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Postpartum Beauty

Edmonton family photographers – A Mother’s Beauty

Edmonton family photographers Aimee & Jenna Hobbs host annual A Mother’s Beauty sessions.

Here are the eighteen ladies that joined us for our annual A Mother’s Beauty sessions, their take on motherhood, and their postpartum bodies.

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“My journey to this body hasn’t been a huge shock… but there has been sadness knowing that these scars are forever. I try my best to embrace and love them but I feel torn between the general media view of beauty and what I have to offer.”

“Learning to love my body again hasn’t been easy… As of today, my stomach is my favourite part. It wouldn’t be beautiful in the eyes of the majority but it had these beautiful stretch marks that show just how my body adapted to hold the lives it carried.”

” {I am} loving, {a} mother, tired.”

outdoor_breastfeeding_photographs_edmontonyeg_outdoor_motherhood_portrait

“I still want to be healthy and attractive to my partner, but based on my own definitions of healthy, sexy, and definition of love. Not someone else’s, or what I’m told those definitions are in advertisements and magazines.”

“{I’m} learning to finally accept myself, all my many, many freckles, lovely love handles, and that it’s ok not to please everyone.”

pregnant_edmonton_mom_and_toddler_portraitedmonton_maternity_portrait_photographer

“…I am a first-time mom and although I wasn’t size zero, model-gorgeous to begin with, my body has changed, and it is hard to deal with, and I’m hoping to embrace who I am now rather than look back at who I was before. I love being a mother and I hope it shows through in the photos of {my baby} and I.”

“I am proud of being a laid back and understanding mom, knowing that each child is different… I can confidently make decisions about {my baby} because I am his mom.”

mother and infant son portraitmom with stretchmarks holds her baby

“It’s important to me that {my son} understands strong feminine energy and beauty in all of its forms and that he appreciates the gift of life that my body has given to him.”

“I think that in photos other people take of me there is a spirit/essence of myself that I forget to appreciate.”

first time mom breastfeeds her infant

black and white motherhood portrait

“I had a hard time finding something I wanted to wear; my body is so different from what is was even though I have been working hard at it. I still am very critical of my flaws… I love the idea of every woman feeling beautiful.”

“…this is my last baby and I really wanted to celebrate and commemorate the joy and love that my body has given him.”

happy mother and daughter cuddle outsidemom gently embraces her toddler for portrait

“I have found myself quite critical of flaws in myself and others in the past. Being pregnant with my second daughter, I want to make sure that my daughters grow up with a more positive view of themselves and others.”

“I was able to take my daughter swimming tonight and I wore a bikini for the first time since I had her 2 years ago.”

pregnant mom stands in golden lightauthentic motherhood body black and white

 “Stretch-marks. Bigger hips and breasts. Sagging skin. Extra weight. And when I mentioned these things to those around me, the answer was usually ‘They can fix that now, you know.’ Because of my babies, I was defected and imperfect, and kept my body hidden.”

“One of our society’s biggest and most dangerous flaws is perfection as portrayed by the media. We are inundated by visions of what a body should look like and how your child should be raised. The result is competition, judgment, and loss of our most important gift: instinct. These things divide us and leave mothers feeling alone and uncared for. We have lost our sisterhood and feel the need to be fixed.”

Our diversity makes us stronger, our tiger-stripes an unstoppable force.”

a real mom's postpartum belly

beautiful outdoor motherhood portrait near Edmonton

“I’m proud that I’ve raised 3 caring sons who cook and play music, and who are on their paths to becoming the best people they can be, and that I’ve provided innovative care for my twins so that they are well on their way to recovering from autism.”

“I wanted to do this as a visual memento to recognize and honour all I had done and accomplished with my boys who have left both my body and my life transformed.”

woman poses for self love photoshootedmonton mother of three poses for postpartum beauty series

“I’ve been truly trying to accept myself as is and learn to love myself no matter what in order to teach my daughter to love herself…flaws and all… {my daughter} was the one who made me realize how truly superficial my definition of beauty was… she developed a hemangioma on her arm. I’d often be quite embarrassed by it and try to cover it up. When we talked to her about getting it removed she became upset and said, “no, it’s mine”. When people and children look at it {she} doesn’t let their curiosity bother her. It’s this passion and spirit that I never want to be taken from her.”

“‘Fat rolls’ are beautiful because they help nourish a growing child, stretch marks give an example of how mothers change and adapt to their child’s needs, full breasts have the ability to provide all nutritional needs of a baby and small breasts are the reminders of the many beautiful hours we as mothers got to hold our children, feed them, and form unbreakable bonds.”

“A woman’s body is a true piece of art…”

mother learns about self love from daughter with haemangioma
spruce grove mom wears her daughter in woven wrap

“As someone who used to be a fashion model, it was always hard for me to see my beauty within, and I was so hard on myself if I got a pimple or gained a pound.  Even though I was modeling, I never truly felt good about myself.  As soon as I had my daughter is when I really started to feel beautiful and empowered.  No, I don’t have my ‘model body’ anymore, but I have my mom body.  For that, I am so proud and I’ve never felt more beautiful, real, or alive as I do now.  Every time I look down and see the dark line that still appears on my tummy or my love handles that stick out over my jeans, it reminds me that I carried my beautiful daughter inside me for 9 months and brought her safely into this world.  Seeing my body now makes me proud and feel strong no matter what ‘flaws’ it may have.”

young mom breastfeeds her three month old daughter

mother and daughter celebrate postpartum beauty in nature

“…I have learned to love my body even after all the changes it has gone through with carrying an eight pound twelve-ounce handsome little boy and having a C-section.”

