Becoming a mother means being able to adapt to change. From relationships with family to one's own body, the journey from pregnancy to birth to new motherhood is one of emotional and physical adjustment. Recognizing there is beauty in each phase, photographer Ashlee Wells Jackson created the 4th Trimester Bodies Project to embrace the grace of a the postpartum bodies of women.
The 4th Trimester Bodies Project seeks to represent women’s bodies as they exist in all of their imperfect glory. Wells holds each stretch mark and scar as a badge of honor that exemplifies the courage and strength it takes to be a mother. Instead of representing the female figure as an object to be Photoshopped or used as a tool for advertisement, the photographs beautifully depict the reality of what it means to nurture life.
Each photograph features a story of how the figures came to motherhood and details of their pregnancy and birthing experience. From struggling with body dysmorphic disorder, alcoholism, or caring for a handicapped child, each tale gives an insight into the image. Wells is currently shooting in Chicago, and has plans to visit Philadelphia, Portland, Los Angeles, and Kansas City. Those who are willing to be photographed with their family can contact her through her official website.
Images © Ashlee Wells Jackson