When Kate Middleton gave birth to a prince this summer, the world was abuzz with talk about her post-baby belly bump. The fact that she didn't hide it, but actually flaunted it suddenly made it OK for women to talk about and show off their own post-baby bodies — belly bumps, stretch marks, cellulite, scars and all.

In her new project, the 4th Trimester Bodies Project, photographer Ashlee Wells Jackson is focusing on this very topic. The photo series takes a closer look at moms immediately after giving birth in photos that celebrate a new mother's body. Jackson describes the project on her website:  

This project is dedicated to embracing the beauty inherent in the changes brought to our bodies by motherhood, childbirth and breastfeeding.

Our only guideline is that you are a MOTHER and are willing to {tastefully} bare it all in the name of honest beauty. This on-going series will culminate in a community website, gallery show and printed publication.

She goes on to list the dates and locations where she will be shooting photos over the next few months.  

The 4th Trimester Bodies Project aims to include all moms — from adoptive and surrogate moms to grandmothers. From her website: "It doesn't matter how you've come to motherhood or how old your children are. If you've the bravery, we'd love to photograph you."

Jackson herself is a mom of three: a 7-year-old son, Xavier, and twin daughters Nova, 10 months old, and Aurora, who was lost due to complications of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, and she says that it was her traumatic pregnancy and birth experience and her confusing relationship with her own body that prompted her to start this project.  

Jackson's project is similar to the A Beautiful Body Project by photographer Jade Bealls that I wrote about in August. And though neither woman knew about the other's project before starting her own, it's wonderful to see that the issue of the post-partum body is finally being brought to light and celebrated as it should be.  

What do you think of the 4th Trimester Bodies Project? If you are a mother, would you want to be photographed and included in this effort?

Check out Jackson as she explains her project in the video below:

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