Christa Couture, who has one leg, had a hard time picturing what maternity photos of herself would look like. Searching turned up endless images of women gently cradling their bumps, but none of moms-to-be with a disability.
She found the images usually depicted slim white women too, providing a lack of diversity in shapes, sizes, skin color, and ability.
“We all know the power of representation — how important it is to see ourselves in order to aspire,” Christa wrote in a piece for CBC Parents. “And I wanted to know that it’s possible; that other woman have done this before.”
And so Christa got in front of the camera.
On the day she posed for photographer Jen Squires, Christa was nervous. As a performer she’d been in front of the camera plenty of times — but this shoot was a milestone.
“It wouldn’t be my first time getting practically naked for the camera — that’s no problem,” she wrote. “It wouldn’t be the first time I showcased my prosthetic leg; its floral features have become my favourite accessory. But it would be the first time I’ve ever taken the prosthesis off for photos.”
As the camera clicked away, Christa felt nervous and worried her reaction to the images would be that something is “wrong” with how they looked. But when she peeked at the previews the voice in her head instead said: “That looks incredible. That is what I’ve wanted so badly to see.”
Writing about how she hopes her photo shoot impacts others, Christa concluded with her goal: she hopes when people do a search for “disability and pregnancy” they find her images.
To those who may search for bodies like theirs she says: “your difference is powerful, beautiful. And being a parent? You can do it. Go get all glowy with your pregnant self, whatever body you’re in.”