First off, you are not alone; every woman has some concerns with her body and the changes it goes through during and after childbirth. Women often struggle with body image regardless, but sometimes having a baby makes those worries and insecurities more prevalent. The beautiful thing is that giving new life is the most precious gift in the world. All mothers should be proud of this power their body has.
Remaining positive is the first step to dealing with these changes. Get to know your body on a spiritual level. A woman who loves herself will be more willing to accept and embrace the physical and emotional changes that happen when becoming a mother. Make a list of the things you love about your appearance and make a list of the things you look forward to during motherhood. Then, make a plan for the things you can do to keep up your best physical qualities while taking care of your baby. If you love your eyes, make a point to put on eyeliner and mascara, even if you’ve been up all night nursing. If fear of weight gain is an issue, book a personal trainer in advance for when you’re ready to hit the gym again. Get some cute maternity clothes and show off your baby bump.
Understand what your body is doing for your baby. Make healthy meal plans that give you and your baby the nourishment and energy you need to be strong both physically and mentally. Address your fears, ask questions, and talk about hormones and metabolism with your doctor before and after childbirth.
Accept any unpleasantness such as weight gain, stretch marks, breast changes, and foot spread. Make a plan to do things to make yourself feel better when these things happen. Have fun shopping for cute new bras and shoes for your new body, get new skin cream, and work on accenting the things you do like about being pregnant and getting back in shape afterwards. Get something new to wear every time you reach a new goal or each month after you give birth.
Do activities that build your self esteem. If you are good at knitting, make something cute for your baby. If you are good at trivia, host a trivia night with your partner and friends. Be proud of your accomplishments and try to learn new skills. Stay active and exercise, go for regular walks, and swim. Set aside time and money to pamper yourself. Get a pedicure or facial and celebrate your body.
Lastly, ask for help if you are feeling insecure about your body image. There is nothing shameful about having fears. The best thing you can do is talk to people and your partner about your feelings and surround yourself with supportive people. Remember, your baby will love you no matter what.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. Please consult your healthcare provider directly for medical advice, diagnoses, and treatments. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health or the health of your baby, consult your physician.