4 Things You Can Do to Love Your Pregnant Body : Having a baby can be transformational in so many ways. Whether you planned your pregnancy for years, discovered an unexpected surprise, or even decided more recently on an abortion pill reversal, you are likely excited and a little nervous about this new undertaking.
You wonder what kind of personality your baby will have. Will you pass on your smile, your hair color, or your tendency toward picky eating? So many questions and unknowns can run through your mind, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. As you prepare for parenthood, you also may begin to feel your body change in unexpected ways. Your joints loosen. You have aches and pains in new places. You may feel nauseous or fatigued constantly. Whose body is this, anyway? Don’t worry—changes to your body in pregnancy are absolutely normal and healthy. Here are a few ways to encourage a little self-love and help you embrace your beautiful, capable body.
It may feel counterintuitive to get up and exercise when you’re feeling sluggish, but studies have shown time and again that exercise during pregnancy provides numerous benefits. Cardio activity for 30 minutes a day can increase energy levels, help control weight gain, relieve stress, and speed up post-labor recuperation.
Did you know that you can get a special pregnancy massage? It may be the only time during those nine months you can lie down comfortably on your stomach. If massages aren’t your thing, use some time to relax in a warm bath with your favorite scented bubbles, go on a quiet nature walk, or take an afternoon shopping trip.
See the Good
Remember that your body is doing something extraordinary: it is literally making a person out of the food you eat. Remind yourself of the aspects of pregnancy that you enjoy. You may see your hair become healthier and shiner, your periods disappear, and your breasts grow a cup or two. Some people report loving the extra attention and even the permission to stop sucking in their stomachs all the time! Whether you see these aspects as pros or cons depends on your personal situation, but you may benefit from journaling about the side effects of pregnancy that you can view as positives.
While there are elements of pregnancy to be positive about, it’s no secret that carrying a baby can be both physically and emotionally draining. Don’t be afraid to talk to a trusted friend, family member, or healthcare provider when you need support. Be honest about your struggles and remember that there is help for those experiencing issues such as disordered eating, body dysmorphia, depression, and anxiety. Women’s health organizations can provide services from pre-pregnancy fertility and planning to post-labor care and counseling.
Your health during pregnancy matters to both you and your baby. Prenatal self-care should address emotional, physical, and psychological wellbeing. Even though your body is changing, it doesn’t have to feel like a stranger to you. This is a new and exciting stage, and one during which you should love your body—and yourself.
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