Blog / Mama's Musings

Pregnancy and Body Image

I had a completely different piece in mind to mark my 30th week of pregnancy.
But something else popped up and I’m going to have to address it.

I helped someone today that said this to me “how come other people look cute pregnant and me… and you… just look huge?”

I’ll let that soak in for a minute.

This isn’t the first time a customer has said something to me that couldn’t be interpreted as anything other than an insult.  When I was pregnant with Hudson a customer actually scoffed when I mentioned my pre-pregnancy size.

Even pregnant women can manage to say the wrong thing to other pregnant women.30weeksweight

Now, what was my hormone-charged reaction to this woman telling me I look huge instead of cute?

Well, I laughed. Because it was funny. And I told her that other people looked cute because they were the one who is pregnant and not you and that we always judge ourselves (and apparently sales people) differently.

I’m 30 weeks pregnant. I’m quickly on my way to outweighing my husband, I have dimples in places that aren’t cute, and just holding up a pair of jeans two sizes larger than my regular size I can already tell they’d be too tight.

Compared to non-pregnant me, I am huge.

And you know what? I’m totally okay with that.  I feel great about how I look, which is why what she said really didn’t bother me.

I work with a lot of women, and I am always shocked how many women seem to truly hate their pregnant bodies.  It seems that at least once a day I hear someone say “I’m just so fat”.

To which I usually say “Stop.”

Just stop.  This will not help you. And besides, you’re completely missing the point.

Now there are extremes on either end, some people who gain too much and people who gain too little, but for the average pregnant lady (who always seem to be the most critical) I look at it like this:

athletes04largeSwimmers have long bodies and broad shoulders because they need strong arms and a strong back to perform strokes like the butterfly.

Marathon runners are much less broad, they are lean and spindly, they need to be light and muscular to carry their weight for long distances.

Olympic weight lifters have very biceps of course but also large quads to stabilize themselves as they lift over 500lbs of weight.

And you’re going to need a few extra dimples on your butt to grow a strong and healthy baby.

This process and the day you give birth, what you and your body will be nothing short of an Olympic feat. So take it easy on the self-criticism –at least temporarily.

So, no I won’t be winning any bikini contests any time soon (never won one not pregnant so it’s not a hard loss). And, yeah, it’s a bummer when even your pajama pants are tight.  But I’m not about to be the one turning to the person next to me on the climb up Mt. Everest asking “Does this snow suit make my butt look big?”.

Because I’ll miss the view from the mountain.

And I’ll ruin the journey.

And I’ll stop myself from enjoying something that most people only get to do a few times in their life– if they are lucky. Some people never get to do it at all.

And who knows… Maybe being able to accept (maybe even love) your pregnant body… you might be able to make a few steps in forgiving that non-pregnant body too.

2 thoughts on “Pregnancy and Body Image

  1. Bless you for this. I loved my pregnant body (afterwards, well… you know how it goes). Fat ass, giant belly, belly button sink hold the size of a dessert plate, stretch marks that look like something that was a result of being clawed by Wolverine – I loved all of it, because my 2 amazing little men came from within that body. I felt like crap, I was miserable, my labors both went badly and ended in unwanted c-sections, and when I was done with all of it, I was left with saggy boobs, a fat tummy, thighs that jiggled way too much, and thinning hair. And while i have dieted and exercised and actually am much smaller post final baby than I was pre-first baby, there are parts of my body that will never ever look right again. But who gives a flying fig? I get to have 2 kids now! Kids are better than flat bellies.

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  2. I don’t know. This is a hard one. Before I got pregnant I had lost 70 lbs. I was just starting to get my groove back, and boom. Preggers. It was difficult seeing my body to go the other way – the way I promised myself I would never let myself go.

    It was painful.

    But it’s a necessity to grow a healthy babe. It’s not forever. Plus, I exercised and ate right, so that helped a bit. But…I think you just try to make peace and not think about it too much.

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