently delivers babies in their homes) and I delivered on my knees in the bathtub – baby went straight into the water and my Aunty caught her and immediately gave her to me. I had no blood until she was delivered, and because my daughter was delivered in water, she was very clean when she came out – hardly any ‘stuff’ (vernix?) on her body like in the post delivery photos for this lady. I also did not use any drugs, not even to deliver the placenta – it came out on it’s own, because my body was designed to do it – if my body didn’t do what is was supposed to, that is then when I would have accepted drugs, but not before giving my body a chance to do what it can.
    Plenty of babies also get their shoulders stuck, so mum needs to push again once the head it out.
    The photo brings back painful yet beautiful memories of my birth experience, what an amazing thing to go through – it changed the way I thought about my mum.
    I wouldn’t want my birth photo to be around for all to see – I know I didn’t look that good as I had been up all night in labour – but I can appreciate the photo (and how the photographer has been careful not to show ‘rude’ bits).
    Congratulations to the family on the birth of their 4th child, so precious.

  331. Alixe says:

    Stunning pic, I too am very fortunate to carry really small and have healthy average sized babies (4 to be exact), I reached my prepregnancy weight after 2 months…..eating normally before, during and after birth. Was judged and mentioned I had an anorexic problem….all from a bunch of jealous woman.

  332. Rebecca says:

    Its sad that so many American woman and men don’t recognize that is is normal birthing. It’s what 95% of women do in the hospital that’s not normal.
    BTW, I’m an advanced practice RN w/ OB experience.
    I’ve cared for women who look like this and they were all elite athletes.
    I love the picture!

  333. Rosemary says:

    I know this photographer and I can guarantee you that this picture is real. It’s in black in white which covers a lot of the nasty bloody stuff. Plus she has just gotten out of a tub full of water so that explains why she is so clean. Her hands were not planned to be placed the way they are, the photographer knows how to take a picture. Why be so hateful? The story behind this picture makes it 10 times more beautiful! “I LOVE YOU, BABY!!!” is what the momma is saying as her baby is being born. This picture is too real to be fake.

  334. Miriam says:

    Wow, you all sound like a bunch of pissed off clucking hens. Not sure what you’re so angry about or why you are taking it out on this mother. Perhaps she should shove it back in and replay the moment for each of you so that you are satisfied she actually did all the work which is IMHO obvious from this photo.
    If she was heavy would you be bashing her for being too fat to be healthy and deserve this baby? Just sad and ugly. For shame…

  335. Jamie says:

    http://www.dfwbirthphotographer.com/home/?cat=20

    Know what you are talking about before you make an idiotic comment. The above link is to the woman’s birth story and a few other pictures from the labor and delivery. She is in fact pregnant and you can clearly see that by the labor pictures. He hair is in no way “perfect” as you can also see by the other pictures. This is one picture taken from one angle. You can’t judge her whole birth experience by one picture and are ignorant if you think you can draw conclusions from it.

  336. Bgie says:

    i gave birth on my knees. grabbing the side of two beds. what’s wrong with that? she looks beautiful. and i envy her too but i’m not saying anything nasty.

  337. Renee says:

    I’m glad someone already posted the photographer’s link to this birth story. In case someone missed it, here it is:

    http://www.dfwbirthphotographer.com/home/?cat=20

    Please women, save yourself the shame of making uneducated comments by knowing what birth is actually about. She’s not too skinny (I’m sure some of you would resent comments such as “Wow. You obviously ate too much during pregnancy.” It’s the same thing.) Lots of women birth in other positions than on their back because it’s WAY safer for the baby. Her hair isn’t perfect, but if she had a short labor it’s definitely possible that it could’ve been. And did someone seriously ask why the dad’s hands just happened to be there??? He’s catching the baby. Like an OB does. Or do you wonder how an OB just happens to be there for the moment too??? Also, I can’t believe someone thinks this position would damage the baby’s neck. I suppose it could if no one was catching the baby and she just let it drop to the floor on it’s head. But as you can see by the photo, dad is well-prepared and guiding baby out. THINK women! THINK!!!

  338. Dana K says:

    Wow wow wow the cattiness astounds me! My stomach had barely a pooch as soon as I gave birth. Not everybody is different. Every body is different. Her birth position is NORMAL! Lying flat on your back is TYPICAL but not ideal. This is a beautiful post and black & white does amazing things for your complexion. I’m now inspired to turn some of my post-partum pics black & white to see if it makes me look better.

    This is probably not the place to mention that I didn’t get any stretch marks during my pregnancy, huh?

  339. Shawna Martin says:

    Lyndsey- I have seen lots of your work, and I know the comments of some insensitive people have hurt. I just want to say that I LOVE this picture. For anyone out there who doubts that this is real, it is, and it can be for you too! Of course, it helps that the mother pictured here is an experienced birther. I think her fitness during pregnancy likely contributed to the apparent ease with which she birthed this baby. But from experience, I can testify that the right information and the right birth team can really create and event that you will want to look back on in pictures.

  340. Vicky says:

    Gorgeous, plain gorgeous. Birth shows the power women have. Size doesn’t matter. Just because someone gained 60 lbs or just 20 lbs, as long as she and the baby are healthy….who are you to judge. This is what birth is all about. The empowerment of women. Many have given their power into the hands of doctors. Yes, medical intervention is necessary at times, don’t get me wrong, but too many women are not listening to their bodies and the wonderful miracle of giving birth without all the crappy drugs. What are those doing to your body and unborn child, before you judge someones looks.

  341. Renee says:

    @ Dana

    HAHA! I didn’t get stretch marks either. And I lost all my “baby weight” within two weeks and had a flat stomach three days postpartum. Now we will get flamed too since that’s not “normal.” ;)

  342. Theresa says:

    Wow, check out all the jealous people making comments about how fake this looks etc. We are all different and all of our body’s handle thing differently. Haven’t you been told that if you don’t have anything nice to say not to say anything at all. Apparently some of you have not been brought up right. There is NOTHING gross or bad about this picture. It captures the pure essence of what a mother goes through during childbirth. She very obviously was pregnant by the looks of her belly button and if you look at the baby, he looks healthy as can be which is where the majority of her prego belly came from. GAH! I cannot believe some of you people and rude, jealous comments.

  343. Kashmir says:

    HAHAHAHAHA I think its awesome all the fat asses are pissed off cause she gained HEALTHY weight during her pregnancy! Next time dont eat so much you WHALES.

    DOESNT FEEL VERY GOOD NOW DOES IT?

    it AMAZES me how you fools can sit your fat asses behind a computer screen and talk shit on someone simply because youre jealous bitches. Get a fucking life.

  344. Margaret says:

    Haha how funny some of these comments are. It seems like our view of childbirth is that she should be on her back, with blood spurting in every direction, quietly smiling from the epidural that is blocking all pain. Thankfully some of us choose not to birth that way. I, for one, was on the bathroom floor of the hospital, with no IV, kneeling in that exact position. There was very little fluid pooled underneath me UNTIL my son came out, probably at around the time this baby was out. And even then there was no spurting, I wasn’t sitting in gallons of fluid, and I was relatively clean until my son decided to poop on me. These comments just show how uneducated some people are. As far as the *gross* factor, there are much grosser things shows in the news all the time.

  345. Joe says:

    I like how everyone is saying the photo doesnt look good because she is so thin. If there was a picture of a large woman and someone complained about how big she is, EVERYONE would flip out. You have a woman, who seems to very Conscious of the wellbeing of her body and everyone is saying she is too skinny. Shut up! Much props to this lady, you look…perfect just the way you are.

  346. Alexandra says:

    Rebecca, you are so right. She does look like an elite athlete, or a personal trainer, somebody who is working out regularly. I am currently a midwifery student in Canada, just 3 months shy of graduating, and I too am working with women who look like that and also who give birth in positions like that.

    People need to know that unless the woman is strapped to an electronic fetal heart monitoring machine, she is able to walk, stand and sit/lie down in any position she likes. Of course we would discourage her from doing hand stands. Lol. You don’t want gravity to work in that direction, unless you’re dealing with an unengaged head and spontaneous rupture of membranes, in which case you would use another postion, not hand stands anyway. ;-)

  347. Michelle says:

    I’ve seen many births, and I can say this looks real to me. And, beautiful too! I’m shocked by all these rude and uncalled for comments. Women face so much ridicule and judgment, I can’t wait for the day when we actually care about one another and support each other, as well as see the beauty in each other.

  348. isolde says:

    Crikey, things like this show just how miserably feminism has failed. She is giving birth, bringing a baby into the World & everyone is fixating on her size, comparing notes and being competitive. Disgusting. You are products of your programming, please be aware of that. You are behaving like the “Down! Woman!” cliche they hope you will adhere to.

    It’s a lovely picture. My partner is a photographer and I am aware that these photos don’t happen by “chance”. There is a photographer looking for a shot, playing with composition. Then there’s photoshop which no doubt has helped sanitise this image for all of you with weak constitutions. And as for position, I had a drug-free birth second time round and I was on my hands and knees trying to push for 1 1/2 hours before it was suggested I get upright – in a not too dissimilar position to this – and out she popped, easy as pie, knife through butter.

  349. Tracey says:

    Beautiful!

  350. LauraA says:

    For the people commenting on the neatness of the bed, the bed itself really isn’t in focus or in shot and therefore you can not judge on its condition. And as for giving birth lying flat on your back, more fool you, you’re adding more pressure by working against gravity, you are actively encouraged to be standing!! I really like this photograph, her expression blends well with the whole theme… childbirth hurts, its painful, it is not beautiful when all the emotional context is taken away… your body is working hard at something. This photograph captures the essence really well. I’d love to know how many people commenting have been pregnant or through childbirth.

