Pregnancy is nine months of crazy emotions and dealing with a body that is constantly changing shape.
And while putting on weight and growing a bump are inevitable at this time, that doesn't mean mums-to-be won't be disheartened by their changing shape, nor left with a negative body image.
Sadly, with so many ideals of the way the 'perfect' mum should act, women can feel isolated as they struggle to deal with something that is perfectly normal.
1. Understand what is going on inside your body
It is important you understand what exactly your body is going through in order to feel comfortable with the changes. Whether it’s your hormones making your skin breakout or extra fluid making your face fuller, if you know the reasons for the changes it can help you accept them a lot easier.
2. Enjoy daily gentle exercise
Prenatal yoga, walking, swimming and gentle jogging can help alleviate depression and stress and make you feel more positive – exactly what you need at a time like this. It can also help you maintain a more even weight gain and keep you fit and healthy for labour.
3. Eat a healthy diet
It can be easy to find comfort in processed food when you are feeling low but this is just going to exasperate the problem. Try to enjoy a healthy diet of lean meat, fish, fruit and vegetables and dairy products to ensure you are getting your required daily nutrients.
4. Talk about it with family and friends
Don’t keep your fears or worries to yourself. If you are feeling down about your weight gain or if your pregnancy acne is making you feel self-conscious be open and honest about it. Your partner, your mum or a very close friend will listen to you without judgement and sometimes just airing your concerns can help you feel a whole lot better.
5. Think about the wonderful thing your body is doing right now
Embrace the fact that your body is currently doing something truly wonderful to help you break the cycle of negativity. If you can, overlook your changing shape and think to the future: your baby, your changing role and watching family members love your infant. This can be powerful enough to help you get through the tough days when you are feeling really low.