By Holli Rubin, AnyBody team member
Pregnancy is a time of hope, excitement, wonderment, anticipation as well as fragility, insecurity, and vulnerability. However you feel about it, which may actually be a combination of all those things, pregnancy is a milestone in your life.
Some women love being pregnant and enjoy their changing shape. There is a sense of joy and freedom whilst pregnant. This may be the first time you have given yourself permission to genuinely be in your body and relax about how you look. How refreshing!
Sadly, not everyone "glows" or has a neat little bump during their pregnancy. Many women feel alien to their normal sense of self. Your figure, as you once knew it, will morph into something new and different. You become your body and your body becomes a home for your unborn baby which you begin to take care of and nurture. Your body is no longer your own. Sharing yourself in that way can be amazing and warm or it may be difficult for those feeling that their space is being impinged or intruded upon.
As you navigate your way through the trimesters your weight begins to increase and some women feel "fat" as opposed to pregnant. Acknowledging and accepting that the weight gain is a sign of health and not something abnormal is often foreign and difficult.
This may be more difficult if prior to pregnancy you exerted control over your body by restricting your food intake. However it is important to know that there are two of you now, and doing so while pregnant in an attempt to prevent any further changes to your growing body, puts you and your unborn child at risk.
A pregnant body has a life of its own and is meant to move and change in its own time through its own rhythm. This is nature's way of growing, protecting, and keeping your baby safe, not your body betraying you.
Being pregnant affects everyone differently. There is no right or wrong way to be pregnant. However you experience this stage of your life, it prepares and shapes who you are and who you will become as a mother.
Image by Christian Glatz under a Creative Commons license.