How you deal with your changing body shape in pregnancy is down to many factors, and you may be surprised by your reaction to your changing form.
Learning to love your growing body
If you’re someone who’s always worked hard to maintain that ‘perfect’ size 10, the loss of control over your shape and size may be disconcerting.
Or you might embrace what you see as your newfound freedom to eat more without feeling guilty (don’t overdo it though).
If you make sure you do some kind of exercise during your pregnancy, chances are you’ll feel happier, healthier, have more energy and sleep better. You’re also more likely to have an easier birth and to get back into shape more readily after birth.
There are some exercises you should avoid in pregnancy though, and things you need to be aware of when working out.
How you do you feel about being pregnant?
Your feelings about your pregnant shape may also relate to your feelings about your pregnancy in general.
If you’ve been trying to conceive for a long time, you may be so happy you’re finally pregnant that you don’t care how big you get.
If it was an unplanned pregnancy, you might resent your growing bump as reminder of what you see as your lost freedom.
The state of your relationship and your partner’s attitude can also affect your feelings toward your pregnant body. Did you want a baby more than your partner? Or your partner wanted a baby more than you?
Remember, if your partner seems to have lost his libido, it doesn’t mean he finds you unattractive – he may be afraid of harming the baby.
The important thing is to talk about your feelings – with your partner, your friends, midwife, a counsellor, or on online forums. There’s always someone who can help.
Tips to help you feel great about your pregnant self
Pregnancy is an amazing time. But, if you’re feeling bloated and big, here are some tips to make you feel blooming gorgeous:
- Treat yourself to a manicure, pedicure or facial.
- Have a long soak in the bath, and massage yourself with a body lotion or oil suitable for use in pregnancy. Better still, get your partner to massage you with it.
- When shopping for maternity clothes, don’t go for cover-up tents – there are loads of stylish maternity fashions out there, on the high street and online, and there’s something for every budget.
- Your hair can change in pregnancy. It could feel thicker, or perhaps its oiliness will change. Get a haircut that flatters your new hair and shape, and that’s easy to care for.
- There’s nothing to stop you wearing make-up. If you’re feeling brave, head for your local department store and get them to give you a mini makeover.
- Take pride in what’s going on inside you. You’re growing a new baby – it’s the most important job in the world.
“Maternity fashion is in fashion!”
“When I was pregnant with Ava, I had a co-work tell me how lucky I was to be pregnant at that time. I didn’t quite get what she meant, and at first I thought she might be saying how much she wanted to be pregnant. Then she explained to me how all that season’s fashion was perfect for pregnancy. I was able to wear all the styles that were in: ballet flats, smock tops and floaty peasant tops, leggings with oversized shirts, and huge handbags – perfect for my pregnancy books and snacks!”
Sam, 30, mum to Ava, now 1
“My boobs looked amazing”
“When I had my son, they ballooned to a DD! I have a photo of me wearing a halter-neck top with my boobs almost popping out – they looked amazing.”
Danielle, 22, mum to Connor, 23 months
Read more about the changes your body will go through during pregnancy