Losing Your Girlish Figure
In your second trimester of pregnancy, you will begin to gain more of your pregnancy weight. You should experience a steady weight gain of about 1 pound per week in your second trimester, although the rate of weight gain differs from woman to woman. Even though you may be losing your girlish figure, keep in mind that proper weight gain is a good thing in pregnancy. No matter how much some pregnant women hate to admit it, they struggle with their changing figures. Don't beat yourself up about feeling a little unhappy. It is very normal, and you should give yourself permission to experience both the joys and frustrations of watching your body change in so many ways.
Working on a Positive Body Image
Some women become upset every time they step on the scale and see the rising needle. If you worked hard to stay in good shape before pregnancy, pregnancy weight gain and the changes in their body can be tough to take. It is very normal for your physical self-image to fluctuate over the course of your pregnancy. The challenge for many women is to establish a healthy attitude and self-image about their changing weight and body image. During your first trimester, a positive self-image can be difficult when you always feel nauseous. However, by the second trimester, you should feel much stronger and healthier, making a positive self-image much easier to grasp. While many of the changes your body will go through seem to be beyond your control, certain strategies may help you to fully embrace the changes your body is going through and make your pregnancy a more positive experience.
By working on a positive body and self-image before you even become pregnant, you can take much of the anxiety out of body changes during pregnancy. A positive body image is not about what you look like but how you feel about yourself. It is essential to remember this during pregnancy because you cannot control many of the changes in your body. Understand why your body is going through the changes that it is. Knowing that the changes are due to your growing and developing baby will make it easier to embrace them as positive. Maintain a healthy diet and caloric intake, and welcome the knowledge that you are feeding yourself and your baby with essential nutrients that will help her grow and develop properly. Failing to control your diet and giving in to the impulse to eat unhealthy foods can make you feel less in control and give you feelings of negative self-image. Instead of worrying about what extra calories will do to your body, begin instead to think of what they are doing for your baby's body.
If you are not yet pregnant and you suffer from an eating disorder due to very negative body image, be concerned about recovery before considering pregnancy. Women with eating disorders can be at a much higher risk for miscarriage, pregnancy complications, and birth defects.
With your doctor's permission, develop a regular exercise program and stick to it. Women who exercise regularly during pregnancy maintain a higher self-esteem. Remaining active throughout your pregnancy can help lessen feelings of depression, stress, and worries over weight gain and body image. Define the attributes you find attractive in yourself and accentuate them to help make you feel better about yourself. Pamper yourself by doing things that make you feel good and that will help you to build your self-image. Keeping your weight gain within healthy, recommended limits can help make you feel better about your body size. Too much or too little weight gain can sabotage your efforts for a positive body and self-image. Most important, keep your eye on the prize at the end of the journey. Each time you begin to feel fat or your self-image seems to slip, think about that beautiful, healthy baby you are going to have. Keep in mind that this change is temporary. There will be plenty of time to regain your figure after your baby is born. Take a positive attitude and see the beauty and importance of the changes in your body. It is up to you!