Co.Create

These Photos Show What Women Really Look Like After Pregnancy

Photographer Ashlee Wells Jackson created the 4th Trimester Bodies Project to celebrate, and provide realistic images of, women's post-baby bodies.

Celebrity moms may be able to squeeze their bodies back into pre-conception shape within months or even weeks of giving birth, but that's not the case for everyone. After a difficult pregnancy, pinup photographer Ashlee Wells Jackson no longer recognized herself in the mirror. But instead of obsessing over the gap between post-baby reality and our warped ideas of what new mothers should look like, she decided to celebrate her new body. She launched the "4th Trimester Bodies Project," a photo series that features nearly naked women in all of their post-pregnancy glory.

Jackson has partnered with MommyCon to take her project on the road. She's offering free photo shoots to moms around the country and will turn the collection of photos into a book. The images are "dedicated to embracing the beauty inherent in the changes brought to ... bodies by motherhood, childbirth, and breastfeeding."

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8 Comments

  • Lisa Leanne Melo

    Sounds like a wonderful project. In my opinion, there are some celebrities and regular ppl who work hard to be fit before, during and after pregnancy. They deserve to look how they do for putting in all the hard work and dedication. Also, everyone deserves to feel good about themselves...whether that's being overweight or fit.

  • agm

    Why restrict the selection of photos to women who are larger? The project's gallery shows a greater variety of body shapes, including thinner women, making this write-up misleading.

  • 2Sacrifice

    There is a difference between gaining 20-30 pounds with pregnancy and ballooning up to 210/250.

  • Shelby

    Rest assured, there is always someone (like you), to say something rude and insensitive while someone else is trying to be positive. How about this. My pre pregnancy weight was 195 and for me, this is healthy. Now at 4 months pregnant I weigh 208. It took us three years of hell to get pregnant and what does everyone say to me? "Don't get fat!"... F you all and your numbers and your standards. I have busted my ass for the privilege of being a Mother and I'll be damned if I deserve to feel like I don't fit into some bracket. Screw your brackets. I lost 100+ pounds, had multiple miscarriages and got (and stayed) pregnant with PCOS. I'm a damn superhero and I'm searching for something beautiful and encouraging in this day. Here I find this, only to find a negative comment in my sensitive state. Away with you! You are one of too many and I'm honestly sick of being expected to listen things that shouldn't be said. Thank you to the writer and photographer for sharing acceptance and happiness. You are artists and your nonconformity shows a little light in this world.

  • Sherrill Trumble Salom

    Shelby, YOU are someone to be admired, not ridiculed. It is unbelievable to me that someone would take the time to come to this page, just to deride & make negative comments to others. It's been 5 months since you posted. I hope & PRAY that you delivered a beautiful bouncing baby, with all ten fingers & toes, a sweet smile, dreamy sleepy eyes, & a healthy howl to awaken you at 2 am for his/her breast-feeding. I sincerely hope you were able to flush the flack from that flimsy female who took it upon herself to post deriding remarks here. Maybe never a mama? And probably doesn't want to be, with that attitude. Selfishness & negativity are two things that don't need to be passed on. So carry on, you beautiful woman! If I had had something like this when I had my children, I wouldn't have had such a bad body image for so long. Good luck and God bless you. That's what counts.

  • Jason Gerard Clauss

    Would you like some cheese with that whine?

    On second thought... maybe skip the cheese.

  • Sherrill Trumble Salom

    You are really someone who is too scared of being a REAL man, babycakes. Your comment shows just how truly insensitive, thoughtless, & selfish you really are. Not name-calling, just stating it like it is. Wow. "On second thought...maybe skip the cheese." I could get REALLY hateful here & say that men like you are perfect poster people for condom ads and birth control clinics. I COULD say it's too bad your mother didn't decide to exercise her right to choose to not have a baby at a particular time in her life & abort you. I COULD say those things, but that would really be kinda hateful. So I won't say those things... right?? Ha. A woman who is 5'7" & up is completely healthy at the weight Shelby mentioned, above. You know NOTHING ABOUT HER other than what she said. And you obviously not NOTHING about loving someone for not only how they look but for who they are on the inside & what they are willing to sacrifice to have a child. Frankly, YOU need to go play somewhere else.