Let me start off by saying that I am not perfect.
Is anyone perfect?
Absolutely not. Perfection does not exist.
This is an article for all the soon-to-be mommas out there but definitely applies to all women no matter what season of life you’re in.
If you’re ever feeling down about your physical appearance, this one’s for you.
The female body is extraordinary.
It is a capsule of life-giving energy.
Now it’s time to enjoy every second of it.
Like many people, I grew up with body issues. I won’t be getting into the details about my past (let me know in the comments if that’s something you want me to cover) but I wanted to shine some light on the fact that confidence and loving your body is a choice. It doesn’t magically come out of thin air and you certainly can’t purchase it at a store. It takes hard work. It takes a small level of faith (in yourself) to ignite the spark (within yourself).
I’ve always had a desire to experience pregnancy and motherhood – and I recognize that it’s definitely not the same case for every woman. And it’s perfectly ok.
Some pregnancies are really tough and some are super easy. Some are even just average. Some women really dislike being pregnant (but obviously love the outcome) and some women love every second of it.
In the end, you are the master of your journey. And all journeys are beautiful and worth it.
For the women that aren’t enjoying their experiences – it’s ok! Of course I desire nothing but positive experiences for everyone, but I know that isn’t possible. Please take these tips and use them to simply help improve your daily experience and know that no matter what, you are an incredible human being, or as I like to say, fertile goddess.
For woman that are enjoying their pregnancies (even though the ugly times) – my goal is to further emphasize that positive experience. You too are a beautiful, fertile goddess that deserves to be celebrated.
Here’s a few tips on how I developed a strong love for my growing, pregnant body:
- Daily affirmations. I can’t begin to tell you how important affirmations are. What is an affirmation? It’s the action or process of affirming something or being affirmed, emotional support or encouragement (via the Dictionary). A lot of woman ask me how I keep so positive and confident during pregnancy and I tell them all the same thing: A combo of literally keeping positive, a.k.a. surrounding myself with positive thoughts, people, and by educating myself in a positive way. This has probably played the biggest part in my strong love for my pregnant body. The more confident I feel, the better. Even when I wasn’t pregnant, reciting affirmations made my day so much more positive. I often write them down and repeat over and over until I somewhat believe it. I do this while practicing a simple breathing exercise of inhaling slow for 4 counts and exhaling out for 4. I love to say/write things like, “You ARE capable. You CAN do this. Your body is beautiful. You’ve created magic.” Another great way to inflict positivity into your daily experience is through using music. I use it as a way to lift my spirits and guide me towards a positive attitude. Of course, this means picking music that focuses on the happy stuff. Music by Trevor Hall is a great start. I also recommend listening to positive birth podcasts and watching positive birth Youtube videos, they will help you feel more confident overall and help promote even more love for your growing bump. Here’s a few I recommend: Podcasts: Informed Pregnancy Podcast, Youtube: The Positive Birth Co. I also strongly advise every woman to read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (No matter what kind of birth you plan on having) and take a Lamaz-based Birth Class similar to this one – Your Childbirth Journey. P.S. I’ve heard positive affirmations (and a positive attitude) help a lot with labor. I will report back after baby makes their way Earthside.
- Practicing self-care. Self-care is essential for everyone, not just pregnant women. Though it’s so easy to forget to do the little things when you’re expecting (thanks exhaustion and pregnancy brain!). I’ve made it my mission to apply lotion to my body after every shower. This makes my skin feel so soft and helps me feel like I’m really doing something wonderful for my body – even though it’s a super tiny task (I’ve really loved using a shea butter lotion during this pregnancy!). Little things like heating the water up before splashing it on my face in the morning has made all the difference when starting my day. I then enjoy spritzing my face with an all-natural toner/freshener. I guess you can say I strive to give my face a spa-like treatment every morning – minus the cost and keeping it really simple! Don’t ignore the little things that make YOU feel good. Your body is a temple. It’s the only one you get. Take care of it, enjoy it, and recognize how beautiful it truly is. Take warm baths, read a good book… these may all sound like typical things, but again, when you feel good, your mindset improves and your overall experience is enhanced. You CAN do this. Your body deserves to be loved, just like you’re going to love that little babe growing inside of you, with all your heart and soul.
- Take photos of your growing belly. I know this can be hard for some women that don’t enjoy their photo being taken, but you don’t have to take or keep a photo that’s not of your liking! Maybe it’s a photo that simply captures your beautiful growing belly. Maybe it’s what your hair looks like that day. Maybe it’s an outfit that showcases the bump. Really it can be anything! Every time I feel sad, I look at my collection of growing bump pics (currently on week 37, woo!) and I instantly feel better. I sit there remembering how incredible this miracle is and how not everyone get’s so lucky. It’s important to practice gratitude during this season of growing and changing. Start by appreciating what your body is doing and how your beauty – soul and all – are just another part of the magic. Don’t take it for granted. You are a strong, beautiful momma that deserves to know how incredible you are. Lately, I’ve been trying to document as much of my last few weeks of pregnancy as possible. Before my pregnant belly, I would never in a million years take a photo exposing my midriff. Recently I published a photo on my instagram showing a little more than I’ve ever shown before and when I look at it, I couldn’t feel sexier. Despite the stretch marks, pimple breakouts, greasy hair, and unshaved legs, I feel so freakin’ sexy and it’s all thanks to setting up that camera timer and snapping a pic to my liking. It’s also thanks to the simple fact that I am so proud of what I’m doing, how far I’ve come, and how magical the human body truly is. Go on girl, you can do it too. If you don’t think so, hit me up and we will get you that sexy fertile lady goddess pic showcasing your enchanting beauty + bump.
- Last but not least, stop apologizing for your cravings. I wanted to title this last one as “eat well” but I truly can’t say that I’ve made the healthiest of choices during this pregnancy. All I’ve ever craved for these past 9 months are comfort foods and carbs. Do I think my vegan diet (avoiding diary and animal bi-products) contributes to my healthy level of weight gain? Yes. But that’s not what this article is about. This is about not feeling guilt or shame for NEEDING that cookie at 10pm at night. Practicing self-care and not making it an every-night habit is of course helpful, and maybe go for the homemade cookie instead of the store-bought kind, but don’t you dare say sorry for what you want. You deserve to indulge at least once a day – you know I do! We’re GROWING babies for crying out loud! Last night I literally had fries and a (homemade) smoothie for dinner and this pregnant momma is so not sorry for it. 💪
I hope these little tips and tricks can help improve your overall pregnancy experience, even if it’s simply helping you recognize how magical and beautiful your body is. Surround yourself with positivity. If you ever need someone to vent to or chat with, don’t be afraid to DM me on Instagram @thehippiebiscuit.
Us women have to work together to support each other. We can do this. We can do ANYTHING.