Once a woman has a baby, everything changes — from the way she sees the world to the way her body looks. That's the way nature works. But society's expectations, as proliferated by the media, are that we get our bodies back to the way they were before.
But why? Why would we ever want to be, as new mother Kerry Washington put it, "pre-miracle?"
We should be proud of our bodies — scars, stretch marks, loose skin, and all — for enduring the nine months it spent forming and carrying a baby and then, eventually, delivering it.
Photographer Liliana Taboas has been documenting women who embody that attitude for her "Divine Mothering" project. By photographing mothers in just their underwear sharing a tender moment with their children, Taboas hopes to capture the "rawness of maternal love" and challenge beauty standards at the same time, she explained to mindbodygreen.
"There is so much ugliness in this world: women's bodies have been hyper sexualized, objectified, and materialized," she said. "I want to combat that."
So, in the photos below, the women are in their purest form — nearly nude and unretouched — to celebrate the effects of pregnancy and breastfeeding, instead of hiding them.
"Women's bodies are symbols of life, love, nurturing, comfort, tenderness," said Taboas. "I want to help restore dignity and respect."