About AOA

The joys of motherhood are never fully experienced until all the children are in bed.
- Unknown

 

Pregnancy and Body Image

Love Your Pregnant BodyFor many women, body image can be a concern, particularly during pregnancy. Some women welcome the changes a pregnancy brings, while others can be a bit overwhelmed with the changes. Hormone fluctuations will cause your uterus to expand, your breasts to grow, your feet to enlarge, and may cause your skin to break out. Also, you may suffer increased fatigue and incredible food cravings.

There are several steps you can take to help yourself adjust to the changes your body goes through during pregnancy and to make recovering your old body after delivery a little easier.

  • Focus on your baby. The changes in your body are a natural process that is helping your baby grow and develop.
  • Express your feelings to your partner, your family, and your AOA physician. Expressing your fears is much healthier than keeping them bottled up, and your doctor can help set your mind at ease about the changes your are experiencing.
  • Participate in enjoyable exercise. Daily walks that get you outside and in the fresh air are good for your health and your state of mind. A light swim can help get your mind off of your concerns.
  • Try some prenatal yoga, which can help you focus on the mind-body link, and give you a chance to share your experience with other pregnant women.
  • Practice self-massage, which will bring you more in touch with your body and help you in accepting the changes.
  • Learn as much as you can about pregnancy so that you are prepared for the changes you can expect as you move through the experience.
  • If you find that you are thinking negatively about your body image more than is healthy, tell your AOA doctor.

After your baby is born, your body will begin to adjust and return to a non-pregnant body. However, don't expect a flat belly after your delivery. At first, your stomach may seem more of a pooch than the toned abs you might be use to. Remember, your body has been through a lot in giving birth and needs time to recover. Give yourself some time to rest and catch up on some sleep.

Exercising is a great way to help you get your pre-pregnancy body back. Join a gym that offers childcare or load up your stroller and walk through the neighborhood. This will also help get you out of the house so you can feel refreshed.