Pregnancy can be a challenge and there are a lot of pressures. Many women find themselves dealing with body image issues during pregnancy. They worry about putting on too much weight, avoiding developing stretch marks and coming up with a plan for getting back into pre-pregnancy shape after their baby is born.
This mindset can be detrimental to a woman’s body image. We believe that pregnancy is an amazing experience and you should be honouring your body and it’s needs, not feeling insecure about the way you look. However, if you’re feeling apprehensive about your body image why not refocus on the amazing things your body is doing at the moment. Take time out to appreciate the good care your body is taking of your growing baby.
We thought we’d share five ways to help boost body confidence and avoid body image issues during pregnancy.
Get Maternity Clothes Sooner
Bodies change quickly over the nine months. Your favourite shirt can fit fine one day and then look like a crop top the next.
Investing in maternity clothes sooner will prevent that panic. New clothes will help you embrace your changing body, instead of leaving you feeling ashamed or uncomfortable.
If you’re still not ready for maternity clothes, you can always go up a size or two or buy something extra loose. The sooner you invest in a new wardrobe, the more comfortable you’ll feel.
Take Photos of the Journey
Sometimes, looking back at old pictures can lead to body issues during pregnancy.
It’s understandable that you might compare yourself to what you looked like before you got pregnant – try getting out old photos to help normalise your body size.
Embrace your beautiful bump by taking pictures of it! Document the growth of your soon-to-be baby by snapping photos every few weeks.
By seeing the changes on a frequent basis through pictures, you’ll be less alarmed when drastic changes happen over the course of a few weeks. And not only will these happy snaps make you feel good now, but they’ll also be great to look back at in years to come!
Engage In More Self-Care
You are bringing a life into this world. This requires a lot of energy and responsibility on your part. So treat yourself to a little self-care every now and then.
Take a long bath, pop on your favourite face mask, or even try prenatal yoga. Anything that you can do to help negate those body image issues and embrace the changes.
Whatever amount of self-care you were doing before should double during pregnancy. You need to recharge whether it be in a physical, emotional or spiritual manner.
Have a Good Support Network
When you're pregnant, your body can also become the topic of conversation amongst friends and family. Many will say things with good intentions, like how amazing you look or how you’re glowing.
While it can be sweet, it can also cause you to fixate on your body even more.
If this is the case, go ahead and set some boundaries on how much the people around you talk about bodies or food.
You need to surround yourself with people who make you feel supported and comfortable. Additionally, if you have friends who have recently given birth then it might be beneficial to chat with them and ask for their advice.
Don’t Look at the Scales
We recommend that you don’t focus on the number on your bathroom scales. Instead, you should surrender to what your body needs, whether that's extra rest or a pint of ice cream.
Scales only pressure you into keeping an eye on your weight, which can vary for every woman.
Disordered thoughts can start if you monitor weight, which is the last thing you want during pregnancy. If you want to avoid checking the scales, then ask for a blind weigh-in during check-ups so you won’t know the exact number.
If you’re suffering from severe body image issues during pregnancy, consult your GP.
Always remember that almost every woman has gone through the same situation as you - and it’s totally normal!
Embrace your bump, revel in the changes, and be proud of the fact that you’re growing life inside of you.
If it’s stretch marks that have got you down, there’s always our fantastic Stretch Mark Prevention Kit.