Pregnancy causes immense changes in a woman’s body. As a baby grows inside a mother, a mother’s body grows increasingly larger. Many women experience issues with body image during pregnancy. Body image is how a woman feels about her physical appearance. As pregnancy affects a woman’s physique, body image can be altered in positive and negative ways. For those women experiencing negative changes in their body image, the joys of pregnancy can be minimized. Women’s self esteem and body image are often closely related and maintaining a positive body image is important for a pregnant mother’s mental health.
An important aspect of maintaining positive body image during pregnancy is understanding how and why changes occur. Almost all women gain weight during pregnancy. This weight is gained not only in the stomach area but all over a pregnant woman’s body. Women’s breast size grows, blood volume increases, and additional fat stores are created. These increases are important for the growth and well-being of the growing baby. A woman should expect these changes and feel pride in herself for accommodating a growing baby.
Even with a drastically changing body, a woman can maintain positive body image by engaging in physical activity. Exercise helps maintain positive moods, increases energy, and keeps both mother and baby healthy. Eating a healthy diet also helps body image. When a woman knows she is keeping herself healthy during pregnancy, not only will she maintain strength and energy during pregnancy, but a woman will be more likely to have a strong body image.
When a woman has a negative body image during pregnancy, it is important she does not attempt to prevent the natural occurring changes in her body caused by pregnancy. Weight gain is an important portion of pregnancy and a mother and her growing baby need nutrients to stay healthy. A woman can harm herself and her unborn baby by limiting food intake to unsafe levels. If a woman is experiencing extremely low body image and partaking in harmful actions, professional help should be sought. Short episodes of depression concerning body image are common during pregnancy, and even very positive women experience it. To combat these feelings and reduce insecurities, a woman may take deep breaths and concentrate on the beautiful baby growing inside their bodies.
In many cases, body image for women improves during pregnancy! Many women are less concerned about the ideal size represented in the media and more aware of the power and beauty in their changing shapes. Pregnant women are supposed to have soft shapes and curves, and many women may finally find pride and acceptance towards their bodies. Once positive body image is achieved and maintained during pregnancy, a key for women is continuing high body image following delivery. Another round of physical changes affect a mother, and a woman must once again adjust to a body transformation. Many of the same ideas for maintaining a positive body image during pregnancy can also aid in continuing high body image following the birth of a woman’s baby.
Women’s Healthcare During Pregnancy, Pregnancy Weight Gain
Womenshealth.gov Body Image: Pregnancy and Body Image
Women’s Health Care Topics,Body Image During Pregnancy