09/05/2014 03:10 pm ET Updated Sep 05, 2014

What Giving Birth Looks Like Around The World

SEYLLOU via Getty Images

Alice Proujansky said she felt prepared before giving birth to her son in 2012. By then, she had already photographed nearly 15 births in the United States and around the world and said she felt ready for the transformative experience.

As a young child, Proujansky had witnessed the births of both her sister and brother, but was more fascinated by the wallpaper in the room, choosing to photograph that instead. She took her first photograph of a live birth in 2006 while visiting a hospital in the Dominican Republic where she had previously volunteered during a semester abroad. It turned out to be a powerful experience for her, one that would ultimately shape her experience as a photographer and begin an ongoing series about birth titled “Birth Culture.”