Sigh. Shuffle. Deep intake of breath. Yes, it’s the slow walk of a heavily pregnant woman. A gravity defying bump, slightly chubby cheeks and a hot-flush-induced glistening sheen. Hardly a picture of glamour, is it? Pregnancy is one of the most amazing things a woman can go through but the impact on your body is immense. It’s a rare woman that can go through the 9 months unscathed.
Belly, boobs and bum all seem to increase in size and can leave even the most confident of women wondering will their body ever be their own or the same again. Add to that the pressure of the media running regular features on celebrities back in their skinny jeans within a month of giving birth, and it can be a little daunting.
During my first pregnancy, I put on a whopping three stone and was, quite frankly, huge. Thankfully, I suffered no worse symptoms than a pronounced waddle and fat ankles but despite making every effort to eat healthily and NOT eat for two, I often heard a nagging voice in the back of my mind saying ‘you are never going to shift all this weight after the birth’. I ate an almost perfect pregnancy diet and spent a lot of time walking outdoors but still I worried. With hindsight … needlessly.
A healthy post-pregnancy diet, a hungry breast-feeding baby, and daily doses of long walks and fresh air saw the weight slip away after a couple of months. While my body didn’t return to exactly the same shape and I now have a nice 10cm scar as a reminder of a not so perfect birth, I can say that I wish I’d never given my weight a second thought. Image is everything nowadays and the pressure to be perfect is extreme. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that being pregnant, putting on weight and changing shape is absolutely and perfectly normal. Embrace it!
I’m now five months in to my second pregnancy and am feeling much more relaxed this time around. That’s in spite of my husband’s new nickname for me … Tubs. My bump is bigger this time but I weight a little less than with my first. I walk regularly, I eat reasonably healthily – apart from an addiction to Haribo sours – and I’m fully at ease knowing that my body will change yet again but not to the extent that I need to ruin my pregnancy by worrying about it. I feel in control.
Ladies, I say be kind to your body, feed your unborn child with all the nutrients it needs to grow (and yes, the odd piece of chocolate too), stay active and everything else will take care of itself. Enjoy your new lumps, bumps and strange cravings. You won’t believe how much you’ll miss them once they’re gone.