We started our curated This is: Birth film series to give representation to the many varied ways that women give birth. Shot by talented independent videographers, these birth films can be a resource for the expecting mama or anyone who is curious to see what birth really looks like.
This is birth: Dad helps deliver his daughter
Dad helps deliver his daughter: Watch this fierce mama give birth to her first baby, assisted by her midwife and supportive husband.
"The midwives gave Aaron (the dad) the option of delivering and he was so excited. My favorite part is when Lauren (the mom) lifts up WHILE SHE IS CROWNING to kiss Aaron on the cheek. She told me she was just so happy they were becoming a family!" -Videographer Jessica Worland Photo
This is birth: An adoption journey
An adoption journey: Watch this husband and wife finally become parents after a seven-year journey.
"We waited over 12 hours at the hospital and as soon as Ethel was born, Rob and Sarah got to hold her and do skin to skin immediately. They had been waiting SO long for this moment (not just the 12 hours), and it was the most beautiful thing to witness. When she grows up, Ethel will be able to watch this film and be reminded of how wanted and loved she is." Videographer Alyssa Kellert Photo + Film
This is birth: A surrogacy journey
Watch the amazing journey between a surrogate and the family she carried four children for.
"This is the story of their family, how they were able to bring children they so very much wanted into the world." -Videographer Jennifer Hamilton / Mamarazzi Photography
Read more about their journey here
This is birth: A C-section story
"On the day that our son was born via C-section, I witnessed a whole new level of strength and bravery come over my wife. A level that I will never be able to experience. All I could do was hold her hand while they put her under. Then it was my turn to be strong and brave—not just for her, but for our son. I held him in my arms, telling him, 'mom will be here soon.'"
C-section birth story: Watch the intimate, beautiful way that No Way Jose Photography documented him and his wife becoming parents.❤️👩👩👦
This is Birth: Bekah Martinez's serene + empowered waterbirth
Bekah Martinez's birth story: After 28 hours of laboring at home, the Bachelor star welcomed her first daughter Ruth in an unmedicated waterbirth, while surrounded by her partner, mother and care providers.💙
Bekah tells Motherly, "When the time came I was able to fully relax and surrender. People have commented on how in-control I appear, but it was quite the opposite. I surrendered all my control and it made the experience so much more peaceful."
Read more about Bekah's birth story here
Film by Lauren Guilford Photography
This is birth: A NICU birth story
A NICU birth story: After arriving 5 weeks early and spending 15 days in the NICU, we're happy to report Henry is now thriving. (Stick around until the end to see the cutest update photos 😍.)
"Our culture fantasizes the perfect birth and bonding experience. When your baby is in the NICU following birth, there are so many bittersweet emotions that accompany this experience. Many mamas (including myself) have faced this situation, and yet, we see so little representation of it through media. I believe it's important to see how that love is still shown and is still felt by your baby, even when they need extra help in the NICU."
- Stacey, SMA Photography
This is birth: A family home birth story
A family home birth story: Watch this calm mama deliver her second child with her firstborn daughter and husband by her side. 👨👩👧👦
"She was completely inward and riding the powerful waves of labor, unaware of anyone else in the room ... As soon as baby's head came out, mama smiled, laughed and then gently guided the baby out and onto her belly.
Whether it's a home birth, hospital birth, C-section, or surrogate birth, you are becoming a parent, and that's a HUGE deal. It's life-changing. In the end, we are all going through an immense transition."
—Videographer Maggie Cuprisin, Chicago Birth and Baby Photos
This is birth: A lesbian couple's birth story
Watch these two mamas calmly navigate a 70-hour labor and unplanned C-section to finally meet their baby boy, Milo. Sound on to hear the encouraging words of this mama's partner. 💙
"I am so grateful that we had a team that was so supportive of our wishes at every step of the way, even when we asked that our videographer be allowed into the surgery room. The birth of our son couldn't have been captured more beautifully."
Film by videographer Angie Klaus
This is birth: First-time parents' NICU journey
First-time parents' NICU journey: Witness the undeniable bond between this husband and wife as they document their birth story in a unique way. 💞
"Tensions were high when the mom went into labor earlier than expected. She had many questions and was nervous about having a baby in the NICU. After weeks of visiting her baby in the hospital, he was finally able to come home."
-Videographer Savvy Films
This is birth: With my sister by my side
Watch this incredibly calm mama undergo her second C-section with help from her loving and supportive sister.
