Calling all mothers! If you have not heard of the Divine Mothering Project, pay close attention.
Created by photographer and mother, Liliana Taboas, the Divine Mothering Project is a platform which promotes women's 'respect, health [and] self esteem'; a 'feminist organisation' which aims to 'humanise women's bodies, normalise all shapes and forms, and celebrate the changes women's bodies go through over time, through pregnancy and breastfeeding'.
How is Taboas attempting to do this? Through photography.
Taboas has photographed a number of mothers – raw, semi-naked, natural – with their babies and children, and posted the pictures to her site, alongside an account of their pregnancy experiences. So far, the blog tells the powerful stories of 18 women; mothers who have been through all-manner of birthing traumas – from miscarriages to infertility, IVF to hysterectomies.
In pink, soft palettes the site has a nurturing feel, and a naturalness that is both warm and compelling. One wonders where it all started for Taboas?
'Becoming a mother has been a complicated journey,' she told The Huffington Post earlier this month. She explained that following a miscarriage – the tragic result of her first pregnancy – she developed huge anxiety about giving birth. 'It took a long time, two healthy pregnancies, and experiencing that immense love for your children, to help me move past that fear,' she revealed. 'I grew to understand that my body was a place of life and death, light and dark.'
It was through this experience that Taboas realised she wanted to help other women overcome similar fears. She decided to use her photography to capture natural images of mothers in an attempt to reconcile them to their post-birth bodies, to enable them to 'heal' and to allow them to 'see themselves in a different light'.
'I try to capture the beauty that is purely motherly love,' she said of the photographs, 'as well as pride, fearlessness [and] confidence,' she added.
The ultimate aim is for mothers struggling with their body image to look at the site and realise they are not alone. Taboas wants them to feel supported in reading about other pregnancies, and empowered by the knowledge of a shared experience.
'I hope they see how beautiful they are, as they are,' she tells The Huffington Post. 'I hope they see how incredible their bodies are and what they have accomplished.'
We hope so too, because we certainly see it.
A section of images from Divine Mothering...