Pregnancy is hard. It takes a toll on your emotions, your sense of self, and your body confidence. So how do you stay confident in a pregnant body undergoing such drastic changes?
Pregnancy is a rollercoaster of emotions. From elation to anxiety. From uncontrollable crying to some of the most joyous moments of your life. From incurable nausea to insatiable hunger.
And your body changes. My gosh does your body change. You may get symptoms you’ve never experienced before. Trapped wind. Reflux. Constipation. A hairy belly. Expanding hips. Growing, swollen and painful boobs. An enlarged rib cage. Stretch marks. And with so many changes, it can be hard to maintain your body confidence.
I certainly know that my own body positivity had a huge wobble and I definitely called myself some names that I shouldn’t have. Most of my own insecurities came from the fact that I didn’t look like an expectant mother until the very end of my pregnancy. Sure, my belly was bloated and tender. I looked like I’d put on weight. My hips and bottom grew bigger and my expanding rib cage made wearing the majority of my bras impossible. But I didn’t have that huge, football like belly to proudly display like other expectant mothers I’ve met.
Yet by the end of pregnancy I loved my expectant body. And now that I’m ten day postpartum, I’m actually missing my pregnancy bump. So, how did I do that?
How to boost body confidence during pregnancy
Remember that change is natural
Pregnancy is a huge thing for your body and it is only natural for your body to change physically. The changes you see, and feel, are protecting both yourself and your child. They’re happening because you’re growing a whole new little human inside of you. And really, should we shame ourselves for physically growing through that process?
Throughout the second and third trimester of my pregnancy, I practiced giving myself positive affirmations. This involves placing yourself in front of the mirror, preferably naked or wearing as little as you feel comfortable, and giving yourself a positive affirmation. Tell yourself you’re a warrior. Tell yourself you’re beautiful. List things you like about your body. You’ll be amazed how quickly these affirmations start to seep into your self belief and lift your confidence.
Practice Self Care Rituals
For me, self care came in the form of bath time. Time to myself and my bump. It is when I talked to the little baby growing inside of me. The change in temperature of a warm bath also stimulates the baby so you’re more likely to feel them move then. For me, this increased the bond and helped me to fall in love with both my baby and the body that was protecting him.
Document your bump
This may seem a strange one, but photographing your bump can really help you to fall in love with your changing body. I know many women have shied away from the camera when pregnant and come to regret this. They’ve lost the visual memories of growing a tiny human inside of themselves. They’ve lost the opportunity to revel in that pregnancy glow and to front their bump with pride. A maternity photoshoot is a great way to see just how beautiful your changing body is.
So tell me, what steps are you taking to fall in love with your pregnancy body?