Pregnancy is a joyous time for some women, while for others it may feel more like a nine-month prison sentence! From weight (or fluid) gain, to stretch marks, itchiness and bleeding gums, the changes to your body can sometimes make you feel uneasy in your own skin.
If this is the case, here are a few strategies to help you feel better about your body during pregnancy:
1. Mind over matter
You may have little control over how your body changes during pregnancy, but you can manage the way your mind responds. Try repeating positive affirmations to yourself each morning to combat any negative thoughts. Acknowledge that you’re uncomfortable with your body right now, but remind yourself why it’s changing… you’re growing another human! Find an app that helps you track the weekly changes in your baby’s development and stay focused on these, instead of the changes to your appearance.
2. Keep moving
Exercise during pregnancy helps you maintain a healthy weight, a positive mood and even tones the muscles you’ll use when giving birth. If your pregnancy is healthy, the risks of moderate-intensity exercise like swimming, walking, pilates and yoga are very low. Just check with your doctor and make sure you stay well hydrated during your workout.
3. Eat well
Sometimes that ‘blah’ feeling we get during pregnancy has more to do with the way we feel inside than the way we look on the outside. If you’re dealing with morning sickness or craving unhealthy foods, you may not be consuming enough of the nutrients your body (and baby) needs. Taking a nutritional supplement like Oz Farm’s Pregnant Mother formula is a great way to get these important vitamins and minerals if you’re struggling to maintain a balanced diet.
4. Pamper yourself
Small beauty treats like a blow-wave, facial, mani-pedi can make a girl feel so good. Why not make them a regular act of self-care during pregnancy? Not only will they give your appearance an instant lift, they’re also a wonderful way to relax and relieve stress.
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5. Believe compliments
Sometimes it can be easier to believe our own negative self-talk than the positive comments we get from others. When friends, workmates or your partner tell you you’re ‘glowing’, don’t shrug it off! They’re not just trying to make you feel better; to them, your new curves really are beautiful. If your partner isn’t very forthcoming with compliments, explain how you’re feeling and give him a chance to tell you how he sees your pregnant body.
Pregnancy isn’t an easy time by any means, and the body changes we experience do have a way of making us feel self-conscious. But it helps to put things in perspective: all that stressing over numbers on the scales will melt away once you’re holding your baby in your arms. In some ways, pregnancy is great preparation for what lies ahead, teaching us the selflessness and acceptance that are so much a part of the parenting journey.