Body Image During Pregnancy

Body image is always a sensitive topic amongst women.  Itz even more of a sensitive topic regarding pregnant women – a time when bodies are growing and changing so rapidly and hormones are running wild.  Today I’d like to discuss body image during pregnancy from my own experience with my own thoughts and opinions.  I’d love to hear yours, as well, in the comment section of this post!

body image during pregnancy

One of the possible contributing factors to me getting pregnant was my stopping of working out.  (Notice I said “possible” as there were several factors that were different the month we conceived and since itz a science there’s no way to know for sure what exactly made it work. However, I do know that running directly impacted my cycle which is why the cessation of working out leads me to believe it had something to do with our conception.)

Anyway, with workouts not being a part of my life during the first trimester of my pregnancy, my body began to change from the beginning.  I was softer, not quite as firm, and, well… just a little larger. I’m sure it wasn’t noticeable to other people (not much anyway), but my clothes fit tighter.  And the scale?  Oh, that silly, silly scale.  Why people put so much faith into it, I’ll never know.  The numbers on the scale went down.  Yes, down.  Was I happy about that number? No, because I knew it meant I was losing muscle.  Regardless, of course I was over the moon happy about being pregnant, so my weight, whichever direction it moved, was never a major concern.

That being said, those first few months of pregnancy were interesting in regards to my body image.  I knew I wasn’t “showing,” but I felt different due to the fact I wasn’t working out.  In fact, my first many “bumpdate” shots, I always sucked my stomach in.  I figured if there was still a little pooch there, then that meant it was Baby Itz.

14 weeks

I’m lucky in that my stomach has always been relatively flat (I attribute it mostly to good genes… Thanks, Mom!).  So when it became softer, I hid it under looser clothing because I assured myself I wasn’t “big enough” or it was “too early” for maternity clothing.  It wasn’t until I began growing a noticeable baby bump that I began to feel more comfortable with my new body image.  And that’s when I began to really appreciate the comfort of maternity clothes and flaunt my bump!  (Newly pregnant ladies: don’t wait for maternity clothes – they’re the most comfortable things ever!)

Now that my bump is here for the remainder of my pregnancy, I’ve decided to rock it.  After all, I’m darn PROUD of my body for making and carrying a healthy Baby Itz.  I’ve always felt this way, especially after trying for so long and so hard to make Baby Itz, but body image is a funny thing.  While I was always absolutely ecstatic about Baby Itz, I still felt funny with my growing body and not nearly as confident as I am now.  When bodies grow during pregnancy, itz not just that cute little bump that so many women sport.  Oh, no.  Itz everything on my body that’s gotten bigger, literally everything.  But guess what?

pregnant swim mexico

You better believe I rocked that bikini in Mexico!

I wouldn’t trade it for the world!  While my whole body is a bit squishier and there’s noticeable cellulite creeping on my legs and butt, I’ve somehow maintained a very confident feeling through it all.  It goes back to being proud.  I am proud of being able to carry Baby Itz.  There are some factors that can help with improving self-confidence, pregnant or not.  One of them is buying clothes that fit.  While I didn’t wear maternity clothes for the first half of my pregnancy, I constantly felt like my clothes fit funny… because they did.  My bikini I’m wearing isn’t maternity, but it sure is a larger size than what I usually wear.  But who cares?  Sizes are stupid numbers and words that vary drastically from store to store anyway.

Another way to boost your confidence is by getting pampered.  I love having my hair and nails done.  I’ve had my hair done just twice during my pregnancy journey, but it definitely always boosts my mood and improves my self-image.  Should I let my appearance dictate my mood? No, and I try not to in a negative sense, but I’m all for it if it increases my confidence!  Nails are an easy thing to help feel pampered, also.  Whether you get them done or do them yourself, I love having pretty painted nails.  And massages.  I don’t think anyone would ever argue that massages don’t make you feel good!  These are a huge splurge for me and I’m yet to get a prenatal massage, but I do have one I’m waiting to use and know I’ll just thoroughly enjoy it.

Linking up to Healthy Diva’s Marvelous in my Monday today because part of being a Healthy Diva is having a healthy body image!