  351. amber says:

    Really? She doesnt look like a real women bc she didnt gain an ungodly amount of weight? I must not be a rea women either than, the day I went into labor I had only gained 13lbs( and my son was 6.13 lbs), and the nurse (who didnt know I was in labor yet) thought I was only 4 or 5 months. Everyone carries their baby weight differently. ALSO the baby is aready half out of his/her mothers body would explain why her belly looks so small. It sounds like all of you are jealous, next time you are pregnant dont give into every craving and use the excuse of eating for two, and maybe you wont gain so much “baby weight.”

  352. Lisa Jennings says:

    Wow ladies. The baby is not “clean”. There is no blood due to the fact that her water broke just before she delivered. It gives the baby a little shower from the water behind him/her. I had that happen with 3 out of 5 of my babies. Also it may be a black and white photo but you can still see the gradiation of hues from the patches of vernix left on the baby still. This is a real photo of a real birth. So she is thin, many are. I gained nearly 100lbs being pregnant with one lost 20 with another different pregnancy’s different circumstances. I am sure she is healthy. Look at the size of her baby. He was not malnourished in the least. Women need to stop being so insecure and threatened. Do not allow media to force “normal” on you…we are all different and that is the most precious part of a woman’s beauty.

  353. Christine says:

    @ BRANDEE ON NOV 30 11 AT 12:35 PM

    EXCELLENT post and very well written!

  354. Jeremiah says:

    Sounds like there’s a bunch of out-of-shape overweight uneducated and uninformed women being jealous that some random woman you dont know was healthy and courageous enough to do it naturally.

    Oh, and she had a good man to support her doing it as well.

    Missing something are you?

  355. pearl says:

    Such a moving and beautiful photo. To the mother in the photo, I’m sorry about all of the negative comments. <3

  356. pearl says:

    Also want to say that I gain a little more then 12 pounds and my baby was 9 pounds two ounces when he was born. Don’t judge, we’re all different.

  357. AF says:

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/photo-contest/2011/entries/122164/view/

    If you looked at the following picture, you would have seen the umbilical cord still attached….just saying…

  358. Mel says:

    Don’t care about her weight, hair, husband, and whatever else is being judged, Im just not liking this photo. My initial reaction was this guy :/

  359. Lisa says:

    I have never read so many ignorant comments ANYWHERE.

  360. annie says:

    I’d like to know how the chick isn’t slick with sweat. I lost four pounds of sweat in the last 30 minutes. BTW: to the author: birthing a child is a miraculous thing. Whether with, w/o epidural, demerol, five position hospital bed in a 1300 per night birthing suite, etc etc. You are letting media influence your own experience. You had a child right? There is NO RIGHT OR BEST WAY to birth a child. They actually 85% of the time, birth themselves! Lastly, WHY does this woman think the world needs to see her VJJ? We all know what birth looks like. This is a circus freak show.

  361. mk says:

    So because she’s naturally thin and pretty, she’s not a “real” woman. That’s the impression I’m getting from a lot of these comments. Get over yourselves, you jealous harridans.

  362. Sarah says:

    The amount of negativity this post gets is saddening to me and just proves that too many women in America are jealous of other people’s experiences. I know plenty of women who are tiny and stayed that way up until 40 weeks while eating their asses off. I know people who did their hair and makeup to go deliver because they wanted to look good in after delivery photos. It’s all up to the mother. You aren’t there, you don’t know this woman, you don’t know if she ate or not anymore than I do. But here she is, lovingly bringing life into this world with her husband by her side and all you do is criticize. We have t.v. shows dedicated to teen mothers screwing up their babies lives and abandoning them to go move off to another state for their own selfish reasons, and yet this infuriates people? This woman who is married, has two other children, and is bringing a third into the world? I just don’t understand how that is angering. I think it’s beautiful. And to those who think this isn’t a natural birthing position just remember that it’s whatever makes the mother most COMFORTABLE. It doesn’t have to be legs up in a straddle every time a mother gives birth. People did home births for thousands of years long before modern medicine was around and they managed to have babies without “natural positions” or epidurals. Let this woman enjoy motherhood. She really put herself out there for this contest. She let the world see her in her absolute most vulnerable form. She is undressed and sharing with you the most intimate experience of a person’s life. If you don’t like it, why are you here browsing these photos? Why are you trolling on an innocent woman’s happiness? Who cares if her hair is done or she’s too thin for you, we don’t all gain 40+ pounds while we’re pregnant. Everybody’s different. If you recall, I’m sure they taught you that in grade school. We aren’t all the same.

    Congratulations to this lovely mom and her new family. Beautiful pictures, beautiful baby. Beautiful mommy.

  363. Devan McGuinness says:

    Hmm — to Annie with the “BTW” for me … yes i have had children. Not sure what you are reading but no where does anything in this article or comments have me saying anything or implying anything to do with a ‘right or best’ way of birthing a child…
    & great for you that you were covered in sweat – YOUR experience does not mean everyone experiences the same thing.
    & the only thing that is ‘freak show’ about this post – is NOT this gorgeous photo but the strangely hateful comments in this ‘discussion’…

  364. Cristin Dadant says:

    I love this photograph. She looks like a beautiful, strong woman having a baby to me. I’m not sure where the anger is coming from. Good luck, beautiful! And your Mommy!

  365. Cristin Dadant says:

    I love this photograph. She looks like a beautiful, strong woman having a baby to me. I’m not sure where the anger is coming from. Good luck, beautiful! And goodluck to your beautiful Mommy!

  366. Tiffany says:

    Beautiful! I’ll leave it at that. Congrats :)

  367. Krystle W. says:

    Thank you for sharing this photo! It is beautiful! Congrats!

  368. NONAME says:

    I don’t like it, it does not need to be out there for everyone to see. Having had children of my own, the last thing I would want is for anyone seeing a picture of a very personal experience.

  369. Lani says:

    Haters gonna hate..

    It’s a beautiful photo!

  370. Eve Birch says:

    What is the matter with you women?? A sister takes things into her own hands, has her child the way she chooses to without the experience-killing drugs or Doctor’s convenience furniture, doesn’t eat for four during her pregnancy, and you throw hate? You Go Lindsey! I think this photo is amazing, and I’m prouder and stronger for looking at it.

  371. carrie says:

    this is a very beautiful picture. if all of you are mothers than why are you criticize her. you sud understand why she has gone through. Her baby is happy and healthy, her husband and proud father and she is a new mother.
    get off your high horse. Its a beautiful picture.

  372. Brittany says:

    This picture is gross. End of story.

  373. Honest Abe says:

    R U kdding me? Why don’t you all focus on losing the weight you gained during you pregnancy…and leave the people alone who don’t have to. It’s just like anything else some people have tp work harder to maintain there weight then others…..STOP JUDGING OTHERS

  374. Brittney says:

    I am appalled at all the hateful comments on here. Not everyone gains a ton of weight during pregnancy. With my first I gained 40lbs and with my second I gained 20lbs. Are you going to say I didn’t eat too?? Because I did…I just didn’t go overboard. This is ridiculous. It’s a beautiful photo, stop being so hateful and judgmental.

  375. Stephanie Johnson says:

    I think it is a beautiful photo. Congratulations to the parents and the Beautiful mom who delivered her baby!

  376. Bettie says:

    Every single one of you ladies need to be ashamed of yourselves for ridiculing this woman! Every single one. She is a REAL pregnant woman giving birth. I see that it has become the norm in the country to accept overweight fat women. Women like to use having children as an excuse for being fat, but I hate to break it to you ladies, its not a reason to be fat! Plain and simple. This woman probably ate right and exercised. She could be tall making for a smaller baby bump. Do not ridicule her simply because she looked better than you did when you were pregnant. Maybe you should have taken care of yourselves better and laid off the Dairy Queen! You all sound like a bunch of jealous fool! All of you!

    This is a beautiful photo, and the baby looks quite big and healthy too! Congrats to them for their new bundle of joy and Lynsey for her amazing photo!

  377. Lora Roy says:

    You’re all a bunch of Judgmental Bitches

  378. Stephanie Johnson says:

    People always feel the need to hate on women who are in better shape than them! Is that what America represents these days? Is being overweight the only acceptable bodytype now? seriously..

  379. connie says:

    obviously there was a professional photographer there, they’re trained to look for good shots, and this is one they happened to spot at the exact moment. it’s a b&w photo, which could be the reason we’re not seeing blood, but it also could be because she’s on her knees and the blood is under her, which we cannot see, and besides, do you see the baby? it’s obviously coming out, you can tell by the wrinkles and you can even see some blood on his head, those small dark spots. she looks fine to me, not too skinny, (i actually knew someone who was that skinny at 9 months pregnant and she was HEALTHY) and she’s SCREAMING, i’m not sure about you, but if i scream, my neck seems to tense enough to show my veins, and she’s skinny [but healthy] enough for her arms/hands to show vein if she is putting tension in her arms due to the pain. looks real enough to me

  380. heather says:

    Not a normal position? Did you know that LYING DOWN is actually more abnormal, and harder for the baby to be delivered? God, why don’t ou actually look into things before you throw out ridiculous ramblings. Also, everything is positioned because they were TAKING A PHOTO DURING BIRTH!!! you people are honestly ridiculous. God.