“I wanted to show my son, even though he is only two years old, that all women are beautiful in all shapes and sizes…”

black and white portrait of mom and son having a giggle

toddler son sits in his mother's lap“We all have preconceived notions of how it will be once we have a baby, from idealistic feeding schedules to parenting styles.  But what we often overlook is how our bodies will look after we carry and birth our babes.  I wanted to be part of this project to help empower women by showcasing the great variances in body shape and sizes, ages and races, without photoshopping and distortion…a woman’s body is meant to be soft and shapely…” 

edmonton mother poses for mother's beauty photo sessionwoman laughs during photoshoot celebrating motherhood

“Why is it so easy and desirable, I wondered, to celebrate a body in full bloom – from pudgy cheeks, down to basketball belly, and down again to swollen feet – and so the opposite after the bloom has been plucked?  We shroud.  We race and fight for that pre-baby body.  We compare.  We celebrate only when all signs of ever having been pregnant are gone!  I thought to myself, that’s an insult to the process.  In fact, it’s an insult to the baby.  It’s an insult to me.  It’s an insult to life itself.  And besides, some of these marks are never, ever going to leave.”

mom wraps her hands around her cesarean scarmom shows her postpartum body in mother's beauty sessions

Edmonton Family Photographers – SEE MORE A MOTHER’S BEAUTY IMAGES

“{Beauty Revealed Project} made me change my mindset and fitness goals from ‘getting back in shape’ to ‘taking better care of myself and my family’.  It really motivated me to think more about what message I’m sending to my girls as they get older.”

mom and her two daughters sit near lake for portraitcelebrating self love with an Edmonton area mom photographed in her underwear

“I have been working hard on worrying less about the number on the scale and imperfections of my body because I don’t want to set a negative tone for my own girls.  I believe the negative body image cycle needs to stop.” 

“It is so important to celebrate our mom bodies, as this vessel created, and nurtured and continues to comfort our children.  I want to be healthy and full of vitality so that I can keep up with my kids, but I don’t need to be model perfect.”

mom sits in her underwear with her two red-haired daughters as they suck their thumbstoddler stands with her mom as she breastfeeds her baby

“I have spent my entire life fighting to transform my body into something that it will never be, and to be honest, I don’t know that I have ever really had a solid grasp of what that goal was.  My children have taught me to love myself and what I am right now, not what I could be or what I want to be, or worse, what I was.” 

“Both of my pregnancies/births were incredibly hard mentally and physically.  I lost myself and I have worked so hard to try to figure out who I am now – as a mom and as an individual.” 

“For my boys, this was incredibly important to help them understand that a perfect body doesn’t look like the cover of Maxim magazine.  I want them to look past wrinkles and rolls and cellulite to see a person for who they really are.”

black and white mother and son portrait

mom of two shows her sons the scar from each of their cesarean births

 ” I am the only one on the planet who was chosen to live in this body, and if I allow the outside world to decide what is acceptable for me, then I am disconnected from who I am.  I am woman, I am mother, I am whole, scars and all.  I have earned my mom body and I celebrate it.  I found last night was such a gift, to see women comfortable with their mom bodies so profound and wonderful.”

woman embraces herself in nature

mom and her adult daughter come together for postpartum beauty photo session“My daughter gave me a reason to find the woman in me, a reason to feel beautiful.” 

“I always felt that beauty should be natural, not painted up and hiding the truth in who we are.  I want my daughter to grow up knowing and feeling that she is beautiful regardless of what the world told her.  The stretch marks and scars are all a part of what makes us beautiful, they are the maps of my journey through motherhood.  I want to honor them as they should be.  Women are the givers of life, that is real beauty.”  a strong woman poses for portrait

black and white close up of the effects pregnancy often has on a woman's stomach“Women are beautiful. We come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds…and our stories all matter. You are beautiful because you are here. Women are essentially caregivers, and unfortunately in giving and nurturing we rarely get the opportunity to share our own incredible stories; the hurdles we’ve overcome and the histories written on our own skin. We need to empower each other instead of compete; look at our bodies as beautiful and unique. That is real life, my girl.” 

women pose for a group portrait in their underwearmoms of all ages pose together for a mother's beauty group portrait

Thank you to all the brave mothers that took part in this project. This is something we don’t mind donating our time and talent to support because we believe in the project, we believe in real, postpartum beauty. We look at the past event, the photos, this blog post and it is something we are very proud of. For providing this opportunity to mothers and for making this subject of self-acceptance and postpartum beauty a little more well known to the public. We love that we are putting it out there for all to see.

~Jenna and Aimee

Our A Mother’s Beauty work was inspired from our start as Edmonton Family Photographers.  If you would like us to photograph you, please GET IN TOUCH!

You can also see our most recent work by following along on INSTAGRAM.

4 comments
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  • Shelby08/08/2014 - 1:49 PM

    Just amazing. Beautiful, real, amazing.ReplyCancel

  • Erica08/09/2014 - 10:35 PM

    Great job and a great group of women!!!ReplyCancel

  • Belinda01/11/2017 - 7:47 AM

    I just accidentally came across your website and was just amazed by your beautiful photos.

    I am a mother to a 14 month old and live in the UK. Your honest presentation of motherhood and the beauty that is contained within it in body and through children is just heart warming. Thank you for reminding me why it is such an amazing and privileged position I have been granted the grace to experience.ReplyCancel

    • Jenna/Aimee01/11/2017 - 9:24 AM

      Hi Belinda,

      We are so happy you found us and thank you so much for your kind words. This project is incredibly close to our hearts and we love how it touches mamas everywhere.

      xx AimeeReplyCancel

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