I’m hesitant to put this on the list, but I want to be real with y’all, so I will: working out.  I don’t mean super intense, super long workout sessions, but really just being active.  Like I said before, I didn’t workout the first four months of my pregnancy, and my current “workouts” merely consist of walking, yoga, and light weights.  I take way more rest days than I ever have, but I try to maintain some level of activity.  As previously discussed, my body physically feels better the more I move.  Just walking two miles a day helps my back discomfort tremendously.  However, as I’ve been sick for the last week, I haven’t even been walking.  I know I need to heal and keeping my baby healthy is a priority – not working out.  When I am well enough, I will become active yet again as those little endorphins do so much for my mood and body image alike.

A major factor in boosting self-confidence is one that comes with no price tag at all: Surround yourself those who love you for you and will build you up.  My family and friends have always been incredibly supportive, and I’m most grateful for that.

boys hands belly mexico

Don’t hide the bump, touch the bump!  Yes, my brothers, hubby, and brother-in-law are all ripped!  FitFluential family, baby!

Jonny has embraced my new body 100% and only makes comments regarding if/when my milk has arrived since that’s one part of my body that has noticeably grown from the beginning – haha!  My brothers… well, as shown from the picture I’m not quite sure they know what to make of the bump as they’re trying to grab Baby Itz from it, but they’ve really just been funny about the whole thing.  Phil, my brother-in-law, who is so gently touching my bump because he’s been through it all with my sister and probably knows better. My sister Stephanie just keeps asking me if I’m pregnant while staring at my baby bump, and then saying “#NotJudging,” and for some reason itz just as funny the eight hundredth time as it was the first.  I’m pretty sure my dad is still in shock that his little girl is pregnant. And my mom can’t get enough of Baby Itz already by rubbing and singing to him every chance she has!  I’m surrounded by a whole lot of love, that’s for sure, and that makes me feel good.

So what’s my message here?  Being pregnant is a beautiful thing and itz nothing short of amazing.  Itz phenomenal what our bodies are capable of, and we should absolutely be embracing that from the beginning.  Yes, our bodies will change, and they’ll continue to change for the rest of our lives.  We’ve got to embrace what we’ve got, realized how blessed we are to have this miracle growing inside, and provide nothing but a loving environment to our babies and ourselves.

pregnant belly mexico

Thoughts, comments, or questions regarding body image during pregnancy?

58 thoughts on “Body Image During Pregnancy

  1. Great post Linz! I was very self conscious for many months. I constantly asked hubs if I looked pregnant or if I just had a flabby belly. The funny thing is that now that I look back at the pics of that time, I’m shocked that I even thought that. It’s quite obvious it was a baby bump! Rock that bikini and show off that belly with pride!

  2. Good for you!! Enjoy this time…it goes fast and all the attention is quickly on the new arrival ; ) I rocked the bikini too… with my first and second : ) You look great!!

  3. Love love love this post!!! After being through the journey one time myself, I couldn’t agree more! I absolutely loved being pregnant, and even though I couldn’t wait to meet my son, I was kind of sad about saying goodbye to my bump! It’s such an incredible experience. Sure, pregnancy is accompanied by some body image issues, but it’s absolutely worth every extra pound. There’ll be plenty of time for getting in shape post-baby. For now, you are completely doing the right thing by embracing your pregnancy. Like you said, it’s such a beautiful time in your life. Enjoy!!!!

  4. this post puts into words soooo many things i’ve been thinking 🙂 you hit it on the head – i’m so grateful i am having twins so i bumped really fast – but yes i too didn’t work out before and much now but i am ACTIVE 🙂 and love walking – i’ll take squishiness, stretch marks, and cellulite for two bundles of joy ANY DAY

  5. I’m so glad you wrote this! because it’s true and the way you CHANGED during your pregnancy is how we as women should always be… PROUD. no matter if you are pregnant or not. Although you are too cute with that belly!

  6. I really admire you for writing about this. I am not pregnant, but it’s always a thought I’ve had about being able to just suddenly accept getting bigger. I love your honesty and everything that helps bring it back to it being a beautiful miracle and one to cherish! I think you looked stunning in that bikini! The baby bump is too cute!

  7. Such a great post! You are SO right. A changing body is never easy, but the very beautiful reason it’s changing makes it all worth it, and quite a bit easier to be okay with. I didn’t change a ton near the beginning–but def a lot toward the end, so mine was kind of backward from your experience, but I never was sad about my body–I loved what it was doing! And you will be SO grateful you rocked your healthy body confidently–because baby Itz will be here in no time (and you will have plenty of time after to get whatever body you want after!) 🙂

  8. We weren’t trying to take Baby Itz out, Linz, we were trying to protect him from “THE CLAW” 🙂 Wonderful thoughts as always… You constantly amaze me with your self-awareness and ability to look at the positives in life. Keep it up!

