It can be challenging for any pregnant person to make friends with their ever-evolving pregnant body. For many, in the beginning, it's a struggle to cope with the constant bloat. Feeling like you no longer fit into your clothes and also not yet fitting into your Maternity Clothes. Then there's a feeling like maybe your bump is not big enough to showcase in skintight clothes and people will simply assume you've gained weight for no reason (also, is that so bad? Discussion for another day!) Finally, you have a bonafide bump, Maternity Clothes fit like a glove (more or less) and while on the one hand, you've made it to the "Classic Pregnant Person" look you've been dreaming about, on the other hand, you can't help but feel ugly. Isn't that incredible how that works?? Everyone around you is probably telling you that you're glowing! You've never looked more beautiful! You carry it all in your belly! But no- it doesn't matter what anyone says (also, lay off the body-talk, will ya, folks?!) you still feel at odds with your new, changing body.
There's an added layer, a very important layer at that, for anyone who is in a relationship with an Eating Disorder a/o Body Dysmorphic Disorder. The push and pull of a growing body, e n d l e s s triggers and a vibrant culture of Body Talk can feel debilitating. We see you practicing your self-talk regularly, processing your thoughts often, and fighting your demons that won't quiet the f*ck down.
With all of that, consider this theory and see if its helpful framework:
There is a biological/intentional component linked to your mind having to cope with your changing body, appearance, shape, etc. throughout your pregnancy. Picture it like this:
You are an Egg Shell. Growing a baby chick inside. Eventually you will crack open to birth it. And then what? Is a cracked shell Nothing? Literally? Nope. It's just that- a cracked shell. Simply, a new being, in itself. A new form, a new shape. You'll glue yourself back together (hopefully with the loving help of your family a/o a Postpartum Doula). To the naked eye, or to many who have never experienced it, you are once again your original shell. But you know you are completely changed. Born into a parent. A whole new shell.
The last ten months lead up to the grand finale. A series of obstacles, much like a hero's journey, that lead you to the biggest transition of your life. An exercise in the ultimate shape-shifting. It was all part of the process. Practicing to cope with a new body that will literally become a N E W body. Tricky pregnancy!!
Of course that doesn't mean that feeling heavy, yuck, highly emotional, or raw is wrong! Or useless! Those are real feelings- completely valid and real. Maybe though, it's helpful to know that it means it's working? You're Pregnant, and all the things happening in and to your body are part of it. The Master Plan of Pregnancy, if you will. It's f*cking working.
How would a reframe feel to you? How would it feel to look in the mirror and think, I don't know who this person is with this new shape-and I don't like how it looks. And then follow it up with: "And, I'm so proud of my body for working so damn hard at growing a human. Nice to meet you, new body, keep doing your thing."
All this is a long-winded way to say, we see you working hard to accept the things you cannot change. And we see you staring at your new body in the mirror and wondering when/if you can feel beautiful. There are so many factors to it- and it's never as easy as just "telling yourself that you are". But, we can try, right?
Welcome to Pregnancy: The most beautiful and challenging process, besides Parenthood, which is the ultimate mindf*ck... but hey, one thing at a time. :)
Weight gain is "normal" during Pregnancy. If you have questions, worries, or concerns, about your weight during pregnancy, we encourage you to speak openly with your provider. (Midwife/OB) You can also turn to your Doula, as a listening ear, to share your thoughts and feelings.
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