[Editor’s note: These are photographs of birth and nipples and blood are part of that process.]

The first week of 2021 has not been an easy one. It’s hard to look at some of the images that came out of the nation’s capital this week and feel hope for the future. Those pictures of destruction and chaos are important to look at—but it’s also important for us to see images that give us hope and remind us that every day in the United States, mothers are ushering in a new generation and creating a new future.

This generation of mothers is dedicated to instilling kindness and empathy in the next generation. That is a beautiful thing, and we’re in awe of these photos captured by Pittsburgh Born Photography that show the strength of mothers at a time when it is easy to feel weak.

America’s mothers are strong enough to change the world. These pictures prove it.

These pictures show the beauty of birth stories, but they don’t show the aftermath. Giving birth in the United States can put a mom into bankruptcy, and too many mothers are forced to go back to work while they’re still bleeding from birth. That can’t continue. But with hope we can change that for the next generation.