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The Many Faces of Labor: 25 Powerful Photos of Women Giving Birth

Laughter, tears, struggle, sleep… Labor is all that!

Labor is more of a journey than an event. In fact, it can be downright trippy.

It can be hard. It can be exciting. It can include boredom, laughter, frustration, relief, and/or sleep. It might be relentless or energizing. Often both, at different times. The very hardest part of labor pushes a woman to a place she didn’t know possible–all of this comes right before the actual birth which can bring joy, relief, tears, shock, revelation.

Women go through so many (often contradictory) emotions and sensations in hospitals with IVs, at home in the tub, with epidurals or during a water birth, in the O.R. or at a birthing center. No matter how a baby is born a mother is challenged and when she rises to that challenge, she shows us both incredible strength and vulnerability.

I am in awe of all the women pictured here. And I’m pretty impressed with the photographers, too! Most of them are professional photographers and doulas, some are labor partners. Scanning through hundreds of images of women’s faces in labor was, not surprisingly, incredibly moving. Here are 25 of my absolute favorites. nggallery id=’113926′

 

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