I came across this project through Upworthy, and the images moved me so much that I just had to share.
This project is the brainchild of Chicago-based photographer, Ashlee Wells Jackson. Being a mother of three, she knows how pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, can affect our bodies. These changes are inherent, and often unavoidable...and yet we're taught to be ashamed of them. How many times have you witnessed mothers being congratulated and applauded when they "get back into shape in record time" or admonished for "letting themselves go"?
I'm a big fan of the term "4th trimester" - it is a term used quite often in breastfeeding and babywearing advocacy - but often it is used in the context of the baby's needs to replicate their experiences in the womb. I forget sometimes that the 4th trimester is a dyad (or triad). Moms experience the 4th trimester along with their babies. Part of a healthy body image is knowing that the scars and stripes and bits of flesh are a normal part of that fourth trimester.
There are so many more beautiful photos on the 4th Trimester Bodies Project Website - I wish I could share them all on here, but I'd really just like to direct your attention to the work they're doing there. So please check out the website and FB page!
I wish I could join in, but I'm all the way in Malaysia, so this is the very least I can do to support such a fantastic and much-needed project.