These Photos Of A Home Birth Perfectly Capture Its Beauty & Agony

Gustavo Gomes has been photographing everything that happens in his life since 2009. So, it was only natural for him to photograph the birth of his first daughter.

For his newest series The Childbirth, Gustavo Gomes documented almost every aspect of his girlfriend Priscila's 20-hour labor with his camera — the pain, the sweat, the tears, the joy — everything but the actual birth. And that's only because he wanted to put down the camera and be the first one to hold her.

The photos are honest and intimate — ranging in emotion from quiet calmness to fist-clenching agony — and above all, reflect the love this couple shares and is giving to their daughter.

However, the goal of the series wasn't just to immortalize this momentous occasion; Gustavo and Priscilla are hoping these photos will raise awareness about natural and home childbirth in Brazil, he told mindbodygreen in a statement. There, he says, women choose to have caesarean sections very frequently just because they are quicker and can be scheduled ahead of time.

"Priscila and me never felt helpless during the whole process with a doula, an obstetrician and a pediatrician," Gustavo explained. "We hope that these photos can demystify natural and home childbirths and encourage future mothers to avoid unnecessary C-sections."

Check out all 23 photos in the series (then go explore his Instagram here):

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