Being pregnant is changing my body and I LOVE IT

Guest post by Dahlia
Bump (3 of 16)

Before I got pregnant, I really didn’t like my body. I thought I was fat, thought I wasn’t good enough, you know… things a lot of young girls and women deal with. I gained weight and got stretch marks, and that sent me into a deep dark place of self-loathing and despair that I wasn’t beautiful anymore.

And then I found out I was somehow the .01% and had conceived on the pill.

For the first few days I worried about my body. I worried about how I would look and how I would change. Would I hate my body more? Would it matter?

Days went by and I started liking my body. My body was the same body, but I saw it in a different light. I started feeling its power, the power of life. I was making a life! I mean, I AM making a life!

Now, my belly is growing bigger everyday, and at 19 weeks along, I’m still loving my body. I’m stretching and aching and expanding, but my heart and mind are, too. My idea of beauty is changing. Yes, I know I’ll never look the same, I know I’ll never have my smooth teen tummy back…and I’m okay with that.

I’ve searched the internet so many times looking for women whose self-esteem INCREASED during pregnancy, but I can’t find any! All I find is, “How to boost your self-esteem during pregnancy.” “‘I HATE MY PREGNANT BODY!'” “I love my kids, but hate how they’ve changed my body.”

I want women to know they don’t have to hate their pregnant bodies. I want women, and young girls especially, to realize our bodies change completely after a baby and it’s okay. We’re still beautiful. We’re still the same person we were before we conceived. The things in life that are most important are things we can’t see or touch, but things we feel… people we love.

I want women to see this one positive search result in a world full of negative search results.

Comments on Being pregnant is changing my body and I LOVE IT

  1. I’m 16 weeks pregnant with my second child. I am not enjoying this pregnancy, because of the morning sickness and exhaustion and tsunami mood swings. But I do love my body. I usually have no so much confidence when it comes to my body, but during both pregnancies I have loved the way I look!

    With my first child, I had to have a C-section. At first I hated the scar it left behind. Over the years the scar has faded and I have learned to love it. It’s a visible reminder every day of how blessed I am to have my son.

  2. I’m 24 weeks now, and I still love my body. I am glad to see I’m not alone! I try very hard to stay away from forums and posts about women hating their bodies, that negative coruminating is dangerous! There’s something to be said about the way a group of women hating themselves makes you feel about your own body, regardless of how you truly feel about it.

    I am glad this post made it through, and I’m glad to see all the women loving themselves.

  3. Love this! And have really loved being pregnant! Now I sit here 6 days past due and feeling very uncomfortable but still totally stoked on my pregnant belly and the person I have become to nurture this little person inside of me. In my experience, making good choices, eating well, and staying active has been key in my success being pregnant. Taking care of myself and my baby has given me all the power and confidence that I could need! I love knowing that there are so many other women out there that feel the same!

  4. My daughter is now almost five months old, but I too absolutely LOVED my body while I was pregnant. I had many fears about how it would distort my figure and I’d turn into someone I didn’t recognize…but instead I loved feeling the bump grow bigger, loved showing it off in my prego clothes, even loved the very different attention I’d get in public (no one every grabbed my belly or anything; I got lucky). I continue to love my body now, and am still amazed at the overall feeling of total acceptance and love for my own body and what I look like. I found great freedom in being pregnant…I wish every pregnant woman would!

  5. i’m 25 weeks pregnant and i’ve been back and forth about this. i really appreciate this post though, it’s the sort of thing that really helps me out and is a good reminder. i told my partner about it and he said ‘that’s what i’ve been telling you for weeks!’

    now if i just never had to deal with searching for plus sized maternity clothes again i could be happy. being in the dressing room was maybe the most demoralizing point of the whole pregnancy so far.

  6. I actually liked, no, loved my body for the first time when I was pregnant. I have never felt better about myself. EVER! Unfortunately for me after I gave birth my body image went right back down in the dumps. I really hope that you continue to feel good about yourself, it’s a wonderful thing!

  7. Great post! I guess this is echoing basically every other comment here, but: I was a pretty miserable anorexic gal in college, and slowly learned to hate my body less in the following years. When we started trying to conceive (at 30), I was terrified about what was going to happen to my body image, but it’s felt surprisingly good and natural. I didn’t “pop” until ~16 weeks, so by that point I was ready to actually see some external evidence of pregnancy. Also, going from an A-cup to SURPRISE ENORMOUS BOOBS is pretty hilarious, to be honest.

