Pregnancy is often seen as one of the best periods of a person’s life. They are growing a new life inside their body and typically get told that they are glowing. However, it’s not always all sunshine and rainbows during pregnancy, which is something you might be experiencing right now. You are probably seeing big changes in your body and it’s only normal that you are not used to them. In case this is something you are struggling with, read on for a few tips that will help you embrace body positivity during and after your pregnancy.
Understand the changes you will go through
First and foremost, you should start by understanding what your body will go through during pregnancy. You will see an increase in your weight, which is completely normal as your baby will be growing. In addition to this, you will notice that your body is retaining fluids as well as swelling. The swelling of limbs and face most commonly appears during the second trimester. The extra fluids are responsible for a big part of the weight gain you will see, so if you want to ease swelling, make sure you get plenty of rest, don’t stand for long periods of time, avoid sodium and caffeine, and increase your potassium intake. Moreover, you will see a change in hormones and experience some sensory changes. Other parts of your body that will be affected include your breasts, cervix, hair, nails, and circulatory system. You should also be aware of the fact that stretch marks might appear by the third trimester, as up to 90% of women develop them.
Identify potential triggers
If you’ve had issues with body image before, it’s a good idea to understand what might trigger you as you go through pregnancy changes. Have you lost a lot of weight recently and are worried it will be difficult to get rid of it once again after you give birth? Are you feeling self-conscious about stretch marks? Is there anything else you’re stressed about seeing your body go through?
Create a good support system
Once you’ve established what your fears are, it will be easier to create a good support system that will help you work through them. From looking for the right OBGYN and midwife to turning to your partner, family, and friends, there are surely plenty of people around you who can encourage and support you as you go through different stages of pregnancy. Chances are that there are already people in your circle that have gone through this and can offer some words of wisdom.
Practice different forms of self-care
To feel better about your body, it’s vital that you practice self-care. While there are some prescribed ways of taking care of yourself during pregnancy, some things can also be intuitive. For example, even though exercise comes with some dos and don’ts, you can still adjust it to yourself. If an exercise doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. The same goes for food, rest, and any other hobby you might decide to take up.
Don’t pay attention to the scale
Something else you should keep in mind is the fact that no two people gain weight the same way during pregnancy. Don’t be worried if you heard your mom experienced a huge gain when she was pregnant with you, as that means nothing. Your body will react in its own way, which is why you shouldn’t pay attention to the scale and the number it shows. It’s more important to keep the blood pressure and blood sugar in check and ensure your baby is growing healthily. Moreover, if you ever decide to get pregnant again, you might gain more or less weight the next time.
Put your negative thoughts into perspective
Finally, it’s only normal that you can’t always think positively. Negative thoughts and feelings will occur from time to time, so it’s essential that you know how to deal with them. In this culture that creates unrealistic beauty ideals, you should try to contextualize the thoughts you are having about your body. You know that you will get something beautiful from this pregnancy and all the changes that come from it. Try to look for positivity online that will help you feel better about yourself even when these negative thoughts creep in.
There is no doubt that your body will go through changes during and after pregnancy. However, you have to keep in mind that it will bring your favorite person into the world and you should start to feel better. Don’t forget to develop a self-care routine that will help you along the way.