Ahhh….body image and pregnancy

Well, I don’t know what image you carry around in your head about how a pregnant woman is ‘supposed’ to look, but it might be worthwhile to talk about body image before, during and after pregnancy.

Pregnant woman
Image thanks to Andriele at Pixabay

Body image is a hot topic in our culture these days – for any gender.

Thanks to ridiculous and persistent images in magazines, movies, media, and outdated ideas of what healthy is supposed to look like, many of us struggle with liking what we see when we look in the mirror. It is 2021 and you would think that the size of your waist, or how big your rack is, or how big the gap is between your thighs wouldn’t matter as much as it did in the past – but for too many people it still does.

Everyone wants to look and feel good. Those feelings are attached to your emotional wellbeing. However, sometimes what we perceive as looking good is can be negatively and harmfully influenced by social media, your friends, even your family and the places you shop. 

Maybe you’re wondering “Why does where I shop matter?”  Well, consider how you feel when you’re in a store that does not carry your size? Consider the women who end up in teen sections because of their body size or women who may be size 16 and can’t find anything to fit properly in many mainstream stores. How does it feel? Are you frustrated, embarrassed, sad, annoyed or it doesn’t matter to you? Does this experience boost your image of yourself?

What do you and your friends consider to be a healthy look?

How many times do you talk about working out, the dream of trying to be a size 2, watching every mouthful you put in your mouth, yearning and dreaming of being something different than how you are? How many times have you thought if you just lost 5, 10, or 15 pounds everything would be better? How many times have you gone hungry only because you’re on a diet (possibly an unhealthy one despite what mainstream society promotes as healthy)?

What jokes or comments do you hear or make about body weight?  What do you say to yourself when you look in the mirror? What do you think about your body – is it amazing, annoying, too fat, too skinny, to pointy, too curvy, too talk or too short…? You get the idea.

Does the fact you will gain weight and your body will change during pregnancy give you less than happy thoughts about yourself? Does it worry you?

What and who are influencing you and your self image? I’ve worked with many women who ate very little and worked out every day for a couple of hours to maintain a weight they though was sexy or healthy. The problem is in those situations the weight they are working to maintain is not maintainable. Once they begin eating properly, or stop working out as intensely, or become pregnant or become seriously ill – everything can change. So, they are working on a body image that will be difficult to maintain.

We connect our self worth with our image – and the image we have of ourselves may not be as healthy or as accurate as it could be.  

This week we’re going to dive in a little deeper and explore this sometimes-uncomfortable topic. Let’s work together and help you find a healthy way of seeing yourself and enjoying who you are.

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