  8. You guys, I am SO loving all these body-positive comments!! YES!!

    The one thing I did want to caution y’all on is to be thoughtful when saying things like “I’m a real woman because I’m pregnant! My body is doing what it’s made to do!” Comments like this can be really hurtful to those struggling with fertility — are they “less of a woman” because their body isn’t doing what it’s “supposed” to do? I’m confident we can find ways to celebrate the awesomness of pregnant bodies without suggesting that non-pregnant female bodies are less womanly.

  9. This post sort of highlights the reverse pressures that a site like this can create. See, this is the ONLY mommy blog I read. So when I hated my body … I kind of felt alone. I didn’t feel powerful, and beautiful, and awesome. I felt like some poor victim in a B rated sci fi movie with a creature wiggling around inside her.

    But I digress. Sometimes I forget that the vast majority of the world has an *opposite* view from what feels like the majority here. So when I’m feeling lonely, or pressured I should take a deep breath and check out some mainstreamness. And then come back here and appreciate all the positivity!

  10. I completely concur. I was once a dancer (before graduate school and realizing I couldn’t hack the dancer’s life) and stared at what I considered to be the wrong body too many hours each day. Today I am 14 weeks pregnant and while there have been days I don’t feel well or I’m uncomfortable, I’ve never once thought that I was fat or ugly. In fact, I look in the mirror at least once a day and say aloud, “Damn, I look good!:

  11. at 37 weeks right now, and I have to say I love being pregnant because although I am conscious of what I am eating/putting into my body, there is no war with the scale for me, no constantly thinking ‘will I look fat in this?’or self doubting how I look, I just know I look great with this baby belly! Part of me will be sad to see it go, but another part of me thinks, if I can look this awesome preggo, I think I can look great when I’m not preggo (hopefully the motiviation I need for losing weight post baby . . . ) but it really has been a relief to not constantly think/worry how I look for a change.

  12. I’m just finding the whole process a little bewildering. Granted, I’m only 9 weeks along, so this feeling of confusion may blossom into something positive. My body hasn’t changed this much since puberty! Suddenly my boobs have exploded and my weight is moving around… I notice that my hips and thighs are getting somewhat smaller and my tum is getting bigger. Even my hair is changing! As a Fat Acceptance advocate, I’m trying to take these changes in stride, but it’s hard.

    The cocktail of hormones coursing through my system has me dealing with crazy moodswings and more negative emotions than I know what to do with, or how to combat. It’s really hard not to turn those negative emotions and moods on to my body. I haven’t felt this emotionally bad since I was 15! The worst part is that I don’t know what is a valid feeling or thought and what is hormones. Sometimes I’ll be venting to my best friend and it’ll take her shouting at me that it’s hormones and that I shouldn’t listen to it for me to realize that she’s right. Maybe in a few weeks it’ll be better.

  13. I completely relate to this! I’ve been overweight with body image issues for quite a while, but being pregnant (baby is now 17 months, but i’m newly pregnant with #2) showed me every day how amazing my body was. I also followed the Bradley method diet & took a 2 mile walk almost every day with my husband, so I was treating my body much better than in my non-pregnant life. I hope to carry that into my non-pregnant life, in part to show my kids what an incredible gift it is to be healthy.

  14. LOVE this. This is my second pregnancy, and it’s confirming that I really do feel best about my body when I’m pregnant. It’s pretty amazing what it can do! I have to say, after I had my son I actually liked my post-baby body better than my pre-baby body, extra rolls and weird proportions and all. Maybe it has something to do with knowing where all those weird lumps came from, but I have had a much greater appreciation for my hips and belly and legs and boobs since they made and nourished a whole person.

  15. Congrats!

    I loved my pregnant body as well – I’ve always been an hourglass with a short torso (meaning that despite my measurements matching medium-sized clothes, hardly anything fitted well & even less looked good), so I was really nervous beforehand that having a big belly as well would just make me look like a circle with legs – more ‘lumpy’ than ‘pregnant’.

