Pregnancy can definitely impact your body image. Though you may be ecstatic about the wondrous new life growing inside of you, you many also be a bit unhappy about the transformation of your body. While many women accept the changes as a natural part of pregnancy, sometimes even relishing in the round belly and fuller breasts, many others find these alterations unsettling. Memories of your old body flood your vision on a regular basis, making you feel that you may never look like your old self again.
Accept What You Can’t Change
Probably the best advise when you are feeling low about your new body is to accept the fact that your body is going to be different. This doesn’t mean that you have been given a free ticket to gain as much weight as possible over a nine month period of time, but that weight gain and widening of the body are unavoidable aspects of pregnancy. Remember, the results are temporary and the beautiful, healthy baby you hold in your arms at the end of pregnancy will be well worth the changes.
Change What You Can
While you can’t starve yourself or do rigorous exercise while pregnant, you can be sensible about what you eat and do light exercise to keep your body toned. Women are recommended to gain an average of 24 pounds during a pregnancy–some will gain slightly more, and some will gain slightly less. Dramatic differences on either end of the spectrum of this recommendation can cause health problems to the mother as well as the unborn child. Women who diet during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, pre-term birth, and low birth weight babies. On the other hand, women who gain too much weight during pregnancy can experience complications such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, varicose veins, and can increase their risk for having a cesarean delivery.
Keep a food journal if you are gaining too much or not enough weight, and treat yourself to a manicure or some type of spa treatment as you gain control of your weight. Adding light exercise several times a week can keep your body toned and prepare you to handle the stress of labor and delivery. Take walks, a yoga class, or work with light weights to keep yourself active and ready to handle a brand new life.
Be thankful for the healthy new life inside of you. Remember that soon you will have a precious new member of your family in your arms. Be proud that you took care of your body and gave it and your baby the nourishment they both needed.
Remember it is Temporary
The weight you gain from pregnancy is temporary. If you are dedicated to eating right and exercising, you can lose the weight before you know it. There are dozens of fitness programs designed for new moms as well as many models of jogging strollers that can help you on your way once it is time to begin losing the weight.