Over the past few years, as many of my friends have gotten pregnant and had their own families, I’ve gotten to witness a wide variety of reactions to the changes that happen to a pregnant woman’s body. Some women embrace their new curves and flaunt them with fitted maternity clothes. These are the same women who eagerly take photos of their growing belly every week. Some avoid wearing maternity clothes until the last minute, wincing at their growing reflection in the mirror. You’ll be lucky to see their baby belly in their profile picture. Some hardly think twice about what they look like, and welcome the chance to stop calorie counting and worrying about their jean size for nine months.
Personally, I loved everything about my pregnant body. Part of this was because I was so excited to become a mother. Part of it was because of the attention that came along with pregnancy. And part of it was because I thought the maternity clothes were so cute (not anything like the frocks and panel jeans of the 80s!). I also loved the way my big belly drew the attention away from my other “problem areas.”
In general, even though we experience different levels of acceptance of our own pregnant bodies, the vast majority of people look at pregnant women in awe and see beauty. There is something so captivating about a pregnant woman. Perhaps it is the wonder of carrying life or the fact that we rarely see women in those final months. I attended a small concert with friends just a few weeks before I was due, and many of them could not help but stare at my belly. They had never seen a women so pregnant before. I can’t blame them, neither had I! I also stared in the mirror every morning, completely blown away that my skin had been able to stretch that far.
Do you feel beautiful when you are pregnant or do you struggle with your body image?