  381. Sarah Beth says:

    It is not a crime to be fit during pregnancy. I gained 30 lbs during pregnancy and only had a tiny little bit of skin for a belly after delivery, and yes, I was as skinny as this woman. The baby was a healthy 8lbs 1oz. Please ladies, don’t judge based on your own experience. Everyone is different and we all have different ideas about birth. That said, I think its a great photo. The photographer captured the pain of childbirth as well as the emotions of the moment. Love it!

  382. Amber R says:

    Why does everyone think the dad is naked in the birth shot?
    He’s wearing a tank top and shorts – the tank top can clearly be seen on his shoulder in the birth shot.
    Shorts probably rode up just a little.. but they are still there.

  383. Lindsay says:

    I think this is beautiful. No matter how much people think its ‘staged’ or ‘faked’. And if you think the only ‘proper’ way to give birth is on your back, think about it. What muscles do you use to deliver? The SAME muscles you use to take a SHIT. Now… Do you drop a deuce on your back or sitting up? Well THERE YOU GO. This was probably more comfortable for her and her baby came out beautifully! And for those of you questioning ‘wheres the blood?’… With BOTH of mine, they came out looking like that. I guess she and I were just lucky.

    Congratulations Mom, Dad and Baby!

  384. DS says:

    Looks staged to me.

  385. Abigail says:

    Let’s follow up with the baby’s development 5 years from now & see what all that dieting did for him/her.

  386. Sara says:

    Good for her! This is a beautiful photo. And to all the catty, immature women out there claiming she should hide it, don’t look at it if you don’t like it. It’s a personal decision to air these photo’s and she has nothing to be ashamed of.

  387. Tomika says:

    Wow.. I think everyone who is negative needs to stop sipping on the hater-aid and let the woman be.. She gave birth.. that is supposed to be the amazing part. Not that she is skinny… seriously?? that is what you choose to comment on.. Wow well I’m glad you have your prioritizes straight. Move and and grow up!

  388. Jade says:

    For all those that think this is possibly a fake photo and/or think or feel she looks to skinny etc. than you are WRONG!!! I was HUGE at 37 weeks when I had my son and when he was born I went back down rather small, possibly smaller than this lady as soon as he was out of my body. And I am on the smaller side of builds than a lot of women being an 8 prior to being pregnant. I was all baby and not to much else. And about 2 weeks after I was back to that size without any effort. Some people are naturally smaller than others and do not retain weight. Such as this women.

    Of course she is no longer going to look SO pregnant when the majority of her child has been born. WAKE UP PEOPLE we all have DIFFERNT body’s and birth differently.

    And P.S. there is no correct birthing position. Only what makes you most comfortable.

  389. THarris says:

    You know what is so funny about all of the comments being left by the rude people about the mother’s size? Those are probably the people who did not workout or take care of themselves before they got pregnant, and obviously did not pay attention to themselves while they were pregnant, and if your baby is 10 months or however many months or years old, and your belly is bigger now than it was when you were pregnany, you definately did not take care of yourself after baby!!!! This mother is obviously very fit and did not let go of herself “just because she was pregant.” As for the baby being too clean, obviously the baby does look like it has just been birthed, but you have to take into account it is a black and white photo so you are not going to have all of the “color” or whatever grossness it is that you people would love to see to believe. And how can you all tell that there is no after-birth and the bed is too clean? From what I can tell by looking at this picture is that it focuses up close on Mom, Baby, and Dad, and there is not a wide range of view of anything else so you really are not able to tell what the rest of anything else actually has all over it.
    Props to this mom for being healthy and taking care of herself and baby during her pregnancy and having the confidence to post her wonderful picture. Obviously this will be a trait she is able to pass down to her children because the majority of mothers out there today who do not have the confidence to raise kids and show them how to be productive members of society!!!! Get real people!

  390. Jim Jensen says:

    A beautiful photo. I was privileged, with daughter’s permission, to witness the live birth of my latest grandson. A wonderful experience that all males should have at least once. For the skeptics who do not think the lady was pregnant, take a look at her “outie” bellybutton. That confirms it in MY book

  391. S>L says:

    LOTS of women give birth on their knees. I give birth standing up–all 4 times!! Stupid comments that it’s not a “normal” birthing position. This one is much easier on the mom and baby–not just thinking about making it easier for the dr. Good for her!

  392. Kel says:

    Wow — what is with all the hate? And the ignorance? Seriously, this isn’t a “normal” position? Really? In natural childbirth, gravity is your friend. And why do people feel this must be ‘fake’ because she’s thin and her belly went down quickly? Is this because of your own insecurity?

    I ate perfectly, exercised my whole pregnancy, and barely gained more than the weight of baby+fluid+placenta. My baby was 9lb3oz. I gave birth on my knees, crouched over, because back labour made it impossible for me to be on my back (the “normal” position)? For that reason my hair was also ‘perfect’ – oh, and I delivered at night, so I also had makeup on when I went into labour. There wasn’t much blood, and my belly went down right away. The next day I looked maybe 3 months pregnant, and I think I looked beautiful in my photos.

    I am sorry for you if experiences like that make you feel so awful about yourself and your experiences that you feel the need to tear apart a woman who has done absolutely nothing to you. She’s not better than you for being thin and delivering naturally — she’s better than you for not being so shallow and cruel.

  393. TMcCoy says:

    She is actually in the best birthing position for mother and baby. Gravity works very twell when you are straight up and not so well when lying down. The baby’s head coming out is the most intense sensation you feel while birthing and the rest of it isn’t painful but a very exhilirating feeling and experience. She listened to her body and followed what her body led her to do. Anyone that would criticize her for giving birth “THE NATURAL” way is jealous that they are too weak and scared to do this themselves. I a time where people are making more natural choices. How can someone who only eats organic and watchs what type of chemicals they put in their body and take care of their body’s during their pregnancy will go no holds barred to keep from having to experience the beauty and miracle of birth. I had my first 2 with epidurals as I didn’t know any better. My last 2 were the intended way and they were beautiful, miraculous, and beyond description. You are actually a part of every part of your child’s birth instead of letting a medical team control things you let your baby and your body do the work. There would be so many less c-sections if woman would listen to and trust what their bodies know is best for them and minimalize medical intrusion. My last two pregnancies I didn’t even let them check for dilation, as I knew that I would know when the baby was ready, and there was no reason to put and pressure on me or my body to work on anyone elses timeline but the baby’s. I was not lucky to have the wonderful unmedicated and natural birth expriences that I had, I had them because I realized that birthing is not a medical thing it is a natural thing. A woman that is numbed during birth and does not fully participate in brithing, did not give birth, their baby was just medically born with medical interventions and control. I have experienced both and can say that I did not truly participate in the first two as I chose to numb myself through the experience through drugs.

  394. Steph says:

    Love this picture! Seriously, all of you people need to grow up…especially if you have children of your own. I’m 31 and have given birth to 3 sons, guess what? The day after giving birth each time, I was able to get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes WHICH ARE A SIZE 3! Everybody does not put on a ton of wait. Pregnant or not, I’ve never weighed more than 140 lbs in my life – it’s a little thing called genetics geniuses. As for her hair, my last son was scheduled for induction so I did my hair and makeup *gasp!*. I was in labor for a little over and hour and pushed twice. I have to wonder if the negatives ones weren’t able to kick their baby weight ( and maybe regular weight) and look as if they’ve been rode hard and put away wet? You don’t have to like the photo, that’s up to you. No-one can deny she’s a beautiful woman and if you are a little self conscious, then try taking steps to improve your appearance instead of bashing hers.

  395. LauraRN11 says:

    This is a fantastic picture!!
    I am/have been a labour and delivery RN for 10+ years and still feel that birth is an amazing and beautiful thing.
    When women are not encumbered by monitors or placed into positions for the comfort of a delivering MD etc. they can deliver in a variety of positions; squatting, kneeling etc – whatever feels best for the mom and facilitates her pushing efforts.
    Also: not every woman becomes obese or swollen – the mother in this pic looks amazing, strong and healthy to me.
    Thank you for sharing this picture!

  396. Chris in Yucaipa says:

    So many catty, petty comments being posted. Some of you seem to feel that if things are not done your way, it’s the wrong way. Some of you are whining about her hair, the size of her belly, heck even the look on his face. One of the more common remarks was about the birthing position. But let me let you in on a secret. Just because you see it done in the movies, that does not make it the best method. How many mammals do you see give birth on their back? Not many (as in none that I can think of) Plenty of studies done show that kneeling, or being on all 4′s is actually a better route.

  397. Belinda says:

    I am a very slim woman and have been since childhood. I have had three children and at the time of birth for each one, I never weighed more than 18 pounds over my normal weight. Just like another woman mentioned here. I start out gaining, then during my second tri, I start losing. The baby gets everything it needs if it has to deplete you doing so, and my babies did! All three were healthy strong babies, and I did have all three with very little help from meds. My labor was so very long, and due to my size, they couldn’t keep feeding me pain meds, so I ended up going the last stretch on my own. I’m glad I was able to do this because as soon as they were born, I was able to go to the bathroom and clean up while they were cleaning up my baby!
    I’m sure all you women hate this, but it’s the truth and I’m proud of it. I don’t pamper myself and would go through any pain for my children, including child birth!

  398. Belinda says:

    Laurarn and Steph, thanks for your kind comments. I am the same way you are Steph, I can’t gain weight even when I try my hardest. I’ve been a size 4 for years, now I’m in a 2 and can’t get back up to my 4′s. Also was able to put on my normal clothes when Ieaving the hospital. My last two deliveries were when I was 35 and 36, and I had no belly after either of the pregnancies. It’s genetic and I’m tired of making excuses for my slim appearance. Women can be so very cruel. I find that when I look my worst, dress sloppy and act down, other women flock to me, when I’m at my best, I get ignored by all women.
    All sad but true!

