The joy, the relief, and the exhaustion: photographer captures moments of raw elation after childbirth

Posted by
Sejal Kapadia Pocha
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In 2011, photographer Leilani Rogers captured the birth of her niece and since then she's been hooked.

The American from Austin, Texas, has documented 50 mothers going through labour and captured the kind of poignant and powerful images few of us have seen before - unless we've experienced it ourselves.

Rogers, who is also the founder of the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project says that, "Shortly after I felt strongly that I should specialize in just birth photography, and am currently one of very few photographers who do.

"I have photographed every type of birth – homebirth, water birth, hospital birth, hospital transfers, birth center births, cesarean birth, multiples, even a baby born in the caul."

Her work receives hundreds of comments and likes from mothers on social media. 

We take a look at some of her most moving pictures and the stories behind them, below:

"Connections. Mom to baby. Dad to baby. Dad to Mom." [Sic]

"I often lose my breath as I document mothers reaching for their babies and bringing them to their chests. And each time I come back to those images, I lose my breath all over again. The joy, relief and exhaustion is just so palpable," Rogers told Redbook.

"It's an honor to celebrate families of all kinds. This 2 mama family's birth was so beautiful. And it was so fortunate that this mother's partner is an experienced doula, because she was in labor for 35 hours!"

"In the still of the night this beautiful moment occurred. A split second between womb and world. Preserved forever"

"Daddy catches his baby boy!"

"Another beautiful hospital moment. It wasn't until after I got home and began editing images that I noticed this little one's signal that she felt at peace."

The above were Rogers' favourite pictures of birth from last year.

"I am often asked if it bothers me to see the surgical side of birth and c-sections. It truly does not. I find those moments of delivery to be every bit as beautiful and fascinating as a vaginal birth."

Watch Leilani Rogers pick her best photographs from 2015 in the video, below: