I love pregnancy and birth photos (confession: even more than I love baby photos). As a birth doula, I have no problem with female nudity during pregnancy and birth, especially as I understand all the amazing things a woman’s body is doing during pregnancy and birth. It’s truly amazing!
I do, however, have an issue with nude maternity photos being posted online. Before you jump on me and say I’m a prude, or have no respect for women’s rights, think again. I wish those photos were everywhere and people who see pregnancy and birth as painful and something to overcome, could have a chance to see the amazing beauty of a pregnant woman.
The only problem is, as someone who works on the Internet, particularly in the area of social media, I know what happens to many of those pregnancy photos posted online.
There are hundreds, possibly thousands, of pregnancy porn websites. Pregnancy porn is a big industry and unfortunately, many of the owners of these sites are not too picky about where the photos come from. It only takes a quick search on sites such as Twitter or Tumblr to find hundreds of boudoir maternity photos on accounts with thousands of followers. Those more tame maternity shots are interspersed with much more explicit shots, often containing both males and females doing a range of things with pregnant women that I won’t mention here.
Think you’ve only shared it with your Facebook friends? You may want to double check if you signed a model release with your photographer. If you have, it’s quite likely your personal photos will have ended up on your photographer’s public website or social media accounts. Even if the only people to see the photo are your friends, unless you know them very well, there are no guarantees that one of them won’t save the photo to their computer and share it somewhere else later – even if it’s simply because they thought it was a great photo.
So please, post your beautiful photos of your body and your birth. But be aware that anything posted publicly on the Internet can get into the wrong hands. And don’t be surprised if your photos end up in places you’d never expect (or want) them to be.