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Teen pregnancy is often talked about in the negative — and as an accident. But Rome-based photographer Stephanie Gengotti knows several young mothers who, despite financial and social challenges, intentionally started their families early.

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Health • Italy • Pregnancy and Childbirth • Stephanie Gengotti • World

“This series sprung out of a natural lure towards the beauty of laboring women,” said photographer Jenna Shouldice. While she recognizes it’s not traditional for photographers to be involved with their subjects, she says childbirth is one situation where crossing that boundary is warranted.