Photos

4th Trimester Bodies Project celebrates women's bodies after giving birth

Photographer Ashlee Wells Jackson took photos of more than 800 mothers from around the world as part of the 4th Trimester Bodies Project — a photo documentary with a very personal message.

Ashlee Wells Jackson started photo series after losing her newborn daughter

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      Photographer Ashlee Wells Jackson took photos of more than 800 mothers from around the world as part of the 4th Trimester Bodies Project — a photo documentary with a very personal message.

      Jackson, who is based in Chicago, has always tried to empower women through her photography — using minimal editing to show their bodies in their natural state.

      "I've always been very body positive, until that changed for me," Jackson told CBC Radio's Rick Cluff.

      Jackson was pregnant with identical twin daughters, Nova and Aurora, and lost Aurora to Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, a disease affects about 15 per cent of identical twins.

      "I developed a pretty sick hatred for my body. I felt like I had failed as a women and a mother and had a very difficult time even looking at myself."

      Jackson realized she has to turn her feelings around and began with a self portrait of herself and Nova. She put the photo online with a call for other women to participate.

      "We really encourage women to focus on where they are right now, to celebrate the fact that they have created a human life and in many of the situations have conquered quite a few amazing feats along the way," she said.

      Jackson said she has received positive feedback from both men and women, with a lot of encouragement to continue the project.

      She has plans to release a book later this year.

      To hear the full interview with Ashlee Wells Jackson, listen to the audio labelled: Photographer Ashlee Wells Jackson takes photos of women's post-baby bodies.

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