"I knew that I was coming to document a birth where there would be no dad by mom's side. But when I opened the door, I found Moehau peacefully waiting in her bed with her sister Leilani by her side. The bond between the sisters is beautiful and powerful, it is all that I hope for my own children."
- Videographer Benedicte Lechrist, Maui Life Stories
This is birth: A powerful first cry
"Sweet Addison made a big entrance. The moment in between her delivery and her first cry was powerful. Mom and dad spoke to their tiny love telling her how glad they were that she was here as the midwives worked to help her take in and release her first breath. Then came the most perfect cry that held the room captive."
- Videographer Eucharisteo Films
This is birth: An adoption story
Watch the incredible moment when a family meets their newborn for the first time in the hallway of a hospital.
The videographer explains, "This experience was so different from other birth sessions. More than just the fact it was an adoption, the connection was so moving. This mother had spent months waiting for the opportunity to be Adela's mother and wondering whether it would even happen. All of the fear and excitement just melted away when she held her daughter in her arms."
—Videographer Johnny TJ Cheramie of Something Southern Photography
This is birth: A hypnobirthing story
Watch this mama give birth at home while practicing hypnobirthing, which focuses on specific relaxation and calming techniques that help manage pain during labor.
"I remember how calm and relaxed the mom was. During the labor, classical music was playing and she moved to the music. I know other women who have tried hypnobirthing, and they weren't impressed, but she mastered it. I believe it's really important to not compare birth experiences. Every woman is free to express herself during labor; there is no competition, you can scream or you can be calm."
- Videographer Chiara Doveri Photography Familien- und Kinderfotografie in Berlin
This is Birth: A C-section gender reveal
Watch the precious moment when this mama wakes up and finds out the gender of her baby.
"Due to some health complications, Joyous needed to have a C-section performed. One of the good unknowns with this labor was that the parents decided to not know the gender of the baby until after the birth. When they both find out, they are totally overwhelmed with emotion. It was amazing to witness their love for their newborn, and also the relief that everyone was healthy after so much uncertainty."
- Videographer K+A Films
This is birth: A midwife birth story
Watch these skilled midwives help baby Ezra take his first breath.
"The midwives were fantastic. They remained very calm and quickly grabbed the equipment needed to help Ezra breathe. The room was calm, and it was clear the midwives had everything under control. Megan calmly spoke to Ezra and gently rubbed his stomach until she heard his first cry, she then brought him up to her chest with a look of complete relief." Kailee Riches Photography
(Content warning: this film includes a tense moment before baby takes his first breath—but with skillful care, it quickly becomes clear he is perfectly healthy).
This is birth: An unmedicated hospital birth
"The moment of becoming a mother is a feeling that really can't be described. So many emotions rush to you and before you know it, you have this beautiful baby in your arms."
In this birth film, captured by Stephanie Shirley Photography, a first-time mama has an unmedicated hospital birth with her supportive husband and doula by her side.
This is Birth: A rainbow birth story
Watch this strong mama and her supportive husband work as a team to bring their rainbow baby into the world.
The videographer Rebecca Cantrelle Photography explains, "After battling infertility, loss, and a tough pregnancy—with hyperemesis gravidarum, gestational diabetes, and concerns of preeclampsia—this mama was induced on her due date. On the second day of induction, active laboring began. She finally welcomed her baby boy, Avery, at 4 a.m. on the third day! The experience was so serene, so powerful, and there was so much love."
This is birth: A boy mom story
Watch this family welcome their third boy—all, amazingly, delivered in the same hospital room—room 303. The proud big brothers will melt your heart.
"I think it's great for other women to see what different births look like—whether it's a home birth in water, a hospital birth with an epidural, a c-section, or somewhere in between—all births are beautiful, unique, and special!" - Videographer The Grays Photography
This is birth: A home waterbirth story
Watch as this sweet family of three becomes four.
Videographer for Birth Love Story on why capturing birth is important:
"The reason I find capturing birth is important I say as a client, as a mother: I married to create a family. I invested in lasting memories from my wedding day and I wanted no less from the day my babies joined our family. I wanted all the raw emotion, all the pain and tears, all the smiles and tears of joy. And I got it all. So I want all moms to have the same treasure I am lucky to have!"
This is birth: A NICU twins' journey
See the NICU through this mama's eyes, as she beautifully captures her twins' journey.
