Body Image During Pregnancy
I’m going broke just trying to keep up with my ever-changing bra size. I’ve gone through three rounds of new bras, and I pray that this round takes me through the end of my pregnancy. But what happens when my milk comes in? Will they get even bigger?! I’m seeing yet another trip to Target’s bra section in my future – let’s hope I catch a sale!
Watching your body change
Watching your body constantly change shape and size during pregnancy is an experience, to say the least. As women, we’re bombarded with body image messages from such a young age. And if you’re reading this, my guess is that you’re also all too familiar with endo belly and the struggles that go along with that. So when the body changes in a way that you’ve never experienced before during pregnancy, it would be a lie to say that it’s not an emotional adjustment. Our body is our home and being at odds with it at any stage of life is hard.
What we want from our home
We want to feel comfortable in our bodies. We want to feel confident in our bodies. We want to feel at home in our bodies. There are certain tools we can use to support us with managing this during a life with endometriosis (if you have a favorite, please share it in the comments below!).
But how do we handle this during pregnancy?
First, it’s okay to experience whatever emotions pop up. Let’s not forget that our hormones are on a massive rollercoaster too! So, honoring our emotions is important. We also need to honor the miracle that’s happening in our bodies. I continually reminded myself that I GET to experience pregnancy – something I didn’t know would be possible for me. To me, it’s a gift and a privilege. So rather than pulling myself down during this time, I’m intentionally choosing to honor my body.
What I choose to focus on
I focus on fueling my body with the best foods and a lot of water to support me and my growing baby. I focus on moving to the best of my ability every day because I know that it will help me to feel more comfortable today and tomorrow. Most of all, I remind myself that this is a defined period of time, and I will for sure wish it back some days. I’m also already setting the tone for postpartum, that my body will recover and return to its natural weight in its own time. I’ll bypass that unnecessary pressure right now.
Nourishing my mind as well
Affirmations can also be a big help. These help to plant new seeds of positive thoughts in my mind, making less room for seeds of doubt and judgment. I’m grateful for the ability to experience pregnancy. I thank my body for nourishing and supporting my baby’s growth. I appreciate the work my body is doing to prepare for a healthy labor and delivery. And repeating words like “my body is strong,” or “my body was made for this” can be incredibly powerful.
Allowing yourself to create a healthy body image takes time and compassion, but it’s completely worth it because your body can do remarkable things!
What helps you to have a healthy body image during any stage of life – endo belly, pregnancy, etc.? Share below so we can learn from you too.
Do you live with any other health conditions outside of endometriosis?