  399. Eve Eriksson says:

    Wow. Just. Wow. there are some extremely ignorant and judgemental idiots out there. To all of you who seem to think they know so much about pregnancy and what size a woman should be and how strange her position is: get bent! Women who birth in hospitals lay down on a table for the doctor’s convenience. In true labor a woman’s birth canal faces the floor so gravity can help and her pelvis is in the right position to turn the baby’s head. Jeez! I bet you’re the same people who think a baby should be breast fed in a dirty bathroom or not at all. Home birth is an amazing, natural thing and just because you were a fat cow after you gave birth doesn’t mean it’s normal or healthy. Expand you minds people!
    Kudos to Lynsey Stone for capture a beautiful once-in-a-lifetime moment. This is truly beautiful.

  400. Jessica says:

    I think most of the comments are from jealous women who must have looked like hammered crap during the last month of their pregnancy.

    That said… I have to agree with the ones who asked “where’s the blood?” I’ve seen cats make a bigger mess than that while having their litters.

  401. Kathy says:

    @ ABIGAIL ON DEC 15 11 AT 6:42 PM…. [Let’s follow up with the baby’s development 5 years from now & see what all that dieting did for him/her.]

    What?!? You’re developmentally challenged, aren’t you? What kind of diet plan was YOUR mother on during her pregnancy?

    Let me help you with this: Healthy mothers generally birth healthy babies and BECAUSE of their healthy lifestyle, rather than in spite of it, raise healthy children.

    Your implied assumption that this child is developmentally doomed because of “all that dieting” his mother did during pregnancy is simply STUPID – primarily because it seems to me that you think eliminating Twinkies and Pepsi as dietary staples is some sort of extreme dieting!

    There really IS a way to go through 9 months of pregnancy and NOT gain an exorbitant amount of weight!! Eating right, appropriate and moderate exercise and a general, over-all, healthy lifestyle makes for a fit mother – as well as a healthy pregnancy and baby!

    If you think this mother is “too skinny” like several other commenters do, I cannot imagine what you (and they) looked like the day YOU gave birth… if, in fact, you ever have.

    As for my opinion of the photo: It’s positively beautiful; that it is in black and white greatly enhances the artistic characteristic of the photo itself! Congrats to the family! Congrats to the skilled photographer who captured this moment so brilliantly!

  402. SHC says:

    Holy uniformed people!!!!

    Having birthed 4 children myself, 2 at home, let me explain a few things.

    1. With my first child I weighed a whopping 117lbs when I delivered. I wore a size 5 pants unzipped the entire pregnancy. I did not have an eating disorder. I was just small and tiny. Not so much now, my last was delivered at 200lbs! Women are all shapes and sizes. I was easily in those size 5′s again within days of birth. Had she been a woman of size I’m sure you’d all have stuff to say on that too. You all might want to go look for the recent story on the mom that ran marathons up until delivery. She was fit and in shape too.

    2. Her hair is not perfect, She probably took a shower at some point and tied it up. I’ve done that with both of my homebirths, and my hair has a pulled up or pulled back look to it by birth.

    3. Dad is in the “perfect” spot to catch because he was probably told to get ready! My husband caught our first at home.

    4. Outside of a hospital that IS a normal birthing position. Women are often on their knees, squatting, etc. Both of my homebirths I delivered on hands and knees by choice.

    5. I can see the blood on her lower abdomen. You can also see a smear, likely from her hand on her upper thigh. Birth is messy but its not such a massive mess that its on the walls and ceiling, etc. My homebirths have been cleaned up in a few chux pads and couple of towels. Never even saw the mess.

  403. Ryan says:

    Wow, did any of you judgmental people even look at her blog? This is a beautiful picture!! I was very small while pregnant, and I wasn’t even sick. I was all belly, and I was in my pre-pregnancy pants a day later. Heck, my mom walked out of the hospital after having me in pre-preg. pants.

    I smell jealousy….

  404. Netta Real says:

    This oh-so-groovy couple made the obvious choice to publicly display their birthing experience (whether real or faked) to the entire world-at-large and they deserve every comment they get–good, bad, or indifferent. Birthing is a private experience…usually. Like other very private situations, I guess, it’s possible for someone to TRY to make it look glamorous. For most of us, this photo misses the mark. To all you holier-than-thou commentators who are dissing those of us that just don’t think the picture’s so groovy–people have a RIGHT to express their opinions when someone deliberately, intentionally, publicly displays a photo like this. It doesn’t mean we are jealous, Personally, it just looks stupid to me. Really, mom & dad–you just look stupid. Poor kid. Stupid parents. Maybe you will grow up with the baby.

  405. ari says:

    Wow, she is soooo empowered because she delivered a baby through her vagina and prostituted what should be an intensely private, personal moment for the world to see? Is this what women have to resort to do to feel empowered these days. For heavens sake there is nothing special about her, the way people are acting it’s as if she is the first woman to have reproduced or something. Billions of women have done it before you, and billions will after you. Have some decency and dignity and keep your private moments to yourself.

  406. Donna says:

    for those who say she doesn’t even look pregnant… Hello!!! the baby is out! the only thing left in her uterus is the placenta at this point and possibly a small amount of fluid. The bleeding doesn’t start until the placenta detaches from the uterine wall, and a squatting position is actually the most sensible position to have a baby in, let gravity do most of the work!
    Every woman is different in how they carry and the weight they gain, the amount of fluid they retain, etc. Your level of activity and fitness prior to and even during the pregnancy will greatly effect how well you handle the rigors of pregnancy and how easily you recover. there are so many factors to take into account. I could jokingly comment how “i hate her” after seeing someone bounce back so quickly. But let’s call it what it really is, jealousy.

  407. beth i. says:

    I don;t understand why people are saying she looks skinny, bony. She has prominant clavicles. So do I, but at 5’6″ and 130, I am not skinny.
    I continued to exercise (as approved by my doctor) throughout both of my pregnancies, as she probably did. If seen from the rear, I didn’t look pregnant. If seen from the front or side, I DID look pregnant.
    If a woman wants to brag or lament over the fact that she gained 40+ pounds while pregnant, it is her right to do so. If a woman wants to lament that she still looks 4 months pregnant 4 months after giving birth, so be it, but don’t judge on us who didn’t. One couldn’t have exactly bounced quarters off my abs 2 weeks after I gave birth, but my tummy was flat again by then. I owe that to taking good care of myself physically before, during and after my pregnancies.

    I gained 25 pounds with each pregnancy and gave birth to two children over 8 pounds.

  408. Gillian Gauthier - Gigi Photography - says:

    Beautiful. A beautiful, amazing capture of an amazing miracle of life. Well done to the photographer (speaking from one photographer to another). And for the record, I am pregnant with my fifth baby and do not gain a lot of weight when pregnant, babies are small and my belly is not very big right before labour, not to mention right after labour. This is not a stage photo. She’s one lucky momma who looks beautiful, obviously, while giving birth. Good for her!

  409. Kate says:

    ok heres some points i would like to make:
    a) her back is arched like a cat, i dont know about any of you but when i arch my back like that my tummy appears ALOT smaller than it normally is.
    b) did you consider that her hand is there so she can touch her baby as it comes out?
    c) not everyone blows out like a goodyear re tred during pregnancy, has anyone considered she didnt take off her wedding ring because unlike some women with conditions (pre e etc) or some women who use pregnancy as an excuse that they can eat what ever they like because theyre going to get big anyway, she probably didnt get a whole lot of fluid and her jewelery actually still fitted her? certainly not the first thing i think of going into labour, ‘oh hold on a minute, i just have to take my jewelery off…’
    d) if you take a look at the photographers facebook page for example, there are a whole lot of women who have chosen to have their births photographed, how is this any different to the women who chose to have it filmed? or the educational ones we show to our children in health class?
    e) the woman photographed actually has her own birth story posted, if you take a look at that you will see she indeed DOES look 9 months pregnant
    f) how do any of you feel you have the right to critiscise the way she is giving birth? so because she is on her knees, which is infact a position that is instinctual to alot of mammals to give birth in, that is therefore wrong in some of your eyes? how would you feel if someone was to critiscise the way you chose to position yourself giving birth? hurt? pissed off? shocked? no body has the right to tell someone theyre ‘doing it wrong’ she was doing what felt right for her. how many of you would turn around and say your body just knew what to do?
    g) perhaps she looks so thin, because she is straining to push a watermelon out of a tight space? her neck looks strained, her muscles look strained, take a look at her hand and tell me if you think it looks like that all the time? no, it quite obviously doesnt. would you say that when your bearing down your collar bone doesnt stick out and your neck muscles look all sinewy?

    so some of you may say why does this need to be shown? IT DOESNT, it was a choice her and her family made.
    are any of you aware that we are in 2011, we are an educated nation and therefore this type of learning rescource is all around us? have any of you heard of ‘one born every minute’? do you sit there and make comment that these women should not be displaying their private moments on a television screen? i for one am damn thankful that i have not gone into birth blindsided and i have seen images and births filmed, sure made me feel alot less anxious knowing what i was in for.

    once again ill ask, how would you feel if you were to read comments like this about your own birth with people making judgement on your weight, body shape, wearing your jewelery for gods sake, the positioning of your hand, the way your body felt most comfortable and weather or not you had a hair out of place.

    seriously, stop being so inconsiderate of other peoples feelings. does it make you feel better to put this woman down?

