Your pregnancy body image
Pregnancy is usually a happy and joyful time for women. After all, an offspring is growing within you, waiting to be born! However, pregnancy is also a time of scary changes, both physical and emotional. Some women will find that they just love their pregnant bodies, while some, well, just don’t. Body image is important and should be given due concern during pregnancy. This is because how you feel about your pregnant body will directly impact how happy you are during your pregnancy. How can you boost your self-esteem while you are pregnant? First things first….
Accepting your womanly changes
Every woman feels a different way about herself during her pregnancy. Some women find that pregnancy brings them a body they love – big breasts, fuller hips, a growing belly make many women feel truly feminine with a sense of true contentment. Other women, though, cannot stand their body during pregnancy. For these women, added weight and the appearance of stretch marks are given the main concentration, while constant fatigue can easily bring them down.
Pregnancy rings with it a lot of changes. Physical, your body is not likely going to be the same as it was before you were pregnant. Changing hormones cause your breasts to swell, your uterus to expand and of course, your belly will grow as your baby develops.
Most women will find these changes challenging to accept at times. Some women feel out of control, lost, or at war with outside forces. It may also help if you remember that your body is only changing in order to nurture your child. Your new pregnant body is a special place for you to share with your baby – it is something to embrace and to love.
Socio-Cultural Influences in Body Image
There is a huge media influence on body image. The constant media coverage on pregnant movie and television stars can leave a negative impact on us ‘simple’ people. These superstars have the perfect outfits and the perfect makeup. Many pregnant women who follow these developments end up loathing the fact that their bodies just don’t seem to match up. Being influenced by images of the “perfect pregnancy” can really be a downer.
Society’s obsession with thinness also causes some women to hate their bodies during pregnancy. Women are constantly struggling to achieve that “ideal” body, which society tells us is tall, thin, and lean. Of course, during pregnancy you experience some weight gain. This is in order for your baby to develop properly. Some women are so scared that they will be perceived of as “fat,” that they refuse to eat appropriately for themselves and their baby or treat their bodies with respect.
Ready for an image boost?
Improving your body image involves changing the way you perceive yourself as a pregnant woman. Here are a few things that you can try to help you love that beautiful pregnant body!
- Find one thing that you like about your body and accentuate it. It will give you a confidence boost. For example, if you love the way your breasts seem fuller now, accentuate them in pretty baby-doll blouses, empire-line tops, etc.
- Focus on what matters the most. Remind yourself now and again that your body is changing to accommodate your growing baby. This train of thought will help you put things into perspective and help you view your changing body with more love and respect
- Look for support. Let your partner, friends, or family members in on how you’re feeling about yourself. People closest to you can give you the much-needed psychological boost you seek.
- Move that body! Getting out for a stroll or a swim can clear your mind and help you feel like a new person. You may even want to consider taking up yoga to help you to develop a connection between your body and your mind.
- Practice self massage. Self massage can get you familiar with your body, which is the first step to accepting it. Use organic massage oils and gently explore your body with soft, massaging pressures on your belly, lower back, arms and wherever else that is comfortable for you to stroke.
- Educate yourself. Read as much about pregnancy as you can so you know what to expect and feel more in control.