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Your Pregnancy and Body Image Your Pregnancy and Body Image

Your Pregnancy and Body Image

You truly never understand the impact of pregnancy and body image until you’re immersed in it. Many women will experience body image challenges during one of the most beautiful times in their life. This is what to expect.

BEFORE CONCEPTION

Before conception, we hear from our family and friends all the interesting and sometimes frightening changes that we will bear. I remember before I got pregnant, I thought that I was invincible. I don’t know why, but for some reason I thought I would be one of the odd people that would never have body image challenges during pregnancy. Boy was I wrong! I went up three-cup sizes and yes, I developed that postpartum kangaroo sack and all. I don’t say that to demean our bodies, but that is an honest example of how I felt my body looked.

DURING AND AFTER PREGNANCY

During and after pregnancy, estrogen levels are at its peak as your body is ready to carry, deliver and nurse a baby. For almost 2 years your body will work (or has worked) to help your baby in healthy development.

COMMON BODY CHANGES DURING AND AFTER PREGNANCY INCLUDE:

  • Increased hair loss or growth
  • Change in skin characteristics (elasticity, shade)
  • Weight gain
  • Larger breasts
  • Low hanging breasts
  • Fuller stomach and torso
  • Skin in the midriff is loose and soft
  • Overall body weight gain

Our culture has influenced us to believe that this is gross and disgusting. I can’t lie. There were times during my pregnancy when I felt gross since you tend to perspire in areas you never thought you would, but again this is the process of creating a healthy baby. Nothing good ever comes without a battle. Making a baby is a beautiful thing.

EMBRACING YOUR BABY BODY

Here are some tips if you are having trouble accepting your pre or post baby body.

  • Put your focus on your beautiful baby and not you. See all that cuteness you’ve just created? That wouldn’t have been possible without your hard work, so give yourself a break!
  • Talk to someone about how you feel. I found support groups and mommy meet ups to be very helpful when I was pregnant and after birth. It helps you see that you’re not the only one. Speaking to your spouse, family members, and friends will also help you from having the baby blues.
  • Do some exercises, baby belly boot camps or any prenatal or postnatal exercises. It will boost your energy levels and help you feel good about yourself. I regularly clear the space in front of my living television, pop in a dance video and pump the music. Cheap and convenient!
  • Wear maternity clothing or clothing for your body shape. They will feel a lot more comfortable and fit better. They also will flatter your new figure.

If you have tried these tips and you still feel very low and depressed, it’s time to talk to a doctor and get help. Depression is a common illness before and after pregnancy. This could be the reason for your poor pregnancy body image.

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