  410. Dottie Harmon says:

    You know what? I think its beautiful. This picture is beautiful. You know why? Because this woman… just brought a new life in this world. And her and her husband are sharing that together. I couldn’t ever.. do something like that. Not without and epi, or doctors. I think it’s incredibly rude and disrespectful for you to be judging her size of her belly just because she is small. You don’t know why she was that way, maybe she had some complications with her pregnancy. All I know is.. EVERYONES pregnancy is different. We are all different sizes. We all didn’t weigh the same. I am extremely dissapointed in the fact that you women have to put her down just because she is smaller… Incredibly rude. And just so you know. All of you who said it was ugly or looked bad. You look just as ugly, and just as bad for saying those things to this woman.

  411. Dottie Harmon says:

    And Ari, if you don’t like this stuff. Then shut the hell up. and dont look on this page anymore. Get over yourself.

  412. jess says:

    im here to brag
    labor is NOT that dramatic i have one child btw
    i didnt really feel ANYTHING i popped baby out in four pushes took 12 minutes.
    did laps around the mat ward next morning at six am
    AMATEURS! -

  413. ky says:

    this photo brought me to tears..mostly because I wish I hadn’t gained 65 lbs during my first pregnancy. Living in LA, you see many tiny mommies. They either don’t want to, or just don’t, gain weight. This photo was staged, obviously. But, so what. I’m sure it turned out much better than they ever expected it would. Everything turned out perfectly! Also, if the woman had gained, what a lot of people deem a “normal amount of weight”, she wouldn’t have wanted to take this photo. She looks fabulous, really, even in spite of having a baby squeezing out of her. I coiffed my hair before birth too..though, not as well as she did. My husband could probably have caught our baby, but we left it up to the doctor. My birth photos were not nearly as poetic looking as this. They were more documentary style. The kind you don’t share with many, if any, people.
    Unfortunately, many people’s first responses to this photo were very negative. All I can assume is that those comments are from people who wished they looked this amazing when they gave birth. I know I do.

  414. Sam says:

    Funny, I don’t see one bone jutting out anywhere. Jealous, much?

    I like this picture, I like that it looks like she is saying, “GET IT OUT!” hehe

    Congrats!

  415. MissyOgyny says:

    This is a picture of a woman giving birth the way that human women have for tens of thousands of years. This childbirth was NOT the result of a surgeon’s scheduling for a cesarian. (Cesarian births are an OVER PRESCRIBED procedure! The doctor bills for a far more expensive procedure, when most women don’t require it. Plus, a cesarian operation cuts through the mother’s abdominal wall. Once healed, the mother’s abdomen NEVER returns to its original state, often creating the “poochy, pillowy, swolen” abdominal effect due to loss of muscle strength.) It is obvious that MANY women have no idea what a traditional, no-drugs birthing looks like…hence all these bizarrely snarky comments! Her positioning at the moment of birth is a good one. Her pelivis is open far wider (and therefore less painful and traumatic), than if she were lying on her back. (I gave birth in a “frog-sitting” position–worked wonderfully!) As to her smaller belly: THIS WOMAN OBVIOUSLY DIDN’T CONSIDER PREGNANCY A “FREE PASS” TO GET GYNORMOUSLY FAT AND GROSS! (Obesity throughout pregnancy is FAR MORE INJURIOUS TO BOTH MOTHER AND CHILD!) She is in great physical shape! And in this photo, she has already birthed more than 75% of her child. So of course her belly is smaller! And yes, when a woman goes through a natural birthing (without drugs), her uterus INSTANTLY begins contracting to a smaller size. (Drugs often interfere with the uterus’ NATURAL ability to immediately contract post-birth.) Also, women who cannot or opt not to breastfeed have more problems getting the uterus to contract in the days, weeks and months post-birth. Breastfeeding immediately triggers uterus-contracting hormones. Breastmilk production also requires a woman to burn a huge number of calories everytime her breasts fill with milk. This is why many non-breastfeeding women complain of NOT being able to shed their post-pregnancy pounds! If you have the ability to produce breastmilk, DO IT. Your body will return to pre-pregnancy shape almost immediately! (AND YES, I KNOW, BREASTMILK IS THE BEST NUTRITION FOR YOUR BABY!) It is glaringly obvious that a majority of women here have no idea how uniquely individual pregnancy and labor are! There is no single body-type for pregnancy or birth-position…So, for all the nay-sayers here, get over your narrow-minded, ignorant selves and get informed!

  416. Strawberrymitts says:

    I’ve had five kids and never looked that great, sure wish I had! :) Good for her, you can tell by her arms and legs she’s really not dangerously skinny, I don’t get all the mean comments. I think this pic does bring out catty jealousy, I see it all over this page. Sorry you didn’t look like this during your pregnancy, neither did I, but it’s not reason to hate. Try to get over your insecurities and be happy for someone who gave birth to a healthy baby.

  417. Amanda Spencer says:

    Wow – I’m 20 weeks (and 1 day) pregnant right now, and I do not look pregnant *at all*! I have a medium build, not small, so that’s not why. In my case it’s because my uterus is very deep, and I simply do not show until much later in my pregnancies. This is my third pregnancy. With the first two, I started at a good weight for my build, gained only 10 and 15 pounds, respectively (not at all due to trying to stay smaller), at the time of delivery I looked pretty much like this woman, and both times had perfectly healthy baby boys. For this pregnancy, I started at a very unhealthy weight about 45 pounds heavier than my ideal weight. Despite this, I have not tried to lose a single pound, but due to horrible “morning” sickness that persisted until about a week ago, I have actually lost nearly 30 pounds. I have *finally* been able to reverse this downward trend. I am still overweight, but I will continue to focus first on healthy eating/living and my unborn daughter’s size, and only second to this will I even take much note of my actual weight. Because I am much more active and making healthier eating decisions, combined with how my 1st two pregnancies went, I honestly do not expect to gain very much weight. Nor do I expect to start showing for at least another month. Should I be condemned for this? Would people rather I stuff myself with unhealthy foods just so I can pack on the pounds? Everyone is different, and people shouldn’t be so quick to pass judgement on someone else when they are obviously ignorant to another individual’s circumstances. And quite frankly, this woman looks perfectly healthy. The only “bones sticking out” that I can see are in her chest – and considering she has heavier breasts tugging at the skin in that area, combined with the fact that she is obviously straining/screaming, I do not find this image at all “shocking”. Just because she doesn’t look like you did when you delivered does not mean she is unhealthy.

  418. Personage says:

    This makes me smile.

  419. Chelsea says:

    This is actually THE most natural birth position. Most women who aren’t being yelled at by doctors to get on the bed and stay there will assume this position without even thinking about it. And reaching down while the baby is crowning and cradling Baby’s head and the perinium and applying pressure to the clitoris while the baby is coming out are instincts that helps reduce tearing. Dad was probably waiting and ready to catch for several minutes at least before this picture happened.

    The baby is almost out so of course she doesn’t look huge anymore.

    I will also admit to doing my hair in early labor because I knew my husband would take pictures…that and to get it out of my way. It doesn’t get messed up if you spend most of your time laboring upright! I could never give birth laying down, the back labor with my first was crazy until I squatted over a birth ball or the back of the couch. My second baby was born in less than 2 hours.

  420. Lori Mclean says:

    Wow women are hateful. Do you not realize that EVERYONE is different. And all those post about her weight and how they had the husband just right and her hand just right shows how ignorant you can be. She totally explains her weight condition which my sister has and has had to abort one pregnancy and her first one almost killed her. Yes her husband was staged they had a professional photographer who told them what to do. DID ANYONE READ THE ATTACHED ARTICLE!!?? And if I hear one more person say “your uterus doesn’t contract that fast” I am going to scream. With in min. of delivery I was so happy I looked like I did back in high school, flat as can be no one could believe I just had a baby and I had gained 49lb during pregnancy and I am a regular size girl 125Lb 5’9″ So once again EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT! And to the mother congrats on a healthy baby and a wonderful photo to have for the rest of your life. It’s amazing what you have. Sorry I didn’t get to vote for you. Good luck!

  421. TyNAna's Mom says:

    We’d all be better off if everything in life isn’t a comparison of our own experiences to others. This picture is beautiful–plain and simple. Who cares what size the mom is. Who cares what her hair or tummy looks like. She’s giving life. That takes every bit of power in a person to do, and the picture is captured at the perfect moment in this child’s life. Are there a bunch of envious women commenting on everything but the big picture? Yes. Quick summary: nobody cares how much you weighed at your own childbirth or what you looked like…it’s not your picture.

  422. Kalei says:

    To me it is sad that people judge-but that is the risk we take, and it just happens. This woman, her partner, and her baby, are amazing, beautiful, and strong. There is no ‘right’ size to be, as long as your baby is healthy. This is a beautiful picture of two brave parents, being in their element! Thank you for this photograph, and all the rest we may be blessed with.

  423. Crystal Shugars says:

    This is definitely not a fake photo.

    1. The father is wearing a dark tank top, he is not naked.
    2. The mother is definitely giving birth, her veins are straining on her arms and neck.
    3. Her hair is not perfect, it is kept out of the way. Nothing is worse than getting hair in the face when trying to give birth.
    4. Mother’s tummy is rounded from the baby and she has an outie belly button. Usually, this is caused from a full pregnancy. My family jokingly refers to it as a turkey timer, the baby is done growing (just like a turkey timer does when the turkey is done cooking).
    5. This photo is in black and white, therefore you will not see the blood as you would with a color photo. Look at the baby’s head carefully. There is some type of fluid on the baby’s head, MOST likely blood.
    6. If you look even more closely, there is a smear of blood on her leg and one slightly below her belly, where the shadowy parts are.
    7. Dad’s hand is under mother’s so the baby is protected from the weeding ring while the baby is being delivered.
    8. Mom is wearing a bra (and no panties) because she is giving birth, and wearing clothes is not usually a distraction that people tend to be comfortable in while giving birth. The bra is on for the benefit of others. She is giving birth not making pornography.
    9. The father is obviously concentrating on delivering the baby carefully so as not to hurt him.
    AND, last but not least:
    10. Mom has one hand (her left) to help birth baby and allow some privacy of her loins and her other hand (her right) is under the baby’s head as he is being delivered to keep the baby safe and moving as the rest of him is being birthed.