"I'm pretty sure everyone in the hospital thought I was crazy when I was wheeled in and started recording my labor. But when so much is out of your control, it's nice to have something to do. And hiding behind my camera was a comfort. There is nothing harder than leaving the hospital empty-handed, with your brand-new babies staying behind. I bawled every time I had to leave. Capturing my NICU babies on film allowed me to take a little piece of them home with me each day." - Videographer + mama Sarah Krieg Photography
This is birth: A family hospital birth
"I love how different and sweet every mama's emotions are after pulling their baby to their chest. Some are in shock, some weep, some laugh...nothing compares to that feeling of finally holding your baby in your arms!" - Videographer Alma Heirlooms
Watch this fierce mama work through the unmedicated birth of her second child with the support of her husband and firstborn.
This is birth: A delivery room gender reveal
Watch this mama welcome her 6th—but first "team green"— baby into the world!
These parents own a videography company —Eran and Aubs Photography and Videography— so dad captured the birth film himself:
"It was the first time out of 6 pregnancies that we didn't know the gender. We facetimed some family members (our children included) so they could watch the birth and find out the gender along with us... Its something that I still go back to watch often. Video and audio has a way of bringing back all of the memories of that day in a way that pictures can't do."
This is birth: An epidural birth story
This quietly beautiful birth film features a strong mama laboring in a birth center with epidural pain management.
Candice MacDonnell - Family Films and Photography says, "The thing that struck me the most was Ariel's persistence. Even though her little girl's birth didn't go quite as planned, she still gave it her all, and was a warrior in bringing her earthside. As soon as she held her baby and became a mom for the first time, I could sense her instant, overwhelming love for this tiny little human."
This is birth: An HBAC story
Watch this intense, inspiring video of a strong mama calmly catching her baby herself during her HBAC (home birth after cesarean).
"I remember how uniquely quiet it all was, as mom was using the Hypnobabies method. She said two things while I was there before birthing her son—'I'm ready to get in the tub' and 'his head is out.' Witnessing how she trusted her body so much showed me how peaceful and powerful birth can be." - Tampa Birth Photographer - Dear Little One, founder of Birth United
This is birth: A birth center story
"Birth is intense. It's beautiful. It's transformative. It's both an immense biological process AND an incredible emotional process. You can't find the same heights and depths of emotion in any other type of photography."
In this birth film, captured by Monet Nicole - Birthing Stories, this first-time mama arrived at the birth center already 8 cm dilated. She labored and delivered with her husband by her side the entire time.
This is Birth: A Home Birth Story
"Birth is not always the hurricane many times portrayed in the media; it is not a physical ailment, it is beautiful, to be respected, to be studied in a balanced way and the complications that can arise prepared for - but allowed safe space to happen naturally when things go normally; our bodies are designed perfectly for it."
- Videographer Impressions - Birth & Lifestyle Stories on the importance of sharing real representations of birth.
Watch this video of a strong, second-time mama working hard through a VBAC delivery in her home.
This is birth: A NICU birth story
After arriving 5 weeks early and spending 15 days in the NICU, we're happy to report Henry is now 8 months old and thriving. (Stick around until the end to see the cutest update photos.)
"Our culture fantasizes the perfect birth and bonding experience. When your baby is in the NICU following birth, there are so many bittersweet emotions that accompany this experience. Many mamas (including myself) have faced this situation, and yet, we see so little representation of it through media. I believe it's important to see how that love is still shown and is still felt by your baby, even when they need extra help in the NICU." - Videographer http://sma-photography.com/
This is birth: A first-time mama's hospital birth
This beautifully shot video captures the nerves and joyful anticipation of giving birth for the first time.
"Torie was realistic, strong, and leaned on her birth team throughout the experience. With every worry of 'how much longer' or 'how much harder will it be,' she was able to refocus her energy into knowing that with each surge, her baby was getting closer. Emotions were high among everyone present, and I think we all could relate to her eagerness to meet her son." - Videographer Forevermore Films
This is birth: A waterbirth story
Watch a second-time mama's peaceful water delivery in a birth center, while surrounded by her loving family.
The videographer explains, "I got a call early that morning that the mother had been laboring throughout the night. The birth was like a dance—her family supported her though each contraction. The midwife thought she was in early labor so she left to get a snack but heard her start to push and came back. The baby was born maybe 10 minutes later." — Zura Lagarde Photography
This is birth: An induced labor
"There's no single way to labor or give birth and I think that aspect of childbirth is so incredible. Alyssia is a close friend of mine, so I remember her expressing that she was a little nervous and unprepared to be induced. Well, that girl amazed me (as do all the mamas I witness!) She quickly kicked fear to the curb and changed her mindset. It was all about bringing a healthy baby boy into the world and she did beautifully." - Videographer Alma Heirlooms