Because that’s what we all want, right?
We want to feel desirable, beautiful and, well, hot even or especially when we’re pregnant.
And yet, our bodies change during those nine months of growing a child – of course they do!
We’re carrying a human being inside of us and our bodies are working full-time to provide for them, keeping them healthy and alive.
There’s no way around putting on a few pounds and despite the recently growing numbers of women suffering from pregorexia and the new fashion of being super skinny when pregnant (a la Victoria Beckham, Heidi Klum etc.), being thin during pregnancy is unhealthy, not just for yourself but also for your child.
But let’s be honest, it’s not easy to deal with the weight gain, the stretch marks, the pimples and the general puffiness.
And while women with partners certainly have their share of pregnancy weight gain concerns, single mom-to-be’s can have thoughts like:
Will I ever find a guy who finds me attractive even after all this?
Will I lose the weight again or will it stick with me for the rest of my life?
Will my dating life be over now and will I be alone for the rest of my life?
These are real insecurities and let me tell you, I do struggle with them a lot.
My rational mind knows all the truths and the reasons why I must gain weight, but my insecure, society-pleasing mind just wants to look slim and thin instead of glowing and round.
Can you relate?
Then I have a few tips for you that’ll help you feel beautiful during your pregnancy.
1. Wear clothes that fit
One of the worst things you can do from a body image perspective is to continue wearing your old clothes because you either want to prove something to yourself and the world or you simply don’t want to buy new clothes.
Here’s the thing though: if you wear clothes that are too tight, you will inevitably feel fat.
So, treat yourself to clothes that fit you right now. Buy some cute pregnancy dresses, jeans and shirts and see how your self-confidence roars effortlessly again.
2. Style yourself
Thankfully, being pregnant in today’s times doesn’t mean you have to stop being stylish and sexy, which was certainly the case 30 years ago – at least, that’s what my mom tells me.
Today, you can find so many super hip and comfortable pregnancy clothes that you have to be careful not to blow your entire budget.
Use this opportunity to get creative, dress up, wear makeup and trendy shoes.
You’ll find that your pre-pregnancy style will only be enhanced by the best accessory in the world: your baby bump.
3. Remind yourself of the miracle you’re carrying
The other day, I had a big ultrasound, which always comes with a bit of concern. Will the baby be OK? Does it have all fingers and toes? Is the heart beating regularly? To my relief and wonder, my little bug is totally healthy and everything is OK.
When I stepped out of the doctor’s office, I had a moment of sheer awe and gratitude.
You see, I’ve been struggling with anorexia for more than 14 years of my life. I’ve abused my body in so many ways, starved it, exercised it to complete exhaustion, took pills and laxatives and basically tried to ruin it.
And yet, here it is growing a human being and gifting me a pregnancy that has been so easy, so uncomplicated and so joyful.
My body is a miracle and no matter what it looks like on the outside, it’s doing something unfathomable on the inside.
Your body is the same way. Who cares if you’ve gained weight? Who cares how you look? What it’s doing on the inside is what’s truly matters.
4. Move your body
One way to feel confident in your body is to focus on health and fitness instead of focusing on the numbers creeping up on the scale.
Moving your body will not only energize you, but it’ll also help you to feel toned and comfortable.
Go for a daily walk, take up swimming, do Pilates or simply dance in your living room. Choose a form of exercise that works for you and enjoy the effects it has on your mood and on your body.
5. Do Yoga
Pre-natal yoga is such a perfect way to help you connect your mind to your body and tune in to the areas that you’ll use during childbirth.
Find a yoga studio near you that offers pre-natal yoga classes and enjoy the yumminess of moving your body and rocking your child.
6. Express your feelings
Talk about your feelings with your doctor, your midwife, your friends and family instead of bottling things up.
You’ll see that most of your concerns will feel less severe once you’ve spoken them out loud.
7. Eat healthy… but enjoy the freedom from the “dieting tyranny”
Eating healthy will help you to feel at peace with your body instead of feeling sluggish, heavy and unsexy.
So, be sure to load up on veggies and fruit, which is also important for your little bug. Experiment with new recipes and ingredients and be assured that eating healthy doesn’t mean eating bland food. You can experience an explosion of delight and still feel super healthy on the inside and out.
With the focus on health, don’t forget that pregnancy is also a time that gives you freedom from the tyranny of the weight loss industry. So, enjoy it and treat yourself to the things you truly want from time to time. Balance is key here.
8. Understand what your body is doing
One great way to feel better about yourself is to shift your focus from the weight gain to what is really going on in your body. Read up on the changes that you’re going through. Find out why you’re gaining weight, what makes it important and what your body is doing as your belly grows.
You’ll dive into a whole new world and will soon find yourself feeling awe and wonder instead of fear and worry.
9. A tip for the post-pregnancy dating life
A guy who rejects you because of your stretch marks or your bigger size (which you may or may not sport after birth) is not worth your time and affection.
So, yes, fears about not finding a new partner are normal, but the ones who are truly worth being with you are the ones that won’t even think twice about your post-pregnancy body and instead fall in love with your beautiful spirit and your delightful heart.
Overall, it’s best to relax and just give in to the natural process of becoming a mom. Remember that your body won’t be the same afterwards, but you won’t be the same either.
Instead of fighting it, delight in it and celebrate you being a woman through and through.
Image Credit: paleobarbie.com