The woman is Kahlo's mother, although we cannot see her face in the paining, as it is somewhat bizarrely covered by a white bed sheet.
It was Kahlo's husband who encouraged her to paint the events of her life that were of the most importance to her, and so this was one of her creations.
The painting is indeed graphic and shows the birth of a baby. What is noted is that the baby's head is rather large, and looks to be much older than that of a newborn.
What makes this image also more realistic is the bloodied bedsheets surrounding the mother, hinting at perhaps a traumatic birth.
This idea is further heightened with the fact that the mother is not observing the birth, as she is covered with a sheet, and that she is almost distancing herself from the event because it is too traumatic.
My Birth, was also created not long after Kahlo suffered a miscarriage, and many believe that the painting represents her feelings and emotions about the loss of her own child.
The painting was also created not long after the death of Kahlo's mother, so perhaps the covered face of the mother giving birth, is also a sign of respect for her recently deceased mother.
This sense of mourning is also portrayed with the painting that is hanging over the birthing bed, that of the Virgin of Sorrows, who observes the scene unfolding before her eyes, but she is powerless to do anything about it. She cannot help nor offer any words of encouragement.
My Birth has very much divided the art community, with many art lovers choosing not to like the painting. The singer Madonna, however, adores the painting and uses it as a way to find out if the people in her life can truly be her friends. If they love the painting as much as she does, then they will be her friend for life.