Mothercare's new campaign, which stars new mums and centres their experiences, is winning praise online. #BodyProudMums celebrates the reality and natural beauty of women's bodies post-birth – a breath of fresh air in a society that holds women to impossible beauty standards, often expecting them to regain their "pre-baby body" within a matter of weeks, regardless of the cost to their health.
The powerful and positive images were awarded a runner-up prize in Transport for London’s "Women We See" competition, commended for seeking to normalise the experience of new mothers throughout the UK and help them feel proud of their bodies – something we see far too little.
The campaign features 10 new mums, each with their own story. The point of the campaign, according to Mothercare, is to enforce that there is no one-size-fits-all model for women and to champion all mothers. "At the heart of the campaign is the belief that all mums are beautiful. After all, their bodies have just performed a miracle."
Some of the unretouched pictures have been shared on social media and there has been an overwhelming positive response.
Instagram user leannep30 wrote: "This is a perfect representation of a post partum body and it is beautiful...it has just done the most amazing thing."
My.littletribe wrote: "Love this campaign 4 weeks pp and so nice to see women who look like me rather than a barrage of images I'll never be able to achieve xx."
Michelle.bevon left this message: "I love this positive message to send to new mums. I’m heavier now than before I was pregnant with stretch marks. That came as a shock to me after my baby was born and there was loads of pressure to be back in my old clothes etc. Media portrayal of bouncing back so quickly is really not helpful as not everyone does."
The woman behind the campaign imagery is photographer Sophie Mayanne, who made a promise back in 2017 never to digitally manipulate skin in her work. Mayanne commented on the campaign shots, saying: "The images depict the raw and incredibly emotional experience of childbirth. The aim is for mums of all shapes and sizes to be able to identify with these photos in one way or another, and to feel more confident with their imperfections."
Click through to see a selection of the campaign shots...