    I have given birth to four children and have helped to deliver at least two of my friends’ babies and I can tell that this photo is not a fake. I have STUDIED it CLOSELY. I also know about photography since it is one of my major hobbies. Unless you have been in a delivery room and actually helped to deliver a baby, please do not make comments about something of which you know nothing.

  424. B says:

    Just so that you’re all aware, I found this page by clicking a link called “Incredible birth photo brings out the worst in moms”. Food for thought, ladies.

  425. Jessica Cassel says:

    Ow. Ow. Ow.

    Congrats to her, but damn, that looks painful.

  426. James Philpott says:

    She’s beautiful, the scene is unusual and captivating, but this is a child birth. Wow.

    Was yours different? Good for you. Maybe acknowledge that it is what it is and see the picture for the picture that it is. Near as I can tell people commenting here think this is some reality show. It’s not.

    This is child birth. Wow.

  427. DR CRAINE says:

    This picture is fake. Why do you think it’s in black and white? A colour version will never surface. Why you ask? Because this is fake.

  428. Elizabeth says:

    Birth is a miracle and these photos share just that, the miracle and beauty of birth and the love that is unexplainable with words that envelopes it all…THANK YOU for sharing these..THANK YOU to the photographer(s) and the families. THANK YOU God…
    I had the blessing to watch my son being born via a long standing mirror next to the doctor. Awesome does not even come close to describing how I felt as I saw my son enter this world… I gave birth naturally other than medication before my epi was sewn. I Would have Loved to do a home water birth but 31 years ago not many options were available to us..Now I am a nana of three incredible and very special grandchildren, All gifts from God..One birth I was blessed to witness in the birthing room..Blessings to all moms whatever way they choose to or are able to have their babies.
    God Bless All of You<3

  429. jenn says:

    I think this is beuatiful. It brought tears to my eyes. I have 4 kids had epidurals w all of them. This picture is powerful.

  430. EMT says:

    This photo looks staged. As an EMT I have experience in this area and I would prefer a more realistic photo win the contest. Birth is a beautiful experience for the parents but in my experience a messy one…

  431. sareena says:

    Seriously people? you all are either complaining that she’s ”too skinny” or you don’t ”like” birth pictures. 1. How can she be too skinny? stop being so darn judgemental and accept the fact that some women carry a healthy pregnancy without gaining weight! that’s just the way it is.No need to bash this women out of jealousy. 2. If you don’t like birth photos, don’t look at a picture with the words ”birth photo” included in the title.common sense says its going to be a birth photo! der!

    ”And for some reason i’m not a big fan of the way she is on her knees. Most women don’t have their babies like this” You’re right. Many women have their babies on their backs, in hospital beds strapped to iv’s. THIS is NOT a hospital birth.This is an unmedicated natural birth the way nature intended (ie gravity)

    ”labor is NOT that dramatic i have one child btw” Just because it wasn’t ”dramatic” for you, doesn’t mean that it’s the same for others.EVERY LABOR IS DIFFERENT.

    And lastl but not least…get over her damn hair do and get over yourselves!

  432. ee says:

    This is a beautiful photo, but it appears staged to me. Everything and everyone looks too neat and perfect. It could be real, but I have my doubts.

  433. Jennifer Duncan says:

    “Meowww…, pftttt, Rowrrrr, ….Meowwwww….”
    Ladies….., Please…..
    Most of you certainly seem to know the ‘correct’ way of being pregnant and birthing…., and no deviation will be allowed!!!!

  434. Charity says:

    You people do realize that baby is more than half way out already, right? Of course she doesn’t look that pregnant anymore! Morons.

  435. Cowcharge says:

    Wow, what a bunch of mean-spirited… well, you know. I guess it’s really true that it’s impossible for women to truly support each other, isn’t it. They’re all about dragging down the competition, in as insulting way as possible.

  436. misty says:

    I think this is a beautiful picture. I disagree with what some people have said about her being “too skinny” or this not being the face of “real” birth. Any birth is real regardless on how big the mother is. I was larger when i gave birth but i also had a good friend of mine who was about this lovely lady’s size and she was healthy. We all carry children differently. We have different sized babies, carry different amounts of fluid and so on. I’m sure what was being looked at in this photo was the concept and not the small frame of the mother. And what is being seen here is a beautiful welcoming of life into the world.

  437. Jamie says:

    I think the picture is very nice, having it processed in black & white was a great choice. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, however the thing I find the saddest is the people commenting on those who did not like the photo. Many of you sound extremely hypocritical, you are calling these people who did not like the photo horrible, vile, and cruel names. When someone publishes a photo in a publication that is as widely distributed as National Geographic, there is an expectation that people will not experience the photo the way the photographer would like.

    Mothers teach their children, hopefully, not to be judgmental or prejudice against others; lets practice what we preach! Everyone is different, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and not everyone will agree but it can be done without calling each other names like anonymous bullies stuffing victims into lockers.

  438. caligirl says:

    This is what a NATURAL, AT-HOME childbirth looks like. My mom was 114 lbs after my sister and did not starve herself. As for her position, women who birth at home can be in whatever position makes them comfortable. The position she is in is actually the IDEAL position for birth as it straightens out the birth canal. Its also WELL documented that women who birth at home experience far LESS pain and labor time than women who birth in hospitals (even with epidurals). SO to answer why she looks so fab: because baby is being born at HOME, not in a yucky germ-ridden hospital in an uncomfortable position surrounded by people who are prodding at you. Quit being jealous people, she did it RIGHT!

  439. Angela LaRoche says:

    I really cant believe the comments berating her for being fit – her body type is NOT my personal taste, but not everyone is. It’s called personal taste for a reason. To the people complaining about her not looking “pregnant enough” : shes not. She JUST gave birth. If you will notice, that tummy of hers is empty….and while not as huge as MINE when I popped out baby number one….or baby number eight, 20 years later….it IS pretty damned big compared to the rest of her. In all honesty, she looks like she works in the fitness industry. So what she has left there is quite large compared to how it probably looked even a week later.
    Why did the photo work out the way it did ( great positioning, etc) ? who knows.
    People complaining about her position for birth : Are you kidding me? That “normal” position youre all harping on ISNT natural. Laying on your back, in a bed is the LEAST natural feeling way to give birth EVER. Its for the convenience of your caregiver! lol

    I guess to sum this all up in simplest terms: Go look at one of the “nature” shots.

  440. Cassandra V. says:

    Wow, you women ARE HATERS! Some women have it like that–they are small naturally and still look small full term! Heck, one of the mothers at my son’s school is 8 months pregnant and doesn’t even LOOK like she is pregnant! Don’t hate on her because she happens to be that “lucky.” I myself, am a larger woman-and never would be a stick skinny person—but I will never trash anyone for looking like they are “starving” or for being morbidly obese; people are human and no matter what they look like they deserve to never be judged.

    I have 2 children, and I wish I could have had a “natural birth.” Ended up with 2 c-sections due to my health issues; either way I am not going to hate on someone who has the physical strength, mentality and ability to have a natural birth. I have to say this picture is well-done, not nasty, not exposed-very tactful… a beautiful moment of strength and more importantly, a new life. Congrats to them, and definitely a beautiful picture.

  441. Jason says:

    Seriously people!? Too pretty, too thin, hair too nice, skin too tight, husband not dressed right, position look staged, blah blah blah blah blah!!

    This is a decent ( spoken as a photographer ) shot of a very powerful and completely natural moment.

    I’m thinking the haters ( or their wives ) gained 40lbs and gave birth through their bellies while in a drug haze. Good for you having kids the way you wanted or were told to, this fine lady and her husband are doing the same thing their own way so sod off.

  442. MichelleTx says:

    It’s sad that a photo like this would elicit so much hate; just a testament to the kind world we live in now I suppose. Anyway, my sister has always eaten like a horse and she’s ALWAYS been naturally thin and athletic looking. This didn’t change after she became pregnant either. She remained small throughout her pregnancy, though her belly did grow some, it wasn’t huge; and once she had her baby, her shape went almost immediately back to it’s usual form.

    Why does everyone have to be so insecure, hateful, and judgmental? Not everyone will look the same during the birthing process, and I’m sure you know that, but for some reason choose to ignore it. I’m just happy the child was born into a family who obviously seems to love him, and that in and of itself is an amazing feat in today’s society of abused and unwanted children.

    So instead of the hate filled comments and “disgust” try to understand and have a bit of compassion. Oh and this couple also posted other photos, not sure if anyone bother to look at any of them, but here they are. http://www.birthstoriesondemand.com/home-birth-stories/2011/11/29/genas-birth-of-phoenix.html

    And to me they don’t look “staged” as many claim, also considering these were taken in in April of 2009, I highly doubt she told her hubby and the photog, “Let’s stage some birthing photos, for a National Geographic competition that’s supposed to take place 2 years from now. ” LOL!