    Instead, I was one of the lucky ones where every single gram I gained went to either belly or bust & I even trimmed down on the sides, so everything was really well proportioned & when I started showing it was REALLY obvious, even to strangers, that I was pregnant! I even had several people tell me I should look into being a maternity clothing model, haha!

    I’ve never felt as good in clothes as I did while pregnant!

  16. I totally agree. I loved being pregnant and my pregnant body. I took better care of myself; I ate better, so I felt better. I still exercised. And of course the feeling of creating life was amazing. I had a very positive body image while pregnant, and even post-partum I feel great!

  17. I felt more beautiful than ever while I was pregnant. I never much cared for my body before, but like you, fell in love with all that it was capable of while growing and carrying my daughter. I almost miss my pregnant body, but nurturing and sustaining my beautiful 6 week old girl makes me love my body in a whole new way.

  18. HI!
    To be honest with you… I´m on my 28th week, I´m 32 years old, I was in a quite good shape before we decide to get pregnant and I always knew I was gonna change… the best of it, I don´t mind a bit!!! I JUST LOVE IT! I don´t really want to get ride of my beautiful tummy!!! 🙂 So, there you go! Enjoy as much as you can and enjoy your baby and your maternity the most.
    Greetings from a Spanish mum in Finland!

  19. Great article 🙂

    When I read the first paragraph it sounded like me exactly! I forever was critical of my body and had low self esteem for what seems like forever!
    Then I got pregnant and even though I got sick and stuff – I don’t care! I love being pregnant – I feel beautiful and I’m happy with my belly. I cannot wait until it’s HUGE!

    I’m 19 weeks with my first – and barely showing – but can’t wait for the day I do! I’ve been obsessed with pregnant bellies for forever as well! I love the miracle that is expecting 🙂

  20. Agh yes thank you! I get so mad when people come up to me and speak in a sympathetic tone ‘oh don’t worry, you don’t look THAT big’… I want to look big! I like BEING huge and having a big belly and I’m proud of my stretch marks! Everyone just assumes that because I’m pregnant, I must have this sad, fragile view of my body, and it couldn’t be further from the truth!

  21. I was a young mom (23) and not with any particular body issues– I just don’t think about it much. But when I was pregnant I felt BEAUTIFUL! I felt powerful, special, womanly, feminine, mysterious… I would even put on cute dresses and tie ribbons around my (ever expanding) ribcage, and make my husband do photo shoots of me. Even in my old wedding dress, a red empire waisted gown that looked great with a bump. If it wasn’t for how hard the delivery was, I probably would be pregnant again right now just for how euphoric being pregnant made me feel.

  22. After many years of anorexia and terrible body image, I was 28 and at a healthy weight with a much less tortured body image but not exactly happy in my own skin. I knew my body would change with pregnancy but I told myself that it was going to change whether or not I got pregnant. The fact is that bodies change with age, albeit slower than with pregnancy.

    So I decided I could either delay change and deny myself the joy of children or I could embrace change and attempt to conceive. When I didn’t get pregnant right away, I struggled with being angry at my body for not doing what I wanted it to do *again.*

    Anyway, fast forward almost 4 years and I have a 2.5-year-old and an 8-month-old. While I never felt sexy pregnant, what I did feel was NOT unhappy. The background noise of negative body ideas seemed to disappear. When I looked in the mirror, I was much more likely to dream about the body growing inside than worry about the body growing on the outside. Now, 8 months postpartum from my second, I have some ab muscle separation that creates a little belly bulge and some ever-fading stretch marks. Overall, the biggest change that happened for me was not what happened to my body but what happened to my brain. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t have time or energy to care or because mothering hormones numb out or neutralize my body anxiety but, whatever it is, I’m happier in my body than I ever been mainly because I just don’t think about it much anymore.

  23. The opposite happened to me. My pre-pregnant body was thin and smooth and perfect and I loved it, really loved it. Losing it has felt scary and disorienting. I don’t mean to be depressing. But if you are a woman who feels the same, you’re not alone.

  24. I had my first at 21 and felt totally the same way! I finally felt that my body was beautiful and have felt the same way since through breastfeeding and another pregnancy. Ours bodies do such amazing things its great to finally give it (our bodies and ultimately ourselves) credit.

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