For some women, body image is a huge concern, especially during pregnancy. Some women welcome their pregnant bodies, while others are in complete shock over the myriad of changes that are taking place.
Naturally, your body is going to be different than it was before you were pregnant. Hormone fluctuations will cause your uterus to expand, your breasts to grow, your feet to enlarge, your skin to break out and your emotions to go on an insane roller coaster ride. You may also suffer increased fatigue and experience absurd food cravings. For instance the intense need for deep fried pineapple at three in the morning which will leave your significant other completely baffled.
Changing the perception of your body image while you are pregnant is a pretty tough thing to do, especially if it was already distorted to begin with. Therefore, it is advisable for you to develop a loving relationship with your body before pregnancy as this can help you get through the physical and emotional changes during this life changing adventure.
When ‘me’ becomes ‘we’
The first thing about pregnancy you must realise is that, it is no longer all about you. It is now about you and the child growing in your womb. Your body is changing in order to help your baby grow and develop.
It is a beautiful and natural process, though many mums-to-be fail to realize this as they are more preoccupied with the unfamiliarity that comes with being pregnant. Therefore, it is extremely crucial for you to express your feelings, no matter how silly or bizarre it may seem to you.
Talk with your significant other, your family, your friends, random mums on pregnancy forums or even your pet guinea pig on how you are feeling. Being pregnant is tough enough without having to keep your feelings all bottled up inside.
Being pregnant should not deter you from being active. A light swim or walk can help you clear your mind and also empower you. Nothing feels better than the sense of accomplishment after a good workout.
If you feel like you’re not up for cardio, then why not take up pre-natal yoga? Yoga focuses not on how your body looks, but on the link between your body and your mind.
In order to accept something, you must first understand it so educate yourself about all that is worth knowing about pregnancies and you will definitely feel more in control.
Me becomes we..
Those pesky extra kilos
Here’s another thing about pregnancy to keep in mind. Most psychologists find that pregnant women tend to fall into two groups; those that love their pregnant bodies and those who simply can’t stand them. Many women come to appreciate the curves that pregnancy offers them…after some time that is.
Voluptuous breasts and a feminine stomach help some women to feel ultra-feminine, strong, and even sexual. Who says you can’t be sexual while pregnant? Other women, though, simply hate the added weight, stretch marks, and the big stomach that pregnancy often entails.
RELATED: Doctor’s views on sex during pregnancy
Pregnant mum, Etta wrote on the momFormation blog “I am 38 weeks pregnant and started my pregnancy off overweight.”
“The first 20 weeks the hardest part was knowing I was going to get bigger and trying to be okay with it. It probably wasn’t until my third trimester that people started to ask me if I was expecting. Now I’m at a point where I don’t want to hear how cute I look. I’m a grown adult; please just tell me I look nice.”
Another mum, Lisa who gained 29 kilos during her pregnancy said “There were six other women at my work pregnant when I was…one of them only gained 12 pounds.”
“It is a lesson in how different all women’s bodies are, and while children are wonderful the process of bringing them into the world is brutal.”
RELATED: How much pregnancy weight should you gain?
Indeed, no one ever said pregnancy is a walk in the park. However you feel about your body, it is important to recognise that pregnancy affects every woman differently and remember that what you get at the end of the day is a child that signifies the love you have with your significant other.
And that is worth every extra kilo and stretch mark.
Pregnancy and body image
Body image and pregnancy
For more related articles on pregnancy, see:
Eating right during your pregnancy
Is it Safe For Me to Exercise During Pregnancy?
10 ways to enjoy sex during pregnancy