  443. Michele says:

    Captivating!!!! POSITIVELY CAPTIVATING!!! … Thank you for sharing such a bold beautiful moment!!!

  444. CalciumHydroxide says:

    You guys are calling this birthing position unnatural?
    Just because you were taught to give birth on your back doesn’t make it natural.
    It’s actually very unhealthy for you and your baby to give birth on your back. You’re fighting gravity for one. Your heart rate goes down when you lie on your back thus causing less blood and oxygen to be delivered to the baby and probably the reason your baby went into fetal distress when you were pushing them out. Doctors prefer it because it’s less messy. In reality, giving birth in a squatting position is most natural as you are going with gravity and maintaining healthy levels of oxygen in your baby’s body. And in reality, the woman looks muscular, not underweight…. Do your research. Thanks.

  445. CalciumHydroxide says:

    Additionally, the use of emergency c-sections has skyrocketed due to most women giving birth on their back.

  446. Melinda H. says:

    Seriously people? Get over yourselves already. Your comments are both cold and completely immature. To be so jealous you would be willing to spout your twisted judgment over such a beautiful act is just disgusting. Go eat a Big Mac and a tub full of ice-cream and get busy planning your scheduled C-sections already.

  447. sandy says:

    While this woman is no doubt beautiful (and her husband looks pretty hot too) and she is bringing a gorgeous life into the world, I find the picture a bit odd. Not for the reasons most people are saying, but I feel this is such a personal photo. Why do I need to see it? Why do these parents feel they need to share such a private moment with the world? Call me cynical, but in the age of Kim kardashian I just feel like shouting ENOUGH. Be happy with your home birth. Be happy with your baby and husband. This is a beautiful private moment that looks a bit staged for publicity. And no I am not a hater. I gave birth to two beautiful babes of my own(one with no drugs, one with). Just because you don’t agree with something doesn’t make you a hater.

  448. charlotte says:

    ok i have had homebirths with both of my kids and am planning on doing it again for the one i am currently expecting so i have no problem with a home birth but i do have to say this picture looks fake it looks like they took a child who was a couple of days old and posed for this picture my opion has nothing to do with how skinny the woman is personally i wish i was a little thinner and it has nothing to do with whatever position shes in or how messy it is i actually couldnt believe it but at my last birth the only blood that ended up on the bed was about an hour after i gave birth but even with all of that there is just something about this photo that strikes me as fake it seems to posed and the baby dosent look as if it is coming out as much as she is kneeling over it. Now with all of that said I could be wrong it could be real i wasent there.

  449. Samilee says:

    When I had each of my kids I didn’t gain that much weight at all. The most I gained was 20lbs. When each of them were born I was smaller then than I was before I got pregnant with them. Just because she looks small doesn’t mean anything. Catty, Jealous Women! *smh*

  450. karissa burnett says:

    no after my daughter was born my tummy went back down to normal size. it didn’t even look like i was pregnant except for the fact of stretch marks…. my friend had hers a month after i had mine and she still looks 9 months pregnant. my cousin in law is 8 months pregnant and she doesn’t have any stretch marks and i swear from the look of her…. when she has her twins… it’ll be like she was never pregnant. and my cousin had a baby a few years ago and she looked better than what she did before she got pregnant. so you can’t judge somebody on how they look. and as for the mess on the baby? you look close enough and you will see blood and stuff. but you just took a quick look and started judging her.

  451. heichan says:

    He is beautiful!!
    If you’re uncomfortable with this photo, you’ve obviously never opened a REAL National Geographic magazine–in which the photos make this look censored.
    And to those who say there’s no blood…look closely, there is blood SMEARED on her belly, and you can see fluid dripping off of her husband’s hand. The child is clearly covered in vernix…stop criticising, and enjoy the photo for what is is–a beautiful moment in life that has been captured and immortalised.
    …And for the record, since when is a messy bun “perfect hair”? I look like that after 2 hours in the gym. Grow up, people.

  452. Angel says:

    I think some of you are being purposely blind to this picture while accusing it of being staged. How on earth do you miss the bulging abdomen on her? The way her abdomen is folding and collapsing just under her breasts? How do you miss the blood and fluid on the baby’s head? The strain of the push in the lines of her face, neck and thighs? Yes she is a small woman, so no her pregnancy size would not be as round as some. Not as round as I was (or am now lol) to say the least, but then I have a large bone structure. This woman is about the same build as my younger sister though and her proportions are right for her size. Where I still looked at least 7 months pregnant after my son was born, my sister’s tummy shrank after my nephew was born and she actually left the hospital in a size 4 jeans where I was an 18. Every woman is different, and she shouldn’t have to fit your stereotype of a pregnant woman because you say so. I think it is a beautiful picture of the birth and even more so because her hubby is there participating in the birth of their child. Let her share her experience and if you don’t like it, don’t look.

  453. Sarah says:

    Here hand isn’t there to cover, she is supporting her skin. When my second was born he came very fast, I couldn’t stop myself from pushing really hard so I put my hand down there much like she did b/c I was afraid I was going to tear forward. Also, looking at the video from my first birth I remember being surprised to watch my stomach change size so quickly as the baby came out. You can actually see my bump getting lower and lower as the contractions pushed the baby down the birth canal and then when his head was out but not the body my stomach looked a lot like in this photo, it was pretty weird to see it all played out.

  454. Stephanie says:

    I think this picture is beautiful. It’s a shame that most of you are dismissing this as a fake picture, expecially the women on here stating that they are pregnant or being mothers now. If you remember what’s its like to be pregnant then you would remember that every pregnacy is different. I’m 34 weeks pregnant and know that it’s not like the women’s in the photo. She could have had horrible morning sickness that didn’t go away after the first trimester. Where as I had zero morning sickness. Even your doctor tells you that your pregnacy may be different from your friends, your family, even in the books you read. I have a friend who went all 9 months and then a week and only looked 20 some odd weeks pregnant. But that’s comparing her to me. Your comparing this woman to yourselves. It’s amazing that this woman gave birth to a healthy baby, at home, with no pain killers, and was able to capture it on film. What happened to celebrating the miracle of birth? So what if her hand is covering her self? She probably didn’t place it there to cover her self up. I haven’t gone through labor yet but I know it can be and more than likely will be painful. Ever had a headache and dulled the pain by simply putting pressure on the area? I know a lot of you find this picture disturbing and gross on top of fake but if you zoom in and look closely at it you can see there is some blood and other substance on not only the baby, but her thigh and also lower stomach. Plus just like not every pregnacy us the same, not every delivery is the same.

    Other than that this picture is wonderful and truly amazing.

  455. HARDY AHR HAR says:

    HAHAHAHA Every time someone complains about how thin she is or says she looks emaciated (she looks really healthy, like she runs or something) or goes on about her hair and bra I picture a very jealous chubby bubby with bad hair. And I’m pretty sure that’s what most people are getting off those kinds of comments too. You just make yourself look bad and ….pathetic really. But, let me get on my soapbox for a moment. My sister is 5′*”, does pilates, not crazy, not every day…eats healthy but A LOT of food, and bikes everywhere. So, she’s really thin..and for some reason neither of us can comprehend, large women (who would absolutely shit a brick, be hurt and upset and outraged if someone talked to them about their weight like this) feel like it’s okay to come at skinny women with insults…comments about “bones sticking out everywhere” (but they don’t want to hear “rolls sticking out everywhere”) “it makes me sick” (they would die if someone said this to them), “she looks ill” (well..so do you honey), “eat a burger” (but don’t tell me to put down the burger)…Why the hell do you guys think it’s okay? As my sister said….just like every women on the planet practically…she has body issues. everyone does. And it is completely unacceptable to comment on someone’s body so rudely, even if the reason you’re doing it is because you’re pissed you don’t have that body. Doesn’t matter. It’s rude and it makes people feel bad and it happens to thin women just as much as overweight women. We as a group need to stop tearing each other apart. we all know damn well that women doesn’t look ill and her hair is great considering what she’s doing….but really…why do we even care? my hair looked HORRIBLE while I was in labor….thankfully I wasn’t getting my photo taken so I didn’t give a rat’s patootie. HEY! Maybe that’s why her hair looks good and she’s wearing a nice bra, she’s getting her photo taken! she probably knew that was going to happen! Imagine that! And since she’s done it four times, it was probably fairly easy and she was able no to muss her hair up or make a big big mess….course when that baby comes out the rest of the way, there WILL be that mess you are all pathetically desperate for. Geez, I have rambled…point is, stop commenting on other people’s bodies. never okay. And remember, every time you say something nasty about another woman, you don’t get people to think “heeeeey, yeah, she is gross, stupid for having nice hair, boring, slutty, whatever” no…you succeed only in looking really obviously jealous. and I laugh at you behind your back.

  456. Skinny Lady says:

    Just seconds after my all three babies were born, I looked excactly like before I got pregnant at all: no extra weight, no loose skin, no marks.

    So I think you are just jeallous for her. That picture is nothing but beautiful!

    1. Leanne says:

      This is not a fake. There are more pictures at her photographer’s website (dfwbirthphotography.com) and that is most definitely a real thing!!

  457. Daughter of Nature says:

    Wow, there are so many haters for a bunch of women meant to RELATE here on Babble. Why don’t you go do something besides spend yer useless time bagging on things like this? If you don’t like it, don’t click on it and really… DON’T COMMENT! Yer just out to ruin something beautiful and yer negative energies are seriously unwelcomed. We come here to marvel and laugh, not hate on other mothers because we’re so insecure about ourselves.

