Pregnancy Body Image

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I want to take a second and talk about something that SO many of us pregnant moms and moms-to-be deal with.  It’s something we often don’t talk about because we get a lot of SHIT from the outside world if we do. Did you know the majority of pregnant women deal with negative body image? Yet we feel like we can’t or shouldn’t talk about it because we’re carrying a miracle inside of us.

“It’s not about your body….it’s about the baby”

“You aren’t fat – you are pregnant.”

“How SELFISH to be down on yourself when you’ve been so blessed!”

So – what happens? We internalize these feelings and get to suffer through it alone. How is that healthy? It’s not.

I am making a statement here that might piss some people off – but let me just say that it’s actually ok and pretty normal to NOT like your pregnant body. Not everyone just gets a tiny bump – the weight distributes itself wherever it wants based on your genetics and nutrition. Obviously I wish all women could just LOVE their entire being regardless of what state of life it’s in. Does this mean you don’t appreciate the blessing that you have? Absolutely not! I feel like the most blessed individual on the face of the planet, yet I still struggle with my ever changing body. I am human and I’m allowed to feel these totally normal reactions to this completely life changing process– just like you are.

With those negative body image feelings aside – let me offer you struggling mamas a piece of advice. Give yourself a break. Not only a break on the body changes, weight gain, cellulite, stretch marks, whatever you have going on…but a break on HOW YOU’RE FEELING about those things. Don’t feel guilty about feeling bad about these things sometimes. Yes- you read that correctly…it’s ok to FEEL things that aren’t so pretty or positive sometimes. One thing that will help is to stay active. Get moving. Try to fuel your body appropriately and MOVE.

Here’s a tip that’s helped me tremendously. I was recently given the opportunity to do a Maternity photoshoot, which was not in my plans AT ALL. The thought of being on camera when I’ve put on an extra 25 lbs (yes I’ve gained 25 lbs at almost 29 weeks pregnant – judge me) made me quiver. I looked at it as a challenge and accepted the opportunity. Let me just say that it was actually really good for my soul. I got my makeup done, had a great photographer, and I actually felt really PRETTY despite my body for the first time in awhile. It was really good for me. So – even if it’s something you usually wouldn’t do – give it a thought. You’ll likely look back on the photos and smile at your beauty.

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Pregnancy really is a beautiful, wonderful thing. Allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling about it – and then quickly remind yourself that IT IS ALL TEMPORARY. Every ounce of it. And it’s worth it. You might not like it right now…but just remember – it is worth it. Whether you gain 10 lbs during pregnancy, lose weight during pregnancy, or gain 80 lbs…it’s worth it…even if you don’t like it. I look in the mirror or touch my ever growing ass – and feel some pretty negative feelings. Does this make me a BAD pregnant person? An unappreciative pregnant person? NO. And the fact that I can openly talk about feeling bad about some of these things makes me actually feel BETTER. So – you know what mamas? Feel what you feel…and don’t feel bad about it for a SECOND….as long as you remember that in the end – it is worth it and you’re beautiful.

 

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2 thoughts on “Pregnancy Body Image

  1. This is all so true! More of us struggle with body image than we know because people don’t like talking about it. You’re so right about reminding yourself that it is temporary!

  2. Feelings are feelings – nothing about them makes someone bad. They are what they are. While I’m not pregnant (yet), I can still relate. Body image is always tough, especially when you’ve been overweight your entire life. This year, I’ve learned something though. Negative body image isn’t just a fat person thing. It’s pretty much an everyone thing, whether they want to admit it or not. I used to think that “skinny” people were off on a limb for saying they had negative body image. For someone who has been over 200 lbs for most of my adult life, I couldn’t wrap my head around someone being 120 lbs and not being happy with their body. I have had people open up to me and it’s really changed by perspective. Thanks to all of you who have helped me see this issue in a whole new way!

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