In Portraits of Pregnancy: The Birth of a Mother, beautiful black and white photographs of pregnant women, some with partners and other children, are complemented by the stories of each woman’s journey to motherhood.
In the personal stories we hear firsthand the diversity of women’s experiences of pregnancy through reflections that range across topics like body image, expectations of pregnancy and motherhood, accepting an initially unplanned and unwanted pregnancy, previous pregnancies and births, coping with relationship breakdown or with single motherhood, the experience of pregnancy after prior miscarriage and infant loss, the role of the father and the effect of the pregnancy on relationships, juggling work and family life with a growing family and busy partner. The mothers featured are from diverse backgrounds, and include a lesbian couple, single and divorced mothers.
In her foreword Penny Simkin (author of The Birth Partner, and the Labor Progress Handbook) captures the value of this book, noting :
The message of this book is inspiration. These women have opened their hearts and shared personal and emotional moments from their journey to becoming mothers in the hopes that their stories will give strength to other women. The book touches us and reminds us of both the needs and the strengths of our most vulnerable citizens – mothers and babies – in a most heartfelt and sensuous manner.