For the last five years, British photographer Jenny Lewis has captured portraits of mothers and their newborn babies within 24-hours of delivery. In her new book, One Day Young, she features 40 of these women with their babies and explains that the images capture “the extraordinary bonding, warmth, and strength between mother and infant.”
Lewis told the Huffington Post about what inspired her to take the portraits. She said, “Having had two children, I felt the transition into motherhood was a moment that was somewhat invisible from our culture and art. I knew if I had of seen images like this before I had my children I would have felt reassured and supported.”
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
She also shared with Buzz Feed how her own experiences as a mother influenced the project. She said, “When I became a mom, I felt a real responsibility to go up to pregnant women and say you’re going to be OK. I experienced two good and uncomplicated births and felt calm and empowered… …I knew that I couldn’t be the only one who felt this way.”
Lewis continued, “Each story and image belongs to each individual woman. However, I noticed through this process that this warrior comes out in all of the women. They gain this inner strength to protect the child and you can see it in the photos. They’re like those heroic pictures of soldiers on the battlefield or the footballer after the match, still full of the adrenaline of achievement. This moment isn’t often captured in women, but what they’ve just achieved is just as important as that goal or that battle, and that moment deserves to be recorded and celebrated in the public arena.”
She concluded, “I felt as if I had to share this message — and the most natural way for me to do this as a photographer was to make a series of images. So I sought to capture that moment after childbirth and show that women are still themselves after delivery. I felt a picture would be more powerful than reassuring words, as you can’t disbelieve something you can physically see.”
Lewis found the women for her project through community midwives, postcards, posters, leaflets, and on social media.
Scroll down to see Lewis’ empowering photos.