Chances are, your Instagram feed often features pregnancy announcements and gorgeous baby bumps. But while pregnant bodies are (rightly) celebrated, photos of real women after giving birth aren’t as common on social media. Three organizations are working to change that with an inspiring new project that celebrates postpartum bodies.
Women’s intimates brand Knix, doula agency Carriage House Birth and the Empowered Birth Project have teamed up to launch the Life After Birth Project, which aims to shed light on what postpartum life is really like for new moms in the form of a traveling art installation.
Knix, which recently launched a maternity capsule collection, helped kick-start the initiative after a survey performed by the brand revealed that 90 percent of postpartum women said they received comments about their bodies after giving birth, while 76 percent reported feeling pressure to “bounce back.”
Since the project’s birth (pun intended), 250 women — including A-listers like Amy Schumer and Christy Turlington — have contributed their postpartum photos to the installation to show what women go through in the days, weeks and months after giving birth to their little ones.
“Do I like my postpartum body? Not particularly, but I am so proud of it,” wrote Lori Yerri in the caption of her postpartum photo. “I have been able to continuously nourish two humans with this stretched, saggy and scarred body of mine, since conception. And for that, I love my postpartum body.”
“This is me pale but still smiling on day one at home as a new mom,” Turlington wrote. “Though I’d lost two liters of blood post delivery, I can’t remember being more tired or more happy to have my baby girl in my arms after 42 weeks of pregnancy.”
“My stomach is covered in loose saggy skin and stretch marks. I call them my hope wounds and they tell a story that brought me my children, 3 absolute miracles,” wrote Desiree Fortin of her postpartum body. “It’s a daily effort to change my perspective and find the beauty that is right before my eyes because it is there.”
The full installation will be on display this week in New York before hitting the road and heading to cities like Toronto, Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas and Denver.
Not able to see the exhibit in person? You can follow Life After Birth’s Instagram page page to check out a selection of the incredible photos anytime.