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Pregnancy "Do's and Don'ts," Part Two
Love Your Body
I have worked hard throughout my life to stay in shape. I eat a balanced diet (with room for chocolate). I have run 7 marathons in less than 4 years. Pregnancy was very new and foreign to me and I was worried about what would happen to my body when I got pregnant. Would I get “fat?” Would people be looking at me because I am a dietitian to see if I gained the right amount of weight and not an ounce too much? Would I feel sluggish and “big?” Would my face get puffy? Would I look the same from behind as I used to? As women, we tend to obsess a little bit too much over these sorts of thoughts. Here is the truth: my body has changed. A lot. But I love it! I have unsightly varicose and spider veins, swelling ankles, and a little bit more padding in quite a few different areas. However, instead of feeling embarrassed or defeated, I look at my body as an incredible vehicle to bring a new life into this world. The most important thing to me is not fitting into a certain size jeans. I feel blessed in my new role as expectant mother, but more importantly I feel a responsibility to treat my body with utmost care to house and grow this child for 9 months. If my body has to change to create a new life, that is a small price to pay.
Obsess over every stretch mark
Keep yourself active through moderate exercise most days of the week. Eat a variety of healthy foods and satisfy your appetite. Your body is going to change and hopefully your attitude toward your body will change along with it! Your body needs to stretch to fit a new life inside and your mind needs to stretch to embrace that new life. Even if those stretch marks and varicose veins stay with you long after pregnancy, look at them with pride at what your body was able to accomplish. It is a true miracle every time a child is born. Your body was made to bend, stretch, and even waddle while carrying a child. Embrace it!
Since I went on so long in this blog, I will need to add another Part 3 to my advice for expectant mothers. For Mother’s Day this weekend, give yourself the gift of body love. Ladies, embrace the changes. Guys, tell your gorgeous expectant lady how incredible she looks and how every day of her pregnancy she has gotten more beautiful.
Photo courtesy of .dianna.