Laboring mum breastfeeds toddler, gives birth two hours later

Maegan Dougherty

A series of beautiful birth photos are capturing the internet’s baby loving attention, with one particular image prompting teary eyes and all the heart-warming feels.

A family affair

Megan Dougherty, a New Jersey family photographer, took a whole bunch of photos of this gorgeous family as they awaited the arrival of baby number two.

The photos are all beautiful in their own right, perfectly documenting the journey from those first labour pangs to wobbly, vernix-covered baby in compelling style, but it’s the image featuring (still fairly little) big sister and second time mum to be, Kate, that has people misty-eyed.



Snack time

“I love this moment. Big sister was so happy to see her mom and to nurse. And then contractions got longer and more intense,” Maegan captioned the shot.

It shows Kate feeding her toddler daughter in the birthing room, belly blooming but remarkably calm just a couple of hours away from baby number two’s birth.

Kate’s husband, sisters, mum and mother-in-law were also present during the birth.


A quick visit

Maegan explained that relatives brought the birthing couple’s toddler in for a quick visit and a snuggle.

“The timing ended up working out nicely. Their daughter was home with family members, and they decided to bring her to the hospital for a visit,” Maegan told People Magazine.

Everyone involved  took the birth room breastfeed in their stride and it was only later, when people started responding emotionally to the photo, that Maegan realised she’d captured something special.

“Kate expected she might want to nurse, and she was fine with that. The fact that their little girl was nursing is such a normal part of everyday life that I don’t think anyone thought much of it.”

Oxytocin for the win

The breastfeed not only helped to comfort Kate’s toddler, it apparently hurried her labor along significantly too.

“Nipple stimulation is often recommended as a way to naturally help labor progress, because it increases oxytocin,” Maegan said.

“Soon after breastfeeding, Kate’s contractions became more intense and frequent, and baby sister was born two hours later.”

Then it was time for another super special breastfeed – this time the newborn’s first!

View this post on Instagram

Feeding with love

A post shared by Maegan Dougherty (@maegandougherty) on


Thanks to Maegan and Kate for sharing these beautiful shots with the world.

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