(Closed) Body Image Issues and Pregnancy. How do you deal?

posted 7 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
Member
1332 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@TulleLove:  I am not expecting, nor planning to be anytime soon, BUT i have a dear friend with the same types of ‘issues’, and I feel it is a normal/legitimate concern.  Before her pregnancy, I told her that my fear for her was the loss of control over what her body does during pregnancy.  She said I was right about my concern, she felt the same but was too scared to say a word.  You can watch what you eat, to a point and exercise, but women carry babies/pregnancies differently!!

Anyways, she is now preggo, and contrary to what we both thought she would do or feel, she is handling it very well.  Per my friend, it is ‘different’ when you are actually creating a life.  Yes, she feared her body – being ‘larger’, ‘swollen’, ‘weight gain’, and now all these things are happening, and she is still glowing.  She looks in the mirror and sees what her body is doing, and thinks it is kinda wonderful!! 

Her body image issues have taken a ‘back seat’ to the life her and her husband created/are creating.  Now, post baby, she may struggle with this again, but i think the same thing will occur.  Her body will take a back seat to her baby – knowing she will do everything to get back to ‘size’ – walk, eat right, breast feed, etc.

I know everyone is different, but I hope this helps!! 

Post # 4
Member
753 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I’ve never been pregnant, but I think pregnant women are beautiful! Carrying a baby won’t take away from your beauty, if anything it might enhance it. Just throwing that out there πŸ™‚

Post # 5
Member
772 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I think what your are concerned about is totally normal. Given your history, and the lack of control pregnancy can bring, would you consider talking to a therapist or meeting with someone before you get pregnant? I think the fact you acknowledge a problem is a huge step, especially since you recognize it could get in the way of something you and your husband both want. 

I know there are formerly eating disordered women who get pregnant and have healthy babies, so here has to be some sort of support network and resources (I know you did not say you had had this problem).  Hopefully any bees with experience (personal or friend) can chime in.

Post # 6
Member
63 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I feel exactly the same way as you… so i am interested to see the responses people have. Is it really difficult to shift the baby weight? Ahh the burden of being a woman!!

Post # 7
Member
869 posts
Busy bee

I think it’s really good of you to consider these things before getting pregnant.  As PP mentioned, even if you eat right, and exercise, every woman carries differently, and your shape will obviously change.  I don’t think I strugged to the extent you have in my past, but I’ve definitely had my share of body image issues.  Being pregnant was tough, because I felt like I didnt have the control over my body that I did before.  I’d eat healthy, and exercise.  One month I’d gain only 1 pound, the next I’d gain 7, and there was no rhyme or reason to it – I was doing the same thing.  When my clothes didn’t fit anymore I struggled.  There’s a point in the middle (there was for me, anyhow) where you don’t quite look “pregnant” yet, but your clothes don’t fit properly.  Once you’re past that, I think it gets better.  I really think it’s important that you make sure you’re up for pregnancy before you conceive (which it sounds like you’re doing).  You really need to put the little person first.  If I can give you any comfort, I’m actually 7 pounds less now than I was before I got pregnant.  I gained 41 pounds, and most people said I looked small.  It came off pretty easily afterwards.  πŸ™‚  Good luck!!

Post # 8
Member
7587 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

I’ve struggled with an eating disorder since I was a teen. There are lots of other bees who also have struggled with weight related issues and at one point there was even a support thread going around for those with body image issues and pregnancy.

It’s not easy. Without therapy I don’t know where I would be. I will say though that my tummy doesn’t bother me. It’s hard and I know it’s all baby. 

For me my husband still loving my body has helped. He still wants to have more sex that I can handle and tells me I look sexy on most days. I also get dressed every day (not sweatpant) do my hair and makeup and know that besides that belly nothing has changed. Looking good and staying positive and having a supoortive mate is key.

Post # 9
Member
926 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’m also not pregnant, but interested in the responses.  I feel exactly this same way re: self-confidence, appearance, and losing that identity to pregnancy.  “Fat/ugly” days are very hard.

I will be getting pregnant, and I hope that my love for our growing little family will magically replace my body-loathing.  Doubtful, but a girl can dream πŸ™‚ 

Post # 10
Member
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think this is a totally normal concern that the majority of women have!

I think about it like this: It isn’t that you’re getting “fat”, it’s that you’re growing a baby. It’s your uterus that’s expanding, not your fat cells!

Post # 11
Member
5242 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I feel the same way and the idea of not being in control of your body freaks me out. I frequent the gym 5 times a week and it scares me that I might never again have the body I have today. I guess all those concerns fly out the window once you realize what a miracle your body is going through. I really love all the supportive posts others have put up here so far!

