These are the most powerful birth photos from the last year.

The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers recently ran their Image of the Year Competition for 2017.

The winning photos were chosen from hundreds of entries, from talented birth photographers worldwide, showcasing what birth looked like in 2016.

The winners were chosen on a point system and judged on technicality, emotionality and composition.

These were the five best photos.

First place: Road to deliverance by Jaydene Freund - Cradled Creations.

Second place: Determination by Katie Mathis Photography.

Third place: With A Splash by Elizabeth Farnsworth Photography.

Fourth place: Straight From Heaven by Natasha Hance - Birth Unscripted.

Fifth place: Pieces of Me by Kourtnie Scholz – KEDocumentary.

You can see the rest of the competition entries here.