Dealing With Body Image During Pregnancy

Body image is always a sensitive subject. This is the first photo I took after I found out I was pregnant. We were five weeks in and I’d lost 10 pounds because I had been so sick. And it shows! Literally everywhere I went, I’m not even joking, at least one person would say something along the lines of, “Wow, you don’t look so good”. Once it was, “You look terrible today”.

Gee, thanks everyone, YES I LOOK TERRIBLE AND I FEEL IT TOO. I had taken a pregnancy test and it had come back negative so I had multiple outings to the clinic to try and figure out what was wrong with me. Why I was constipated, throwing up, and losing pounds. Obviously I was pregnant and it was the morning sickness kicking my butt, but losing the pounds wasn’t what I had issues dealing with.

Like most others, I’m sure, it’s the gaining that really shifted my confidence. I’ve always been active and always been small so it was a huge curve for me to watch my body change. In the beginning, I was afraid of what my body would look like. Between being a model and being athletic, those were changes that weren’t readily accepted. The most difficult part was that awkward stage where you’re just starting to show and people are wondering if you’re just gaining weight. So I had a little pudge that wasn’t round like a pregnant belly, just awkwardly there.

After a couple months, I had figured out ways to accept my changing body. Even welcome it! What ultimately helped was shifting my thoughts. It’s all a journey, and it’s a beautiful one:

Thought Shift: Think about what your body is doing – Take a minute and think about what an amazing thing your body is doing. You’re growing a whole entire HUMAN inside of you! A mini one of you. Is. In. You. Your body, as a woman, is made to do this and it’s a beautiful thing. Creating life, yay! Your body is prepared to change, even if your mind isn’t, and you’ll learn things about it that you never knew it could do. That’s freaking awesome.

Thought Shift: It won’t last forever – You’ll gain the weight, you’ll get rounder, thicker than a snicker (hello thunder thighs), but it ends. Your little babe comes out and boom, there’s half the belly and a good chunk of the weight. You can get back to your pre-baby self – if you choose, of course.

Action: Eat right if you can – We all know about those cravings that come (or at least are supposed to. I had more aversions!). But did you know most of the weight you gain during pregnancy isn’t actually from fat and such? Here’s a little breakdown of the average:

  • Baby: 7-8 pounds
  • Placenta: 1-2 pounds
  • Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds
  • Uterus: 2 pounds
  • Breast tissue: 2 pounds
  • Extra blood produced: 4 pounds
  • Fluids in tissue: 4 pounds
  • Fat and such: 7 pounds

So eating healthy or like you did before pregnancy (as long as it gets babe the nutrients needed!) will keep your weight gain in a healthy range. And make it easier to adjust after baby comes!

Like I said, it was difficult watching these changes at first. But you’re doing something beyond the importance of body image. I dealt with it with a positive shift in my thoughts. Tell me in the comments how you dealt with your changing body and give some encouragement to another momma.

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