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