Learning to Love Your Pregnant Body
You have to face it. During the initial phases of pregnancy, when you feel little more than queasiness and excitement that mimics a kid on Christmas, it is easy to fall in love with your body. Even if you have never had that perfect relationship with your curves, suddenly pregnancy makes you acutely aware of exactly how wonderful your body is. Then, fast forward a few months and pregnancy can make you feel handicapped. Your toe nails need polished, certain areas of your body have not been shaved in far too long, and your favorite shoes likely don’t fit. Not to mention the fact that along with your hips spreading…your nose does as well.
Pregnancy hormones can wreak havoc on your body and your moods. And up until the point you feel the baby move inside you for the first time, you are probably in a state of glee. From that point on, things start to become cumbersome and difficult, to put it nicely. However, you should try to spend as much time dwelling on the amazing adventure you are on rather than the fact that you have no clothes that fit. You should also, for perhaps the first time in your female life, realize that there is much more to you than what you look like and what size jeans you wear. And to make you feel better, know that you aren’t the first woman to look at herself in the mirror around the 7-8 month mark and break into tears from seeing itchy stretch marks, a poked out belly button, and swollen arms, ankles, and cheeks. This doesn’t mean you are a bad mother, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you are being selfish. The thing about pregnancy is that it happens so fast; it is hard to emotionally keep up with all the changes as they come.
This brings me to the next point. Pregnancy is fast. It doesn’t feel that way when you are in the middle of it and the third trimester seems to drag on for eons. But the end is near, and you will find that once you deliver there will be times when you will want to go back. Feeling your child move inside you, noticing their hiccups, hearing their heartbeat, and knowing that you are keeping a human life – your very own flesh and blood – healthy, safe, and warm is an amazing feat. Saved only for women, I might add!
You also should take good care of yourself while you are pregnant. Never under estimate the benefit of eating healthy foods that nourish your body. The premeditated assumption that you will be consuming gallons of ice cream, pickles, chips, and chocolate are not necessarily true. You might crave things like tomato sandwiches, tuna fish, and water. The better you care for your body while you are pregnant, the less ‘extra’ weight you will gain, and the better you will feel body, mind, and soul. Another thing is to ignore the scale. When the doctor weighs you, refuse to look. As long as they don’t see a problem with your weight and the baby is healthy, the number on the scale will do nothing but depress you. Throw all that thinking aside!
The easiest way to learn to love your pregnant body is to exercise. Rather than capitalize on taking it easy, enjoy walks and use the awesome power of your mind to imagine life with baby. Keep yourself moving, which is extremely healthy for a pregnant woman, helps to eliminate stress. This will make your delivery much easier as well, and you will find that staying active during pregnancy makes the post partum days better too.
Along with that, admire all the new curves. Your hands will naturally gravitate toward your stomach. Talk to your baby, and remember that you are already a mother. In these months you are establishing a relationship with your unborn child, and it is proven that a fetus can sense maternal stress. When it all becomes too much to handle and you think you cannot go one more day…know that you can and you will. That is what mothers do; they persevere and roll with the punches. Pregnancy is a beautiful experience and staying in tuned with the fact that it is only temporary can help you learn to love all the stages and phases of your pregnancy.