We have all seen the ads that show that picture-perfect moment as a third-trimester mama lovingly gazes and admires her growing belly. You’ve seen it I’m sure.
But what those ads don’t always touch on is the other feelings that a lot of soon-to-be mamas keep inside them. The struggles, especially in the early stages of pregnancy, around body image.
Although body image is not a pregnancy-specific concern, when it comes to pregnancy it can feel like you’re alone and not sure who you can turn to. But you’re not alone and this is a completely normal experience. Your feelings are valid and we encourage you to reach out to others for support.
This is a topic we feel should be more frequently discussed in all stages of pregnancy (including conceiving and postpartum) so that women can feel more prepared, empowered and supported through this journey.
Here are 3 things you need to know about body image and pregnancy while you’re trying to conceive:
1. You are completely validated in feeling how you feel
Any thoughts you have that pop into your head during this process are completely and wholly valid, as are you. Guilt about worrying about whether or not you’ll have a hard time loving your changing body can be a hard one to overcome but giving yourself gentle reminders that your feelings are valid can be powerful.
Let yourself feel whatever comes up (because a lot will!).
It’s a good idea to know this ahead of time, especially if this has been an experience you’ve had before. Arm yourself with the knowledge that your feelings are valid and meant to be felt and if it works for you, create some beautiful affirmations that you can place around your house. For example, you can write them on post-its and stick them on your bathroom mirrors.
2. Having a hard time with body image as your body changes does not mean you’re not grateful for the experience
Many women often have said they felt guilty about sharing their body image issues because they didn’t want to come off as ungrateful for their growing bundle of joy. During conception, many women anticipate this feeling and keep it locked inside.
But both things can be true at the same time. You can have so much love and gratitude for the little one you’re growing and have days where it’s hard to watch and experience pregnancy.
If you’re in the process of conceiving it’s helpful to become aware and talk with other mothers. Create an open and honest dialogue with them, let them know you’re worried and find other women who can act as support systems.
3. Your body is beautiful and is doing an incredibly beautiful thing
Let me just add in this simple and wonderful message. It can sometimes be difficult to say it to yourself so if you’re having one of those days let me be the one to tell you. You are beautiful and the journey you’re about to embark on (or you’re already on) is amazing.
You’re welcome to keep my words close to your heart as you start this journey and bring new life into the world. Body image is a concern humans face throughout their entire lifespans and conception, pregnancy and postpartum are no exception.
You are not alone, you are supported and we are here to help.
If you’re looking for a positive, loving and educational platform to support you through your entire journey (from trying to conceive to postpartum) PUSH Mama is your one-stop-shop. We have a variety of incredible experts contributing both paid and free resources and one-on-one opportunities.
To learn more about how we can help you through your pregnancy journey head to www.pushmamacare.com