If you find yourself noticing the girth more than the glow, take these steps to feel better.
* GET MOVING
Studies show that women who exercise during pregnancy respond more positively to their changing bodies than those who don’t. An Australian study found that pregnant exercisers also had less anxiety and insomnia. The regular regimen, like walking or yoga, will help keep weight gain in balance, which will benefit you postpartum too. So clear your fitness routine with your ob/gyn, and then get physical.
* GROW YOUR MIND
Use magazines, books, and websites to educate yourself about what’s happening to your pregnant body and why. You were not only gaining weight, but also transforming in multiple ways. Knowing what to expect will make the changes less disconcerting.
* LIGHTEN UP
“As best you can, try to have a sense of humor about it, a sense of awe,” Jill Hudson Neal, a mother of two who pens a washingtonpost.com column on motherhood, suggests. Remember, “in the end, your pregnancy has an end date.”
* FOCUS ON THE BABY
To develop, your fetus needs the extra calories you’re consuming and all of the changes that occur during gestation. If you find yourself fretting about the scale, redirect your attention to finding a great baby name or the perfect nursery items.
* OPEN YOUR EYEs
Expose yourself to positive images of pregnant women. “Look through ancient art and see how much the pregnant body was honored and revered on so many levels in different cultures,” says Ann Kearney-Cooke, a body-image researcher and director of Cincinnati Psychotherapy Institute.
*GET IN THE HABIT
Kearney-Cooke suggests keeping track of positive things you do for your body each day. They might include preparing a nutritious meal, taking a walk, applying lotion. Focus on the good things and schedule them in each day.
* LOOK THE OTHER WAY
To avoid obsessing about your weight, literally face out during your ob/gyn weigh-in, and ask your nurse and doctor tell you your weight only if it goes beyond or below normal range. Focus on how your body is feeling, not how much it weighs.