• 09.23.13

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.”

About the author

Jennifer Miller is the author of The Year of the Gadfly (Harcourt, 2012) and Inheriting The Holy Land (Ballantine, 2005). She's a regular contributor to Co.Create.