Pics: Post pregnancy bodies

Are women's bodies still beautiful after giving birth? One photographer is on a mission to redefine the idea of what makes us beautiful.

One day, Jane Beall, a new mother from Tucson Arizona, went into her studio, stripped off her clothes and took a series of photographs with her new baby.

She was sick of feeling self-conscious about her post-baby body and desperate to show women that their bodies are still beautiful after giving birth.

So, she posted the pictures to her photography blog, intent on sharing a side of motherhood that women are often too embarrassed to talk about.

Her experiment worked and before she knew it, Jane was overwhelmed with emails from woman applauding her bravery and asking if they too, could have pictures taken of their post-pregnancy bodies.

Women with scars, stretch marks, and loose skin were inspired by Jane’s message and found the confidence to pose for pictures without airbrushing their lumps and bumps.

"I want people not to have to react as 'You're gross,' but instead 'Oh, that's a woman who is incredibly human, or that's a woman who has scars and lines with stories to tell,'" says Jane.

"My goal is to help these mothers feel worthy of being called beautiful."

Jane has photographed more than 70 mothers who will appear in her forthcoming book, A Beautiful Body, and adds that she is still looking for volunteers and would be ‘overjoyed’ if any superstars would be interested in posing.

But in an industry that relies on perfection to make money, Jane may have a long wait ahead of her!

Even if Hollywood is a bit slow to realise the worth of Jane’s project, many women are embracing it with open arms.

Christina Berry, one of the women who posed for photographs, says she has always struggled to embrace her body, but the shoot left her filled with a new confidence.

Christina's husband, Chris, says men tend to have only the most superficial conversations among themselves about the way their partners' bodies have, or might, change after pregnancy - and are largely unprepared for the reality.

"Seeing the pictures and then also seeing other women's pictures, it led me to think, 'Man, I'm kind of an ass for not recognising what the real, important things are when it comes to her physical appearance.'

"It's what she's done, and why she has those scars. I don't have to bear any of that - and she does.”

"I think these women are powerful. I think my wife is incredible, and I think that was something that I needed to see and needed to understand. And I hope the pictures continue to do that for other men."

How did you feel about your body after giving birth - and do you still regard it as beautiful?

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Have a look at some of Jane’s photos here:

















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