Authentic photo campaign shows the unfiltered reality of postpartum life

Authentic photo campaign shows the unfiltered reality of postpartum life

The reality of life postpartum and the images we see of it could not be further apart.

But a new photo campaign by Australian leakproof apparel brand Modibodi and Getty Images hopes to bridge that gulf by showing what life in the 12-month post-birth period is really like.

Getty photographers from around the world took portraits of mothers in the first year after giving birth to create the ‘Embodied: Postpartum Unfiltered’ gallery.


Credit: MODIBODI / GETTY IMAGES
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Credit: MODIBODI / GETTY IMAGES

The campaign aims to redefine portrayals of postpartum life beyond the ‘baby bliss’ or ‘baby blues’ stereotypes. Instead, the photos show new mums and their babies amid the emotional and physical reality of this period of time.

Modibodi founder and CEO Kristy Chong says that the brand found the range of available images limited when launching a new range of postpartum range of leak-proof bras, camisoles, and briefs, and reusable nappies.

“Most postpartum images were disheartening photos of mums scared or frustrated. At the other end of the spectrum were glossy celeb mum and bub snaps,” she says. “We knew this had to change.”

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Credit: MODIBODI / GETTY IMAGES
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Credit: MODIBODI / GETTY IMAGES

The image gallery contains more than 1,500 photos taken by 27 photographers from around the world. Svetlana Zhukova, director of custom solutions at Getty Images, says the photographers “tapped into their own families and friends to capture the very real perspectives from this vulnerable part of many women’s lives.”

The images can be accessed on gettyimages.com using the keywords ‘postpartum,’ ’embodied,’ and ‘unfiltered’ from Oct. 1 2021.

Businesses, brands, and media organisations are encouraged to licence the images when portraying the postpartum experience.

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Credit: modibodi / getty images

Chong says that postpartum life isn’t portrayed authentically in media and advertising — particularly the highpoints and lowpoints, the tiredness, loneliness, and anxiety.

“I’ve had four different postpartum experiences,” says Chong. “Among the intense feelings of happiness and limitless love was a sense that I had to keep the challenging parts like loneliness, cracked nipples, postpartum bleeding, exhaustion, and bladder leaks a secret.”

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Credit: modibodi / getty images

“While it’s not the experience for all new mums, breastfeeding in public was hard for me. Sentiment was changing towards it being OK to feed in public, however, all my life I had been told to cover up my breasts, that they are private,” adds Chong.

“It was hard for me to switch my brain to feel relaxed and comfortable about getting my boobs out to breastfeed in public. Instead I’d struggle with these wraps to cover myself and my bub would feel the tension and not feed very well.”

As part of the campaign, Modibodi wants parents from around the world to share their own postpartum images on social media using the #PostpartumUnfiltered hashtag.

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Rachel Thompson

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