A heartwarming image of a little girl holding the newborn brother she helped deliver has gone viral.
Three-year-old Hunter was asked by her mum, Rebecca, to be present during the homebirth of her new baby.
In adorable anticipation, Hunter began watching videos and studying anatomy to prepare for her big role.
Hunter, from New York, was captured on camera holding her newborn sibling by photographer Nicole Lahey from Ready.Set.Chaos birth photography. She gave New Idea permission to share her incredible images.
‘Often clients ask me my thoughts on having children present at a birth. My answer is usually yes,’ Nicole explained on Facebook.
‘Hunter’s parents prepared her so well for this experience.
‘They discussed anatomy in proper terms. She knew the words ‘placenta’ and she wasn't afraid of the blood she saw.
‘She didn't cower when her mother roared her brother out and she didn't get nervous or concerned about it at all.
‘She asked questions, she played with her babies, she ate snacks, and she kept us all entertained with her adorableness.’
Nicole went on to explain that Hunter even held her brother’s head as he crowned and cheered her mum on as she pushed him out.
‘She rubbed her mother’s hair so gently as they both gazed lovingly at this new tiny life in front of them,’ Nicole added.
‘I said "Hunter, do you want to take your shirt off and hold your brother?" Without hesitation she began to take her shirt off but she did ask me why she was taking her shirt off. I replied "brand new babies love the feeling of your skin and you will love it too."’
Nicole said Hunter loved it so much she didn’t want to give her brother back to their mum.
‘She held him with the biggest smile as he bobbed his head around looking for a breast,’ Nicole explained.
‘She giggled as we told her he wanted to nurse.
‘Birth is the most normal part of life; share it with your children and teach them from the beginning that birth is nothing to fear. Birth is strength.’
To see more from Nicole Lahey visit her website here