A rapidly expanding belly is just one of many changes your body will go through during pregnancy. So, how do you keep your body confidence intact when you are no longer the one in control?
Looking in the mirror when you’re pregnant can sometimes feel like you’re seeing a different person. Body changes are part and parcel of the whole expecting experience, but that doesn’t mean they’re always easy to get your head around.
Beating your confidence issues are about understanding what’s going on as well as a little perspective – so you can get on with enjoying the experience.
The scales are sky-rocketing
If you are used to watching your weight, you’ll be familiar with the heart sinking feeling you get when you stand on the scales and see that the needle has moved in the wrong direction.
Even though the rational you knows that you are gaining weight because you are pregnant, your brain has been conditioned to respond with the negative emotions associated with ‘fat days’. So put away the scales – preferably in a hard-to-reach corner of the attic – until a few months after your baby’s born
I’ve got bump envy
We’ve all aspired to that pregnancy ideal, where the only indicators of our condition are a compact, bijou bump, radiant skin and lustrous, glossy hair. And for some that is the reality. But everybody responds to pregnancy in a different way and sadly, it is our hormones, not us, that dictate that response.
Join a pregnancy yoga group, where you can share your feelings with other pregnant women of all shapes and sizes. The exercises will also help you to embrace your pregnant form and switch your focus to you and your baby.
People are staring at me
It’s true, people will look at you when you’re pregnant, but not for the reasons you might be thinking. The chances are, they are thinking about the fact you are carrying a baby, or how radiant you look, wondering when you’re due or remembering what it was like when they were pregnant.
They might even be looking at you with sympathy because they know what sleep deprivation really feels like, but one thing is for sure, they’re unlikely to be thinking, “Ew, look at that woman’s disgusting body!”
I feel like a freak
One minute your body is your own, the next, you have a living person growing inside you. For some women, it is the most natural feeling in the world, while for others it’s all a bit “invasion of the body snatchers”. There is no shame in feeling squeamish or unnerved by this radical metamorphosis, but there are steps you can take to help come to terms with these changes.
Engage with what is happening to your body and follow the progress of your baby and its relationship to your body, by reading a week-by-week pregnancy guide or download a baby-tracker app on your phone. Your body is performing a natural and wonderful role – enjoy it and be proud.
Your body is performing a natural and wonderful role – enjoy it and be proud
I feel sluggish
Pregnancy can be a frustrating time if you’re used to keeping fit and active. Even simple everyday activities can leave you feeling drained and exhausted, particularly in your last trimester. And as your energy and fitness levels dip, so do your confidence levels.
Getting plenty of rest is essential but don’t give up on your exercise regime, altogether. While now is not thetime to start training for that half-marathon, a little moderate exercise each day will help keep you in shape as well as helping to counteract water retention and releasing self-esteem-boosting endorphins.
I’ve lost my sex appeal
It is common for pregnant women to feel that they are no longer attractive to their partner. Ironically, it is usually the woman standing in the way of a healthy sex life, not the partner or the baby.
The last few months before the arrival of the baby is a precious time for you as a couple – and a time for your sex life to flourish. Treat yourself to some new underwear to help you to feel sexy again and talk to your partner about how you feel.
I’ve lost my sense of style
Forget borrowing his T-shirts and hiding behind sloppy layers and baggy jeans. Embrace your bump! Buy soft, stretchy maternity clothes that hug your curves and get inventive with cropped tops and bold accessories, to make a feature of your new curves.
Showing off your body will encourage you to walk with confidence, which will have a knock-on effect on your self-esteem and is a sure-fire way to generate compliments.