For a woman who desires to be a mother, finding out she is pregnant is one of the most beautiful moments in her life. However, as many changes follow pregnancy, future moms deal with emotional and mental ups and downs, specifically influenced by how they perceive their bodies.
Hormones do their work, and women gain weight. Although gaining weight during pregnancy is normal and beneficial for the baby and mother, many women struggle to accept it. This also is normal, and the more we talk about that, as a society, and encourage women to share experiences and acknowledge their feelings, expecting moms will know they are not alone. And, most importantly, that there are ways to regain a positive body image.
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Let’s Talk About Body Positivity
Through social media, we are often confronted with unrealistic images of a perfect body (even during and after pregnancy). Still, we must do it justice and acknowledge that thanks to social platforms, we now have a movement empowering not just women but also men to embrace their looks and celebrate them.
Body positivity is loving your body regardless of shape, size, gender, or skin tone. The movement fights against established beauty standards, and the key is accepting your body as it is. Of course, that’s easier said than done, especially for women going through a major change such as pregnancy. That’s why discussing this topic is essential, helping expectant mothers feel comfortable in their skin.
How to Build and Maintain a Positive Body Image: Tips for Future Moms
Pregnancy requires specific lifestyle changes. Still, that doesn’t mean ditching every activity you enjoy. On the contrary, some are indeed just what the proverbial doctor ordered.
Be Physically Active
One of the longest-lasting pregnancy-related issues revolved around whether a woman should exercise while carrying a baby. In the past, women were advised to avoid any physical activity. However, many studies have since confirmed physical activity is beneficial for both the mom’s and baby’s well-being.
For instance, activities like yoga, swimming, and fast walks:
- positively impact women’s mental health
- reduce discomforts like swelling, constipation, fatigue, and back pain
- prepare a body and mind for giving birth
- help you feel strong and in shape
Still, as every pregnancy is unique, consult your doctor before engaging in any activity, and learn as much as possible about the correct approach to exercising when pregnant and afterwards.
Create a Strong Support System
The best way to go through pregnancy is to be in the company of other women on the same journey of dealing with emotional and physical changes. See if there is a moms’ group in your surroundings and join it.
The encounters should and will probably continue even after pregnancy. The value of postpartum groups is not to be underestimated as it presents a vital element of every women’s support system, not only around maternity but how to feel good in a body that changes and needs time to recover.
Undoubtedly, your loved ones will play an important role during and after your pregnancy but don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance, especially regarding your emotional and mental state. Remember, in order for your baby to feel good and be healthy, you must feel good, too.
Make Yourself a Priority
We all have small but precious rituals that help us boost our mood and feel good in our bodies. Therefore, spend time doing things that make you happy and boost your self-esteem. Organize a luxurious spa day or a dinner party with close friends. You can dedicate yourself to an old hobby, or alternatively, find a new one, like painting or writing. Have a date night with your partner, or take yourself out for lunch.
You are about to enter a significant chapter called motherhood, but you should still be you and celebrate everything that makes you unique as an individual. After all, that’s something you would want to teach your child as well.
Finally, avoid comparing yourself to other women. It’s one thing to seek advice, support, motivaion, or inspiration by looking at how other women go through pregnancy or after giving birth. But remember, your body is unique and will recover at its own pace. Ensure to be your most passionate cheerleader, and the body will reciprocate.
Tiffany is a Medical Student and also works as a fitness coach in part-time. She is also a writer and writes on health and fitness articles. Tiffany loves to engage with users and help them provide various useful information on General Health. She provides researched-based information and also featured on various blogs and magazines.