Swelling Beauty: Anne Geddes' Lens on Pregnancy

An image from Anne Geddes' latest project

We've known and loved her singular work for decades: the sleeping newborn resting inside a rose, the triplet babies dressed as bunnies in a basket, the tiny baby face and hand peeking out of a crack in an egg shell.

Anne Geddes' photographs of babies have been published in 83 countries. Her books have sold more than 18 million copies worldwide. Now Geddes has launched a television series and quarterly digital magazine focusing not on the babies themselves but on their mothers, highlighting the beauty of pregnancy.

"I believe that every pregnancy is an absolute miracle," said Geddes, who after focusing her lens on the wee ones for the past 30 years, decided to tell the stories of women's journeys into motherhood.

Geddes' series, "My Pregnancy: A Woman's Story" - which has been published both as a television series in Australia and a digital magazine - is an intimate look at the extraordinary experience of pregnancy as told through the stories of ordinary women - in interviews, personal photos and behind the scenes footage of Geddes' photo shoots with the women during their final month of pregnancy. In addition to the compelling personal stories of each woman, the footage offers a bird's eye view of the Geddes at work and a glimpse inside the world of the photographer who has changed the way many people view portraiture.

In one episode of the television series, the main character Candice tells the story of her infertility and her shocking surprise pregnancy, not long after she began dating the man she describes as the love of her life. In another episode, a woman shares her experience of learning she was pregnant and then finding out only four days later that she had cancer. Every issue of the digital magazine tells the stories of nine women.

Geddes has long extended her interest in children towards working to ensure their well being; in 1992, along with her husband Kel, she founded The Geddes Philanthropic Trust to raise funds and awareness for the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Earlier this month, Geddes made a commitment to the United Nations' Every Woman Every Child effort to raise awareness about the need to improve the health of women and children in the developing world.

"With her commitment to support the Every Woman Every Child effort, photographer Ann Geddes brings her wonderful artistic talent to the cause of women's and children's health," said United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. "She is now among the diverse partners from business, philanthropy and the arts who are playing increasingly important roles in raising awareness, saving lives and advancing UN objectives throughout the world.

"Every 90 seconds around the world, a woman dies either in pregnancy or in childbirth," said Geddes. "And in more than 80 percent of these cases, the causes are preventable."

Every Woman Every Child's goal is to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015.

As a part of her commitment to the Every Woman Every Child effort, Geddes also partnered with the Million Moms Challenge in its Imagine Me & You Contest, to raise awareness around the issues that are preventing women and children in the developing world from surviving and thriving.

"To illustrate the importance of love and family in the earliest stages of life is a message that I stand behind and feel privileged to experience every day," said Geddes. "That is why I am proud to be a part of the Million Moms Challenge Imagine Me & You contest."

The contest, which was sponsored by ABC News and the UN Foundation, and presented by Disney Baby and Anne Geddes, invited pregnant American women to send in a snapshot of their baby bumps adorned with a message about their hopes and dreams for their new baby. The grand prize winner, who will be selected by Anne Geddes herself in January, wins an all-expense-paid trip to Australia for a photo shoot with her newborn by Geddes - just in time for Mother's Day.

"My Pregnancy: A Woman's Story," the television series, is now available everywhere through iTunes, and is coming soon to Amazon and Hulu. The magazine can be purchased through Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Click here for a free download of Episode 3 of "My Pregnancy: A Woman's Story."

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