8 Ways to Cope with Your Changing Body During Pregnancy
If you are reading this, chances are you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant. If you are pregnant, congratulations! You are growing a tiny human inside of your body and you are about to embark on a new life journey. If you are thinking about getting pregnant, the juice is so worth the squeeze.
Either way, pregnancy is no easy feat. If you are like most pregnant women, that 10-month journey can wreck havoc on your body, from morning sickness (or in my case all-day sickness that lasted for 6 weeks straight), to restless nights, crazy dreams and cravings, and an ever-changing body.
If you are worried about your changing body, here are 8 tips to help you cope and make it through the rest of your pregnancy with your sanity intact:
1. Focus on the miracle at hand
Whether you planned your pregnancy or not, once your body begins to expand as it makes way for a growing baby, it can be a shock to even the strongest-willed woman. No matter if you were a size 4 or 14 before pregnancy, it may be hard to accept the inevitable bloating and expanding waistline.
Remember, you are supposed to grow. Your body is supposed to change. The scale will move. Even though you are tired and feel enormous, you are creating life. You are a miracle maker right now!
2. You are not as big as you think you are!
No matter how large you think you are, you are probably blowing it out of proportion. At 15 weeks pregnant, I went to a local baby store to look around and start a registry. At this time, I had put on 10 pounds and felt like a beluga whale – but the woman at the register didn’t even believe I was pregnant because I did not have a large baby bump.
I felt much better once I left the store, and realized that my expanding size is mostly in my head. You are your own worst critic, so no matter how large you feel, remember that you are beautiful no matter what, and this is all part of the process.
3. Ignore the chatter
Your physique is now on display for the entire world to see and critique. People will comment on your growth and guess if you are having a girl or a boy. Whatever you do, try to ignore the chatter. As hard as it might be to not be hurt when someone comments on your changing body, just know that pregnancy lasts only a few months, while the love you’ll share with your child will last the rest of your life.
Besides, chances are you’ll be able to spend a little more time at the gym post-pregnancy and get your body back into its former shape. And if not, who cares? There is just more of you to love!
4. Don’t play the comparison game
Every woman is unique and every pregnancy is different. Even if you eat right and exercise during pregnancy, you may still put on more weight than you would like to. Do not compare photos of yourself at each week stage with photos of yourself pre-pregnancy.
And whatever you do, do not look up photos of clothes or other things that you won’t be able to wear this season or next. In fact, skip the fashion mags and instead look up all of the cute clothes that you are going to dress your baby in once that bundle of joy is born. Life is not just about you anymore.
5. Focus on the good growth
Not all body changes with pregnancy are automatically a negative. While you may experience sore breasts in the first trimester, you will also increase your cup size. Instead of focusing on your widening hips or softening midsection, look at your ample bosom and think about how those breasts will soon have a real job. If you are the lucky few, your breasts may remain a little bigger than before pregnancy, so here’s to natural augmentation!
6. Love yourself
There will be days when you are exhausted and have low self-esteem. It happens. This is especially true the first time you can’t fit into your skinny jeans in the first trimester, or the moment you decide to pack away your regular clothes and dive into maternity wear.
Don’t allow yourself to think negative thoughts and do not restrict your calories. You are growing a baby and you need to put on 20-30 pounds on average to support the life growing inside of you. This is your new body that you will be sporting for the next however many months, so embrace it. Love it. Live it!
7. Embrace your support system
When people tell you that you look great, just say thank you. Don’t follow-up with, “Oh, well I feel like crap” or “I don’t feel like I look great.” Just accept outside love and support, and allow it to sink in. If people tell you that you are beautiful, accept the compliment and know that you are one hot mama!
And when your significant other tells you that you are beautiful, trust me – he or she means it. They know that you are producing a miracle and they do not care that your belly is softer or your breasts are growing (well, maybe they do, but in a good way . . .). Embrace that love and let it teach you self-love for the new you!
8. Do things just for you
Especially if this is your first pregnancy, be sure to take advantage of you-time before your little one is born. This is the last time in your life that life is about you. Make sure you do things that make you feel beautiful and special.
So enjoy that prenatal massage, go for that mani/pedi with friends, indulge in some ice cream . . . do things that make you feel good. If your body is feeling tight, take a yoga class. If you are hungry, eat. If you are feeling stressed or worried, reach out to your support system. Assess your current needs for yourself and your growing baby. Even if you are just resting in bed, your body is hard at work. Growing a little human is an exhausting 24/7 job!
Pregnancy is a magical time in a woman’s life and it does have its ups and downs. Focus on the positive and leave your vanity at the door. Embrace your new curves and know that you are sexy and strong! You are a mama and your life will never be the same. Experience a whole new level of confidence in knowing that you are bringing a beautiful, perfect life into this world.
Have more pregnancy tips to share with your yogi mama community? Please do so in the comments below! We love hearing from you and uplifting each other!!