Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Body Image in pregnancy

"Oh, look at that cute belly!!! Can I touch?" The sentence seems like it gets said a lot to pregnant moms. The asking if they can touch, not always as much as they ask as they are touching.

But if you are a mom who feels ungainly and ugly in pregnancy, you are not alone.
Many women struggle, even though in others eyes, they are beautiful and are told so.
They see the love handles that they wished were gone before they had to gain this mandatory weight. They glimpse the cellulite that is on their thighs, with the extra weight gain has become more apparent. The stretch marks on the stomach that you wonder if those models in the pregnant mom shoot covered with makeup....

What are some things we can do to combat this?

I have found that having a plan for a healthy weight gain can help us not only during pregnancy, but afterwards as well.

- Talk to your care provider about a healthy weight gain for you. It varies from person to person, depending on your weight.
- Figure out a calorie goal or the types of foods you should be eating every day as a pregnant mom. I found that aiming for the foods I had to eat was easier than focusing on the things I shouldn't eat. It can be very filling if you make yourself eat 7-9 servings of vegetables, 4-6 servings of fruits, 2 grains, 2-3 servings of protein, 2-4 servings of milk. I suffered from an intolerance of sugar in my pregnancies, it was not gestational diabetes, but just made me very ill. Cutting out sugar though really helped me to gain weight that came off easier.
-I also had one day a week, I could have a treat if I wanted it. That helped because you were not limiting yourself completely.
- Make an exercise plan. This can be anything as simple as a walk everyday....from 5-15 minutes daily at least. Vary your routine, making it one day, you do exercises while cleaning the kitchen. The next day you play ball with your kids, and the next day take a walk.

Spend some money on at least one pretty thing that you feel good in for your pregnancy. It might be a new bra, some wonderful smelling lotion, a pretty shirt or dress. Often we do not spend money on ourselves when we are pregnant as it is such short time, but I think it can really effect our pregnancy, when our mood is down and we do not feel good about ourselves.