  458. Daughter of Nature says:

    http://www.birthstoriesondemand.com/home-birth-stories/2011/11/29/genas-birth-of-phoenix.html

    Thank you for sharing yer experience and photos with us. It is all really beautiful and it makes me want a home birth all the more. I am very envious. You and yer family are beautiful.

  459. Andrea says:

    This is beautiful!! I was in my pre pregnancy pants just days after giving birth so not everyone stays looking pregnant. She’s beautiful the haters are jealous get over it.

  460. Tracie Rathsack says:

    Oh for the love of…

    THIS ladies, is why men question our ability to lead. Every last one of you who are disgusted by this photo, who think she’s too skinny, who seem to be irate that you weren’t as thin as her, or keep stating she looks 20 weeks – really should be ashamed of yourselves. Not because you are talking about someone else, but because you’re so clearly discomfited by the fact YOU were the size YOU were. Each and every woman is different. Each and every pregnancy is different.

    Regarding some of the points I’ve seen others make, like, where is the blood, how is it that this was so perfect, how was everyone exactly where they are supposed to be – do ANY of you have a digital camera that can take video? You do know that photo stills can be pulled from them, right?

    Not only that, but making a photo black and white will reduce red blood to black/grey shadow. Try it in photo shop. Wet turns white. Take a look at her thigh closest to the camera. There’s a smear there.

    You can’t see it on the sheet because the baby is there.

    I think this is a great testament to how incredibly awesome we are, whether or NOT she fits your “image” of pregnancy, it’s still something ONLY we women can do. The only males who feels our pain are seahorses.

    the end.

  461. gg wells says:

    All the fat out of shape women are making judgements on this specimen of womanly beauty….she obviously has pride in her appearance and works out unlike 85% of the slovenly fatpigslobs that waddle around America!

  462. Beth says:

    Seriously quit hating on her for her body. Pregnancy does not look the same on all women.
    And if the photo bothers you, don’t look at it.

  463. JulieCrowther says:

    This is a beautiful and powerful shot. I too had a homebirth in an “unusual” position. Most women don’t trust their bodies enough to try something different. I had great delieveries as well and the surge of adreneline and emotion doesn’t always have to be a miserable experience as Hollywood portrays it. I loved being pregnant and I loved giving birth. I am jealous of one thing…her photographer!!! This is an incredibly hard shot to get and he/she captured it beautifully. Way to go girl for posting this…!!!

  464. SNSinNC says:

    This is beautiful – I only read enough of the comments to know how horrible people are being. How can you possibly say she’s “too” skinny – for all you know she tried as hard as possible to gain weight and just didn’t…or gained it in ways you can’t see. And dad is probably in shorts – my husband was also shirtless at our (hospital birth) because I kept making him jump in and out of the shower with me. And skin-to-skin contact doesn’t require mom – dad can also provide it while mom is recovering. Some of the most beautiful pictures of our son’s birth are of my husband holding our son shirtless right after his birth (sadly, he hates them because he courteously gained weight with me…but they’re beautiful to me). Beatiful family, birth and photography.

  465. SNSinNC says:

    This is beautiful – I only read enough of the comments to know how horrible people are being. How can you possibly say she’s “too” skinny – for all you know she tried as hard as possible to gain weight and just didn’t…or gained it in ways you can’t see. And dad is probably in shorts – my husband was also shirtless at our (hospital birth) because I kept making him jump in and out of the shower with me. And skin-to-skin contact doesn’t require mom – dad can also provide it while mom is recovering. Some of the most beautiful pictures of our son’s birth are of my husband holding our son shirtless right after his birth (sadly, he hates them because he courteously gained weight with me…but they’re beautiful to me). Beautiful family, birth and photography.

  466. Tannn says:

    This woman would never be attacked for being skinny in Europe. She has a normal, healthy body! She clearly has eaten well and made exercises.

    I really hope the majority of American women aren’t that hateful and weight challenged as the comments suggest..

  467. Leslie says:

    I’m surprised that so many people are upset by this woman’s size, and that some even have the audacity to state this is a staged photo! My friend looked EXACTLY like this woman does when she was full term, she ate healthy, but she also has 2 other children she was busy with all the time. Her first pregnancy she was much larger, but had much less responsibility and a less active job, hence being bigger than this. I’m pregnant with my first and don’t look anything like this woman, but that has alot to do with the fact that I’m a completely different human being, so I have a different body, and will have a different pregnancy. I think this is one of the most amazing phto’s I’ve ever seen, it’s full of raw energy, good job to the photographer that captured this incredible moment!

  468. Brittany says:

    I looked just as good if not even better with both my children. I only gained 25lbs with each pregnancy. I’m 9 months with my third and I love taking dramatic photos while in labor and pregnant! Yes my hair is perfect and my makeup is flawless :) I want to see myself that way, as this BEAUTIFUL woman wants to see herself. And even if I gained 100lbs I’d still take the time to look beautiful to capture such an intense moment.

  469. Danielle says:

    I’m a million times bigger than this lady and I’m only 22 weeks. But she is beautiful and I am beautiful. All pregnant women are beautiful. We are all different sizes and shapes and not many of us have a lot of control over that. What an amazing moment she has captured, one we can all share when we have our babies. I am so glad to get to share this moment with her as I dream of my own baby’s birth.

  470. Carlene says:

    I had a friend this size when she gave birth to her son. She is simply a tiny woman. I had an amateur photographer in the room with the birth of my second son, and the photos were amazing. I totally believe every bit of this photo. Why? Number 1, I am a multi-disciplinary RN. I know that medically, this is feasible. Number 2, I’ve seen it before. So I am sorry for those who disagree, but unless you have MD, DO, RN, or CNM behind your name, (or other medical professional title who would have the experience) or have experienced something like it personally, you can hate all you want. You are wrong, and for that matter, RUDE. I would have been okay to look like she did during and after delivery… I gained 35 lbs with both my boys, and I am not built the way she is… But as many posters have said on here before, pregnant women are beautiful, whatever their size. What a blessing!

  471. Sasha says:

    Jealous much? And they say fat people are nice. Hate to break it to you hateful/ spiteful women, but she is actually bigger than I was when I gave birth at full term. With my first I went to my 6 week check up at 116lbs. You people are like a bunch of jelous high school girls.

  472. Shelli says:

    What a wonderful picture! I hope this woman does not read the comments here. Women have such hateful and judgmental things to say about each other. Also, everywoman does not become overweight during pregnancy.

  473. Kinley says:

    nice photo but why the scream babys already out at the point where the pain stops

  474. Marjie says:

    I think this photo and this mama’s experience is absolutely incredible. Clearly you can see the vernix that covers the baby which indicates that the baby was indeed just birthed. Her pregnancy belly reminds me of all the beautiful mom’s with basketball babies. All the weight, water and baby were constricted to one area in the center of her stomach. Once that child was born, all that was left was a little bit of weight that the mom had. I only have great things to say about this beautiful photo and even though our body may be out of shape especially after birth … I wouldn’t change it for the world, because I have my beautiful son to show for it! So enough with the “Cow” remarks please! Congrats to the mother and father in this photo with their beautiful baby

  475. Rachel Pea says:

    I first thought all these things at seeing this photo: what an AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL, INSPIRING moment. The Mother looks to be completely immersed in the last painful contractions of giving birth to her Son, and is doing everything that might come naturally to her- screaming, holding herself, and reaching down to hold her baby for the first time. Then I felt comforted because I look like this, and I don’t usually see women who look like I do in pregnancy/birth photography.

    When I went to get my 1st maternity bra a few weeks ago, I cried in the fitting room after the lady announced I had “only gone up to a B-cup”. I felt a bit robbed and left out. I went back the next day, saw another lady and exchanged it for a C-cup, just because I wanted to be bigger (thankfully I am filling all of it now)- but that’s it for me; I’m all boob and bump, and not for want of eating properly!

    THIS is a natural childbirth- I will celebrate it for what it represents about the power of ALL WOMEN, even the bitter and ignorant ones.

  476. Gill says:

    Why as women, as mothers, as human being are we not supporting each other?Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, some people are just never happy. I personally don’t like the whole lets show the world I have a baby coming out my privates BUT its still a baby being born a new life and that is beautiful :)

  477. Jenn says:

    Beautiful photo. Kiddos to the photographer and congrats to the new parents. What a wonderful keepsake and I thank you for sharing this experience with us.

  478. Jenn says:

    Kuddos, not kiddos- from my last comment. KUDDOS to the photographer.

  479. Aqua says:

    I gotta laugh at all those people who are constantly criticizing this woman for putting these pictures out there for everyone to see, they say: “It should’ve been private” and then call the parents stupid (I’m looking at you Netta Real) – I’m curious to know, how you’ve reached your conclusion about their intelligence, or even worse comments (like Ari’s) “Wow, she is soooo empowered because she delivered a baby through her vagina and prostituted what should be an intensely private, personal moment for the world to see?” – prostituted, really? Can you be any more of an ass?

    This article has a very clear title “One of the most strikingly powerful birth photos I’ve seen”, if you don’t like birth photos, don’t click on articles that have “Birth photos” words written on them. It’s very simple, so don’t complain. Are you just another sad product of North American public school education?
    Do you have a poor reading comprehension?

  480. Cyndie Feemster says:

    who is to say she is too small – i gained 35 lbs…started at 117, ended at 152. i went home from the hospital after 24 hours at 129. i could wear my pre pregnacy clothes. everyone is different, dont judge them on what you think they should look like

  481. Jill Franklin says:

    The picture looks like it was “set up” to look natural. It’s too perfect…and a little too personal for my taste. I’m sorry, just don’t like it. However, I DO love the second picture she entered. I would vote for that!

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