  9. Pingback: Body Image During Pregnancy | Itz Linz | Healthy Pregnancy

  10. I think a women who is pregnant is one of the most beautiful images I’ve ever seen. Such an important topic to discuss. You have great tips for feeling beautiful! Um man na, um man na, um man na– can I move into your house with all of those gorgeous men? My goodness!!!

  11. Fantastic post! It is a mindset shift to be okay watching the body change in new ways but I completely agree that it’s something to enjoy. I LOVE that you wore a bikini and showed your bump to the world! Gorgeous photos, and a powerful message!

  12. This is such a fantastic post Linz! I love how despite the initial feelings on your changing body, you’ve really learned to love and embrace your body and what it’s doing to protect and nourish Baby Itz. Pregnancy is certainly a beautiful thing that should be enjoyed!

    P.S. – Gorgeous photos!

  13. Linz, this post is so beautiful – as are you inside and out. Your honesty is awesome because and I’m glad you decided to share your thoughts and experiences. Many of us women will one day – sooner or later – become pregnant [or at least I’m hoping so for myself]. And these days – where images of shiny happy glowing pregnant celebreties are all over the media – probably more than ever body image issues are likely going to be a struggle. But thoughts you shared truly put it into perspective: it’s an amazing thing.

  14. I love this and I agree with everything, but to add, also don’t be hard on your body after delivery. You just carried a HUMAN for 9 or 10 months and your body will take time to lose that weight or for you to feel confident again. A supportive family really is the best thing ever.

  15. First of all, you look amazing! I love your attitude so, so much! I felt the same way throughout my first pregnancy. I think going through infertility and all that BS made me completely flaunt my body from the beginning.

    I’m ashamed to admit this, but this pregnancy, I haven’t felt as confident. This baby is much lower than my son was, and I’ve packed a lot more weight on in my thighs this time around. I didn’t think twice of it for awhile, but now I can’t stop thinking about my huge thighs b/c they’re constantly chafing and painful. But obviously it’s a million percent worth it!

  16. Rock that bump, mama-to-be! When I was pregnant with my first, I went on a business trip and one of my not-very-PC colleagues made a comment about how much maternity clothes had changed and how mine were very tight and form-fitting. Instead of getting offended, I told her the truth. I was over the moon to be pregnant and was proud of my body for the amazing things it was doing. I wasn’t going to hide under tent-like shirts and dresses. I was going to embrace the bump! And now that I’ve been through two pregnancies and two combined years of nursing my daughters, I’ve come to respect the miraculous human body even more. Love this post!!

  17. You look awesome!

    I loved being pregnant and was completely comfortable with my body, even though I was one of those who got pregnant all over. Pregnant bodies are beautiful – no matter what they look like.

  18. This post left me speechless – in a good way. You truly are such a beautiful lady, Linz! Since I’ve been following you from when you had your pregnancy struggles, its so wonderful to read about all your dreams coming true & how you’re handling each stage.

  19. It’s definitely been a challenge to embrace this changing shape (especially considering I was actively trying to lose weight when I got pregnant), but 32 weeks later I’m also feeling a lot more confident. It really is a beautiful thing that our bodies are doing!

    Staying active has definitely been key for me too. Walking daily helps the achy hips and helps me sleep better. Supposedly prenatal exercise (30 min, 3-4x a week) can raise your baby’s IQ as well as all the benefits for mama too!

  20. You look gorgeous! I am so glad you are posting to a blog so that your friends near and far can keep up with the itz fam journey! love you guys!!

  21. This post is AWESOME and SO ARE YOU! You rocked that bikini and you look amazing. It’s so nice to just not focus on body image as much and know that it’s more important to just be healthy inside and out for the little one you’re going to bring into the world. HUGS!

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  23. great post. I seriously think so many of my body issues/insecurities were removed in pregnancy. i had to gain weight to get pregnant which wasn’t fun at the time but i now see my body in a whole new light and have such a new respect for it! I seriously love my postpartum body which is far from perfect but beautiful in a whole new way!!! You go girl!

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