Demystifying women's bodies is close to our heart here at HARA. Artists and authors have been celebrating the natural beauty of the female form without shame for decades. Think Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues for example. But in recent years it's picking up more and more pace in the mainstream, with projects like the world's first Vagina Museum last year in London, United Kingdom.
One initiative is trying to shine a light on childbirth with a photography competition.
The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers has over 1100 members across 52 countries and has been hosting Annual Worldwide Birth Photography Image Competition for 10 years now.
Their aim is to connect expectant parents with a growing number of professional photographers specialising in this field. Each year the competition has grown in size as more and more media outlets feature the winners. A signal of the growing demand to capture these unique moments and unveil the raw beauty of the human body.
From birthmarks to placentas; from crowning heads to crying siblings. These beautiful images all take us one step further to normalising childbirth.
2020's competition has just closed and results are coming soon.
In the meantime let's look back at 2019's winners. There are a variety of categories showcasing the intimate moments around childbirth.
Women have a choice. If supporting natural birth is something that you would like to find more about we suggest reading Home Birth On Your Own Terms: A How To Guide For Birthing Unassisted
What do you think of these photographs? What emotions does it bring up in you? Who in your life would benefit from seeing these images? What conversations can it start? How can you normalise childbirth?