Tips for maintaining positive body image in pregnancy

Dr Nicole Highet
Dr Nicole Highet
Dr Nicole Highet is the Founder of COPE. As well as the Executive Director of COPE (the Centre of Perinatal Excellence). COPE is a not-for-profit organisation devoted to reducing the impacts of emotional and mental health problems in the pre and postnatal periods.
Created on Oct 10, 2023 · 2 mins read

We’ve all got lumps, bumps, cellulite, and beautiful love handles. Female bodies come in a whole range of shapes and sizes. When we choose to create a life, our bodies have to change and grow. Even though this is known, the way you transform may cause some distress or insecurity. Often we are surrounded with soft images of expectant mothers with their perfect baby bumps while maintaining otherwise unchanged body proportions. In reality, this is not normal for most women.

It is important to acknowledge that, whilst there are a number of positive ‘side-effects’ of pregnancy (like stronger hair and nails and glowing skin from hormones), unfortunately, there also comes weight gain on other areas (besides your tummy), swollen legs, and varicose veins – just to name a few.

pregnant woman

The outward changes to your body size and shape is often a talking point with others, which also may increase the focus on your body image. Even though you may feel some pressure to look a certain way, it is important that you try and view pregnancy realistically.

Too often we can place unrealistic pressures or expectations on ourselves about how we should or will look throughout pregnancy.

For women, it can be hard if you are not feeling comfortable with your changing proportions. When you’re experiencing this, it is helpful to remember and appreciate the amazing ability it is to create a little person.

Keeping it all in perspective

The key is to focus on your priorities and what is really important.

Pregnancy is a time to nurture your physical health, emotional health, and wellbeing.  You can do this by:

Eating well

Good quality food will nourish both you and your growing baby.

Exercising sensibly

Even a gentle walk can be great for maintaining mental wellbeing by stimulating those endorphins which have a positive impact on your mood, as well as giving you a sense of achievement.

Realistic expectations

being aware of your expectations around body image, and asking are these realistic or are you putting pressure on yourself?

Your number one priority right now is to provide a nurturing and nourishing environment for your baby, and you can do this by taking the pressure off and maintaining a realistic, and healthy outlook. Body image is a troublesome issue to overcome but you must try your best to maintain perspective and compliment yourself for all the ways your body is changing. Look in that mirror and tell yourself how beautiful you are every day!

Related articles

10 foods you should eat during pregnancy
10 things you need to know about the Fourth Trimester
13 ways to pamper yourself during your pregnancy

Related Articles

Loved this article?

Share with a friend

Hey parents!


Get paid to review the latest brands and products

Join Now - it’s FREE