How do you combat a negative body image during pregnancy?

  • My sister is pregnant and although I think she looks great, she is struggling with her growing body. Her negative body image isn't healthy, but I don't know how to help her handle it. How did you combat negative feelings about your growing pregnant belly? ~Bonnie, StrongMoms Facilitator

  • Obviously I can't speak from the aspect of being pregnant, but I can discuss what it is like to offer support and help pregnant women cope. There's no avoiding the fact that there will be a weight gain, but as long as docs says it's OK, there's no reason why women can't try to manage the severity of the weight gain by exercising and eating right. Photos of pregnant celebrities made my wife feel better as well, as even models and starlets gain weight. 

  • Body image can be a tough one, esp. for women, from childhood-elderly years.  I think that body imagine can have a lot to do with feeling powerless in other areas of life-and weight/appearance is something that one can change, so focusing on it can help alleviate anxiety and frustrations over other areas in life.  That being said, with pregnancy our bodies do change significantly.  I think that acknowledging that "it is hard to have our bodies change", and then focusing on having a healthy pregnancy and baby may be helpful.  Give her a big hug!  This is hard stuff.  -Jess

  • I think that in addition to pregnancy body image - the post-pregnancy body image is a tough one. Once the baby gets here, you think the weight will just drop, but it doesn't always happen like that.