A Mother’s Body | Alishia’s Story

The “A Mother’s Body” project is a photography project aiming to normalize, highlight and celebrate mothers’ bodies of all sizes, shapes and stages of motherhood.

  Welcome to Year 3!

Growing up I’ve always struggled with loving my body. It wasn’t until I had Maisie, my beautiful little girl who I knew would soon be looking up to me, that I started feeling proud of my body. I started feeling proud of what my body had done by creating such an amazing gift and with every stretch mark that appears, I can’t help but smile. She has taught me how to truly love myself and I’m so grateful I will be able to teach her what she has taught me.

Thank you Alishia (and Maisie) for sharing your story!

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A Mother’s Body | Jordan-Leigh’s Story

The “A Mother’s Body” project is a photography project aiming to normalize, highlight and celebrate mothers’ bodies of all sizes, shapes and stages of motherhood.

  Welcome to Year 3!

My body and I have never gotten along. I would dread to be naked , wear shorts or even a swimsuit. When I discovered I was pregnant I was shocked , scared and delighted all at the same time. I loved myself finally! The glow , the new shaped baby bump , the clear skin and voluminous hair. Then the glow was gone. I lost all the weight I had gained while pregnant within a week .

A week turned into a month and month into a year and I’ve gained over 60 pounds. I didn’t know who or what I was anymore. I was embarrassed and disgusted in myself. I felt trapped in my mind and in my life . I thought everyone around me hated me and I was burden. I thought my son would be better off with another mom, because I couldn’t do anything right. I carried a lot of guilt because I had to start him on formula due to latching issues. I felt like a failure for not being able to master breastfeeding. I spent a lot of days in bed just staring at my son. I was diagnosed with post partum depression when my son was 5 weeks old. It was a scary thing to admit that I had. I begin therapy when he was about 4 months but by then I felt like I was better. I had helped myself on my own. But I still suffered with the insecurities in my parenting , relationships and myself. The nursing became easier and I feel like we’re old pros but I still had image issues . Then one day I came across the Mothers Body blog and realized I am a mother.

My body is a mothers body. It’s love , it’s comfort , it’s nourishment and it’s home for my son. The extra pounds and stretch marks mean nothing to my son and they shouldn’t mean anything to me. I’m finally learning to love myself and ask for help when I need it.

Thank you Jordan-Leigh (and Andrew) for sharing your story!

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A Mother’s Body | Stephanie’s Story

The “A Mother’s Body” project is a photography project aiming to normalize, highlight and celebrate mothers’ bodies of all sizes, shapes and stages of motherhood.

     Welcome to Year 3!

I used to spend a lot of time focused on eating clean and keeping active. I did whatever I could to fit into my favorite pair of jeans, but as life got busier and more stressful, I would slip up, gain weight, and feel shame for not being strong enough to resist or determined enough to work it off. Finally, I successfully lost 20 lbs, but within 2 years, put it all back on and then some.

When we found out I was pregnant, on the outside I was excited, but inside I dreaded putting on the weight. I was really afraid of never being able to lose it. I spent 9 months tracking it and making sure I gained just the correct amount. When I would fall outside the recommended limits, again I felt shame but would try to forgive myself. I had to be reminded that I was growing another human being, that this was allowed, and I promised myself that when she was born I would try harder.

Ellie had a rough start in life and needed to spend her first week in the NICU. We were terrified for our daughter’s health. When we were finally able to take her home, life was beyond stressful. We barely even thought about eating. When we did, it was purely out of necessity and usually wasn’t what you’d consider to be healthy. And there definitely wasn’t any time for rest or exercise. Ellie’s needs came first.

I now spend most of my days cuddling, feeding and caring for my beautiful baby girl. Fitting into those jeans is no longer a priority. Ellie is my reason for getting fit and staying healthy. I am so excited to watch her grow up, and want to have the energy to keep up with her. She will have a mother who is strong and confident and not care about a few extra pounds or a couple stretch marks. Ellie is the reason I have them, so I will wear them with pride.

Thank you Stephanie (and Elizabeth) for sharing your story!

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A Mother’s Body | Erin’s Story

The “A Mother’s Body” project is a photography project aiming to normalize, highlight and celebrate mothers’ bodies of all sizes, shapes and stages of motherhood.

     Welcome to Year 3!

I’ve always had an athletic build thanks to exercise and sport, but very concerned about what my body looked like, especially in my early 20’s. It was an unhealthy obsession that took a long time to overcome, but as I got older and more mature I was able to (mostly) let go of those negative self images. My husband Jason really helped me on that journey. When I became pregnant at 29, I was a shape I had never been before – round! Exercising the way I was used to was challenging, and my body didn’t feel like my own. I was worried that I wouldn’t like my post-partum reflection in the mirror.

When Georgia was born, all of my selfish concerns just evaporated. I had an appreciation for my body that I never had before. It grew this tiny, perfect human, and now it was responsible to nourish her and help her continue to grow and thrive. I didn’t mind what I saw in the mirror. I had no desire to exercise for a long time post-partum, and I didn’t feel guilty about it. I didn’t obsess with the number on the scale – hell, I didn’t even step on it because I didn’t care what I weighed for once in my life. I just cared about Georgia. She changed my body image, she changed my life. I am comfortable in my own skin, and want her to grow up knowing that she is beautiful inside and out. A healthy body image for her starts with me.

Thank you Erin (and Georgia) for sharing your story!

Ruth Knox - You and Jason are Blessed to have this beautiful daughter Baby G in your life. You are beautiful inside and out. God Bless all of you on this wonderful Journey.

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A Mother’s Body | Kathrin’s Story

The “A Mother’s Body” project is a photography project aiming to normalize, highlight and celebrate mothers’ bodies of all sizes, shapes and stages of motherhood.

     Welcome to Year 3!

For Zoey and me, it is the second time that we are taking part in Genevieve’s amazing project (you can see the first set of images HERE). My life and my body have changed since then. I am 39 weeks pregnant with my second and Zoey has grown into a wild, busy and beautiful 3 year old girl. My body went through over two years of breastfeeding and gaining some weight with it. Most mothers lose weight during breastfeeding, not me, I gained weight but I am ok with it. And I am proud of my body for all it can do.

When I saw Genevieve’s model call for ‘A Mother’s Body’ about a month ago, I started thinking about sending a message to Genevieve right away. But something was holding me up because I asked myself “Will I have new red stretch marks by then?”. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that I would regret it if I wouldn’t do it. And being ashamed of stretch marks or any other imperfections goes against everything I am trying to teach my daughter and soon my son as well. These faded stretch marks which I got during the pregnancy with Zoey, I kind of like them because they are my lifelong reminder, like a tattoo, of the incredibly beautiful journey I am living.

You can only teach your children a positive and healthy body image if you, as a parent, are comfortable with the body you have and love and respect it. Your children are not born with all the unrealistic standards of ‘perfect bodies’. And I am trying my best to live up to that for the next generation of girls and boys. For them, I wish that it won’t be necessary anymore to talk and learn about what a healthy body image is.

Thank you Kathrin (and Zoey and baby boy) for sharing your story!

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