9 Photos Capture Raw Beauty of Home Birth

Brazilian photographer Gustavo Gomes photographed his girlfriend's home birth, creating a hauntingly beautiful photo series with a bold statement about C-sections.

Photos Capture Raw Beauty of Home Birth Gustavo Gomes

A picture is worth a thousand words—and in some cases even more, like in this personal and intimate photo series about childbirth by photographer Gustavo Gomes.

The Brazilian photographer chronicled his girlfriend Priscila as she handled her all-natural home birth like a pro—a process that took 20 hours. The dark-tinged photos portray a realness that shows both the painful and beautiful sides of delivering au naturel.

Related: 7 Tips for Having a Natural Childbirth

And that was their plan, according to Gomes. While it's not always possible to give birth vaginally, he hopes the photo series will help demystify natural and home childbirths and encourage future mothers avoid unnecessary C-sections, a problem he sees in his home country.

"Besides being our personal story, we hope these photos can raise awareness about natural and home childbirth in Brazil," Gomess told Fit Pregnancy. "Our country has the highest cesarean rates in the world—around 45% of births in the public health system and shockingly 85% in the private system—most of them with no medical reasons, just because C-sections can be scheduled and are quicker for the doctors to operate."

Though Priscila is shown alone in many of the shots, Gomes says they had all the necessary medical professionals there to guide her safely through the home birth process, including a doula, an obstetrician and a pediatrician.

And as for being there when it came time to deliver daughter Violeta? Gomess quickly switched from photographer to proud daddy.

"Photographing the labor didn't stop me from helping Priscila and being involved in the process," he added. "That's the reason why I don't have any photo of Violeta coming out—I was there to be the first to hold her when she came to light."

Here are a few of our favorite photos from Gomess' series below. More of his beautiful work can be found on Instagram.