Fourth Trimester Bodies Project: Photos Show Real Post-Baby Bodies, Challenge Expectations

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Photographer Ashlee Wells Jackson's "4th Trimester Bodies Project" is a photo series that embraces the changes brought to women’s bodies by motherhood.

The images are revealing in more ways than one.

Jackson hopes to shed light on cultural interpretations of female beauty and change women's expectations for themselves and those around them.

"This has been something that has felt a necessity in my mind for years now," she told The Huffington Post of the impetus behind the photo series.

"After coming out the other side of a very traumatic pregnancy and birth experience myself, I felt like it was finally time to make this project a reality."

Jackson explained further the personal passion that drove her:

"I see beautiful, inspiring, real women on a daily basis who struggle with their body image because they don’t feel they measure up with who the media tells them to be."

"I feel like this is even more poignant in mothers who often feel like their bodies have been ruined when they should instead be respected."

They are, after all, "creating, sustaining and nourishing life."

"So much more needs to be done in our society to embrace body positivity and normalize breastfeeding... So, I started with my story and it has exploded into a beautiful thing."

Jackson, a mother of three, strives to include all types of moms in the project, from adoptive and surrogate moms to grandmothers, with the tagline:

"It doesn't matter how you've come to motherhood or how old your children are. If you've the bravery, we'd love to photograph you."

She said she appreciates the beauty of every woman, including those "who have had normal, healthy, happy pregnancies and birth experiences."

What do you think of her photos, and goals?

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