Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

The Honest Body Project: new mums bare all in striking portraits


Florida based photographer Natalie McCain has shared a series of portraits called After the Baby is Born, featuring women three to six weeks after giving birth.

The photos are part of The Honest Body Project aimed at encouraging women to love their bodies and boost self-confidence.

"Society puts so much pressure on women to 'bounce back' after giving birth and I want to help break that cycle," says McCain on her website. "These women are baring their hearts and souls to help show the variations of bodies after giving birth."

mom and baby

In an effort to pass on healthy body image onto the next generation, each woman photographed in the series anonymously shares her story and feelings about her body following pregnancy to embrace how they have changes since giving birth. 

mom and baby 4

One woman says, "I called my husband in to show him. 'Look at these stretch marks,' I said. 'Cool!' he said.

"And he genuinely meant it as he ran his finger across them. 'I used to have amazing, tight abs... do you remember?' I asked him, realizing that they would never look like I remembered.

"Without hesitation, he replied 'Yes, but we didn’t have two amazing sons back then.'"

mom and baby 2

Another woman who appeared in the series explains how she doesn’t feel the need to ‘bounce back’ anymore.

"There’s something really beautiful about the way my newborn’s tiny body molds into my soft, squishy postpartum belly," she says. "While rock hard abs might be something I aspire to someday in the future, I’m really glad that isn’t my reality right now. The body I have is perfect for snuggling my baby."

mom and baby 3

The project includes all body types, with one woman saying that being a "plus-sized pregnant woman was very challenging in every aspect".

"I don’t want to be skinny. I just want to be healthy for me, my family, and my son, but it is hard," she says.

"It’s hard to feel beautiful with all of the tiger stripes across my body and all the extra weight I’ve gained."

mom and baby 5

And one woman, who is a professional model, admits that she has "the kind of body that other mums hate" because she hasn't had any issues getting her figure back. But she adds that her career depends on her getting back in shape.

"I just worked a bikini event last week at four weeks postpartum," she says. "I’m still 10-15 lbs over my usual weight, so I definitely felt a little more self-conscious than usual. But to cope with that I’ve been hitting the gym the last two weeks to get myself back faster than with just breastfeeding.

"Most people can’t believe how fast I’m back in shape again with baby number two, but it’s what I do for a living, so I’m pretty sure my body just knows I can’t afford not to be! I won’t get hired for any modeling work if I’m out of shape- I mean that’s just the harsh reality of how it is."

Check out the video below to see more about the project



Photographer captures powerful images of girlfriend’s labour

maternity pregnant.jpg

Maternity leave: we uncover the shocking truth


Kate Winslet is tired of being asked about divorce and baby weight


New photos of Renee Zellweger filming Bridget Jones in London


Nicole Scherzinger's perfect response to questions on being child-free

Empathy Cards.JPG

Miscarriage empathy cards tackle the difficult topic of pregnancy loss


10 women chosen to trial Britain’s first womb transplant


Kim Cattrall hits out at offensive term for women


Chrissy Teigen and Tyra Banks hit back at the intrusive baby question



This badass Bake Off star has shaved off all her hair

And she looks phenomenal

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Oct 2016

This incredible ‘hangover bar’ is what mornings after were made for

Massages, smoothies and trash TV.

by Moya Crockett
27 Oct 2016

Revealed: the most profitable second languages that we need to learn

Time to go back to school...

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Oct 2016

The two little words you should never use when asking for a raise

Don’t blow it.

by Moya Crockett
27 Oct 2016

The one word you should never say to your partner

It can ruin your relationship, experts have revealed

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Oct 2016

Five orgasm myths busted and how to have better sex

Finding the fireworks

by The Stylist web team
26 Oct 2016

Ryanair are having a £2 seat sale to over 170 holiday destinations

But there’s a catch…

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Oct 2016

Quiz: Bake Off fans, which iconic GBBO star are you?

Are you a Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins, or Paul Hollywood? Time to find out…

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Oct 2016

Police have shocking reaction to woman being groped on a plane

Police have shocking reaction to woman being groped on a plane

by Sarah Biddlecombe
26 Oct 2016

Drop everything: chocolate butter is finally here

The stuff breakfast dreams are made of

by Sarah Biddlecombe
26 Oct 2016