Photographer Captures Beauty of Postpartum Bodies

Image: Mikaela Shannon

With media saturated with stories raving how so-and-so “got her body back!” and pictures of celebrities “bravely” showing their post-baby figures (often with a tiny bump that looks more like an extra slice of pizza than the aftermath of nine months of pregnancy), we are thrilled that Canadian photographer Mikaela Shannon is capturing new mothers in a series she calls “Love Your Postpartum.”

Image: Mikaela Shannon

“All of my work revolves around loving yourself and feeling beautiful,” Shannon says. “Having a baby is a big step in life that comes with a lot of changes. I want moms to never have to feel like their body isn’t beautiful as it once was. I want moms to embrace the changes their bodies went through to bring their babes into the world.”

She was inspired to shoot this particular series when a few moms she knew mentioned they wanted to celebrate the transformation of their postpartum bodies. So Shannon posted a message in a local mothers’ group seeking out participants — and it quickly gained steam. This led to the formation of a Facebook group, where local moms can book sessions with her.

The result is a series of arresting images in color and black and white, showing mothers, many of them with their babies and other children, looking strong and beautiful in their postpartum skin. Many of the moms have reported to Shannon that they feel empowered by seeing their bodies in a beautiful photograph from someone else’s perspective.

Image: Mikaela Shannon

Although not a mom herself, Shannon is driven by her own heartbreaking story. “I was malnourished,” she told the Huffington Post. “Adopted at age 1 and I only weighed 16 pounds. I stand behind ‘fed is best.’ I truly believe no matter how you feed your child, it doesn’t define you as a mother. Fed is always best and if you are supplying the necessities of life, who is anyone to judge?”

Image: Mikaela Shannon

While the photographer is not a mom yet, she is getting married in September and hopes her work will help prepare her when the time comes. For more of Shannon’s moving work, follow the photographer on Facebook, Instagram and her website.

 

Candy Kirby

Candy is the founder of The Mom Beat and a humor columnist whose work as appeared in Redbook, Nickelodeon's NickMom, Disney's BabyZone, HelloGiggles and eHow. She also used to be a staff writer for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, where she penned many scripts featuring prolonged heated stares and countless “Who’s the Daddy?” story lines. Candy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young kids and three rescue Persian cats, the latter of whom are the real brains behind this operation.