Pregnancy is a time of great change for your body, mind, and emotions and may leave you overwhelmed and anxious on a daily basis. This critical time can lead to a poor body image, and it’s a time when your appearance and weight can become a very sensitive subject. Are you gaining too much weight or not enough? How will you fit back into your old clothes after the baby? Does your partner still think you’re attractive?
These are issues women at all stages of pregnancy deal with, and need to be addressed before it takes its toll on your self-esteem. The MayoClinic outlines key changes for women during the second trimester in Pregnancy Symptoms: What to Expect , as this is the time that the most physical changes occur.
Keeping a healthy body image while pregnant can be challenging, but there are some ways to make those months ahead more enjoyable and worth celebrating instead Here are some simple ways to keep a healthy body image during pregnancy:
1. Take the time to pamper yourself. Pregnancy can take its toll on your body, leaving you tired, easily stressed, and even in pain. Take the time for a trip to the spa or massage therapist for a special pregnancy massage that can help you relax and rejuvenate. You’ll be able to sleep better, so your body can get the rest it needs.
2. Exercise on a regular basis. You don’t have to hit the gym for a cardio blast each morning, but it is a good idea to do some form of physical exercise each day. This may include light stretching, pregnancy yoga, and walking; anything that gets your circulation going and encourages deep breathing will work.
3. Drink enough water. Water cleanses your system and flushes out toxins; you’ll need to keep yourself well-hydrated so that your cells and body are working at optimal efficiency. Make sure you’re drinking at least 10-12 glasses of water per day to avoid dehydration and fatigue.
4. Talk to someone. Spend more time with close friends and family members to talk about any issues you may be having concerning your appearance. In most cases, your mind is ‘playing tricks’ on you with all the shifts in your body shape and size. It’s often much healthier to get an objective view on how you look so you’re not left feeling bad or self-conscious about the changes.
5. Focus on the joys of pregnancy. Think about your new baby and the life you’re able to give it because of your healthy body. This can keep you in a positive mood so that all the side effects of pregnancy become unimportant.
6. Take the time to relax. If you don’t already know how to relax naturally, take the steps to learn some relaxation techniques. Pregnancy can lead to tense and strained muscles in all areas of your body, and you may be experiencing extra stress in your joints. Deep relaxation techniques such as meditation can help you enjoy a peaceful and stress-free moments during the most difficult times.
7. Eat small meals throughout the day. Pregnancy isn’t the time to sabotage your healthy eating plans, nor is it a time to jump into the latest fad diet. Eat healthy meals and snacks throughout the day to give yourself the energy and nutrients you need to keep up your strength. Consult with a nutritionist or dietician to help you create a meal plan if needed; a quality diet can keep you in a positive mood and prevent you from falling into unhealthy eating habits.
Pregnancy can be a challenging time and take its toll on your body image, but there are ways to make it positive and joyful. Skip the battle of low self-esteem by preparing for the journey with these tips!