You just found out that you are pregnant and it has caught you completely by surprise! The thought of all the changes your body will be going through is definitely overwhelming. Here are 5 ways to make the most of your changing body:
1) Accept your body.
Before you even start to picture all the ways your body will change throughout your pregnancy, pause for a moment and accept your body the way it is right now! Each stage of pregnancy will bring some physical changes you enjoy, and some that you do not, but you can choose to love and accept your body at every stage. Your body is growing a human being, and that is pretty amazing! If you are worried that you won't ever get your pre-pregnancy body back, realize that it IS possible if you are willing to work at it one day at a time, make some sacrifices, and be patient.
2) Eat a diet that satisfies both your needs AND your cravings.
If you are used to being in shape and in complete control of your body, your first instinct may be to eat as little as possible to control your weight gain. On the other hand, if your body is already less than desirable to you, being pregnant may make you want to just give up and eat whatever you want all the time. You can find a happy medium of eating a healthy diet while still indulging in your pregnancy food craving sometimes. You will also need to watch for symptoms of your body having deficiencies from nutrients such as:
Adjusting your diet at different points in your pregnancy to fit your nutritional needs will help keep you and your baby both healthy and satisfied.
3) Find a form of exercise you enjoy.
Not all women can exercise during their pregnancies, but it is important to find a form of exercise that your body can both handle and enjoy at the same time. Exercise will help improve your mood, reduce stress, and help your body undergo the physical changes of pregnancy. Even simply stretching frequently can be very beneficial to your body both mentally and physically, and help you avoid many of the discomforts of pregnancy that come from having any of the following:
-neck and shoulder tension
Contact a physical therapist like Bronx Physical Therapy LLP if you need help with learning about exercising while pregnant.
4) Embrace the growing number on the scale.
This is a lot easier said than done. Most women can't quite comprehend the emotional weight that comes with an increasing physical one. Our society has placed so much importance on beauty and women's bodies that it can be very hard to embrace your weight gain. Remind yourself that your body is unique, and as long as you and your baby are healthy, the number on the scale will not keep going up forever.
5) Invest in some maternity clothes.
Part of embracing your body means buying clothes that fit it! Even if you have a tight budget, you can still find maternity clothes at a good price so that you can stop squeezing into your old clothes and start feeling comfortable again. Being in actual maternity clothes can keep you focused on your baby bump rather than your bigger body, and help you feel more relaxed and confident.
Every pregnant woman's body is different. What works for your neighbor, best friend, or sister may not work for you. Accepting your body and weight gain and finding the right diet, exercise, and clothing that best fit your needs will help you make the most of being pregnant when you didn't plan to be. Be patient with your changing body and keep making adjustments and trying new things until you find what works for you. This will be great practice for using the same process to care for your little one in the coming months.