12 Badass Maternity Photos That Prove Pregnant Women Are Anything But Weak

There are some things our culture thinks you just shouldn't do if you’re a pregnant woman. Whether it's eating sushi, lifting weights, or sporting a mohawk, we tend to still have pretty conservative ideas about what a woman who's expecting can look like. Well, these women and their maternity photos are here to tell society to shove it.

We’re used to seeing maternity photos that are overtly feminine in the most antiquated sense of the word. Pastel colors, hazy edges, long golden ringlets, and soft, flowing dresses tend to predominate. Almost too intimate, they capture couples holding hands, exchanging kisses, and swooning over bellies, complete with props and dress-up in a world of pretend.

There’s nothing wrong with a homely maternity shoot, but if you like things a little edgier, then don't despair. Interspersed between the mainstream is the unconventional: women kicking pregnant booty — because pregnancy doesn't mean our personalities wither away. Our passions and interests continue to thrive, not just during the nine months of pregnancy, but during all the years after. So, why shouldn't maternity photos strive to capture that personal essence?

Check out these 12 badass moms-to-be whose striking maternity photography is more about them than it is about their bellies. These photos say unabashedly, “This is who I am,” in the most genuine of ways.

by Jenn Schleich

Lifting For Two

This woman won’t ever feel tired carrying a baby around in her arms.

Image Credit: Shannon Searcy/

We Can Craft

Rosie the Riveter’s famous “We can do it!” pose takes on new context in this photo. Mothers can still be symbols of feminism and economic power, or so says Rosie.

Image Credit: Viva La Vida Photography

She Kicks Ass, Literally

Check out Kung Fu champion Leda Elliott practicing at full term — the day before her due date. Now that’s commitment to your art.

Image Credit: B.Y. Elliot/ Wushu-leda

On Pointe

Most of us couldn’t lift our legs this high at the best of times, but Mary Helen Bowers twirls gracefully through her dance well into her third trimester.

Image Credit: Mary Helen Bowers/ B allet Beautiful

CrossFit Mama

They say CrossFit isn’t for the weak of heart —well, pregnancy isn’t for the weak of heart either. Morning sickness, varicose veins … shall I go on?

Image Credit: Heather Bergeron/

High-Flying Wonder

An acrobatic duo from Liberi di has left the lowly world of simple maternity photography behind as they fly through the air on their trapeze.

Image Credit: Nicola Scarmagnani/

Snakes & Tats

Snakes and tattoos? You don’t get much more badass than this.

Image Credit: Gregory Katsoulis/ Momphoto

Living On The Edge

Ballsy and breathtaking, there’s nothing quite like perching one’s self on a soaring cliff for a stunningly scenic maternity shot.

Image Credit: Zuan Carreño/

Jumping Rope

Skipping is said to be one of the best cardio exercises, but I’m getting tired just looking at this woman workout. Ten minutes of skipping is the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile. Imagine how much harder it would be pregnant.

Image Credit: BeatyPhotography

Punk Parents-to-Be

Who said you can’t be punk and be a parent? No one worth listening to.

Image Credit: Gothic Angel Clothing

Not Cold

If you can capture your inner child and hold onto that throughout your life, then you’ve done something few people succeed at. But seriously — Brrr!

Image Credit: Heather MacEachern/HRMPhotography

Yoga Mama

Note how she somehow maintains her pose while standing on a sloped rock.

Image Credit: Tara Marolda Photography