Part of pregnancy is a changing body. All pregnant women have to deal with it. For some the changes are bigger than for others, but all of us experience changes. Not all changes are always visible to others and it often takes a while until others can see any changes, but the women itself can notice them as early as in the first month of pregnancy. The changes do not disappear with the birth, but stay for some time. Like with everything we can’t prevent it is most helpful to learn to deal with it in a positive way instead of complaining about it.
In my pregnancy I have practiced and I am still practicing what I am sharing with you in this post. All of these things have truly helped me in dealing with the physical changes of pregnancy. It allowed me to focus on enjoying this beautiful time of my life instead of focusing on worrying about gaining weight or the changes in my body also after my pregnancy.
Practicing Acceptance & Letting Go of Wanting to Control
In a world where so much importance is placed on the physical image it is no wonder that the physical changes during pregnancy can be very stressful for a women. We need to learn to move away from focusing on how we think our body should look like and distance ourselves from comparisons with other bodies. This is important for all of us, but even more so for pregnant women. Acceptance is key in learning to deal with the physical changes of pregnancy. Once we accept the physical changes we can even go a step further and start liking. As long as we try to keep fighting the changes or complain about them there will be a level of imbalance within us. It leads to not being one with ourselves. There is however no benefit, as we cannot prevent certain changes to happen.
Pregnancy gives us the opportunity to learn to let go of wanting to control. Many of us apply the concept of controlling to many areas of life and to how the body should look like. Pregnancy is a great time to practice letting go of wanting to control and accepting what is. Once your baby is born you got to be flexible and open to going with the flow of the baby. The same is true for pregnancy. You cannot and should not control the changes of your body, but allow them to happen.
Being Thankful & Loving My Body
Being thankful for the physical changes can help in accepting them. All physical changes during pregnancy happen for a reason. Our bodies are extremely smart. Being aware of that leads to thankfulness and even more so it makes me truly love and celebrate my body.
Being thankful and celebrating our body makes pregnancy, birth and the time after birth so beautiful. Thinking about how blessed one is to be able to grow a life and give birth to a new life can change your entire experience. Remember your body changes for a reason, for the most beautiful reason.
Learning to be Gentle with Oneself
Pregnancy is the perfect time to learn to be gentle with oneself. Most of us are so harsh with ourselves, constantly criticizing what is not working and what is not looking good. That habit truly does not serve us. Most of us have learned and practiced to be critical of the body over many years and it is therefore difficult to switch it of within a short period of time, but it is possible to rewire the mind to be gentle with oneself. Switch from criticizing yourself to appreciating yourself. Detect when you are being hard and critical with yourself and reflect on how you can be gentler with yourself, practicing it on a daily basis allowing yourself to slowly this new way of treating yourself.
Doing What I Can Do to Gain a Healthy Amount of Weight
While it is important to accept the changes of pregnancy it is also important to influence what we can regarding our health and well-being. Nutritious food, regular exercise and relaxation will make sure you gain a healthy amount of weight and stay fit and happy throughout pregnancy and thereafter. Pregnancy is not a disease and it does not withdraw your power to influence and take your own well-being into your hands. There are a lot of things we can do in order to keep a healthy weight and positive body image throughout pregnancy and after:
- Healthy Nutrition (‘Nutrition in Pregnancy’ https://beingmebysarah.com/2016/12/09/nutrition-in-pregnancy/ )
- Physical Exercise (‘Pregnancy & Exercise’ https://beingmebysarah.com/2017/01/24/pregnancy-exercise/)
- Relaxation Exercises
- Mental Exercises (towards accepting the physical changes, a positive body image and appreciating the gift of being pregnant or having birthed a child)
Every women has a different body and therefore there will be differences in how our bodies change during pregnancy. We all gain different amounts of weight, the shape of our body changes in different ways, and our baby bumps look differently. Try not to compare yourself with other pregnant women and try not to listen to some people’s (criticizing, negative) comments. Sharing and learning from each other is great. There are many pregnancy experiences, which all pregnant women share but we always need to understand that the overlap of similarities exists only to a certain degree. We are all individuals and each women has her own unique experience and physical changes.
My body still looks and feels different than it used to before I was pregnant, but I love my body and myself more than ever before. I am absolutely grateful to my body for what it has done and is still doing. Thinking that way makes me love the changes, which have come with pregnancy, giving birth, and breastfeeding because these changes are the a visible proof for having grown and given birth to our Nailah. Rather than thinking about my body having changed in a negative way I am in awe of how fast the body recovers after pregnancy and giving birth. I am also thankful to myself for having learned to find a balance between taking care of my well- being and body by practicing yoga, meditating, doing sports and relaxation exercises and acknowledging what I cannot influence and accepting that. For me this has been key to feeling content and happy in the journey of pregnancy and motherhood