Post # 12
Member
1778 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I agree with the thought of speaking to a therapist.  Talking to someone who you KNOW will not judge you no matter what you say is totally invaluable. And having a support network online is a great start too.

 

Your body is the only one you get, so I understand how you feel the desire to look attractive and feel good.  Hopefully you can learn that during pregnancy you will STILL be beautiful and attractive πŸ™‚ 

 

Also, finding things you like about yourself that are not related to your appearance will help.  What are you good at?  What do you like to do?  Praise yourself for these things.

 

I am sort of in the opposite boat, I was heavy my entire life (bad medical problems) and recently was able to lose almost 100 lbs and am now very fit and feel great (big self esteem boost).  I too am terrified of gaining weight for pregnancy, but I am pushing through because I know it is worth it.  I know that having a healthy baby is what really matters to me right now, but the idea of gaining weight is still scary.  I talked with people about it and it did help.  My husband also helps by telling me every day that he is so grateful I am carrying his child and that I look beautiful. I’ll be getting my “baby bump” soon (11 weeks atm) and I am starting to get excited about.

I wish you sincere luck and if you need anything, even just someone to talk to, feel free to PM πŸ™‚ 

Post # 13
Member
1482 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I was in ballet my whole child/teen years, so I can definitely identify with the body issues that come along with the years of positive reinforcement coming only when you’re a skinny Minnie. I struggle with my own personal weight issues all of the time.

I have had moments where I look at my pregnant body, and I get frustrated with what’s happening. But the positives and the excitement FAR outweigh my personal feelings about how I look. The further along I get, the more I’m able to embrace my new shape. I know that it’s temporary, and I have so many friends who have gotten back to shape after having their babies, so that helps to encourage me. 

Im not saying that it will be easy, but you will be able to look at your pregnant body and think it is beautiful. Having that baby inside you changes a lot of how you think, or at least it did for me. πŸ™‚

Post # 14
Member
5977 posts
Bee Keeper

I just wanted to let you know that you aren’t alone in your thoughts. I’m a runner, and have always been thin. My mother also pressured me to be thin, almost as if to vicariously live through me. 

I’m now pregnant, and I’m terrified of becoming huge. I’ve had losses, so I’m considered semi-high risk, and can’t run during my pregnancy. I’m doing everything I possibly can to watch what I eat and exercise as much as my doctor will allow me to. I also have a very round face, and I’m also scared of having the “fat face.” 

It’s really hard. I’m now starting to gain weight as I’m in my second trimester, and I hate it. I know that I’m pregnant, and I’m supposed to gain weight…and I would never do anything to jeopardize my pregnancy, but I can’t stand to see the fat. It also doesn’t help that my mom is constantly telling me I’m going to get fat like she did and never be able to lose the weight. I’m afraid my husband isn’t going to be attracted to me anymore. It’s terrible.

So, I know exactly how you’re feeling. If you ever need to talk or comiserate, feel free to PM me. 

Post # 15
Member
1115 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

@TulleLove: While I feel like you’ve gotten some very nice/encouraging responses so far, I’m not sure that anyone has said anything you probably haven’t heard already before. Let me offer a different perspective…

I’m currently living your nightmare πŸ™ Like you, I have always taken great pride in my appearance, and “being pretty” has always been part of my identity. There was nothing I enjoyed more than getting dressed up, going out, having some drinks and strutting my stuff on the dance floor in public or even just getting dressed nice for my Darling Husband. Please don’t call me vain.

Fast forward to today – I’m 21 weeks pregnant with our first. I knew my body would change before going into it, but I wanted a child so badly I tried not to think about that. Like the previous posters suggested, I thought I would see body image things differently once I was pregnant and well, I just dont πŸ™ Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE our little girl and believe that this will all have been worthwhile for her in the end, but I can’t even look at myself in the mirror. I went from 5’3 100lbs to about 125 lbs and I’m ONLY Halfway through. I’m hardly even eating more than I used to, and it’s just happening anyway. I’m extremely depressed over it, and a number of other pregnancy related ailments I’ve suffered through this whole journey. I’m to the point now where I don’t even want to leave the house because I have anxiety over being seen in public. It’s not even the belly (that I don’t mind), but it’s my face, my arms, my ass, they’re all huge. I went from being a hair underweight to being vastly overweight even by pregnancy standards and I’m so ashamed. I just want to fast forward the next 19 weeeks and hold my baby and work on getting back to being ME. It’s HARD. On top of everything, I can dress to the nines and my Darling Husband never tells me I look pretty anymore like he used to. In fact, he told me before we were even married that he “thinks pregnant women are gross.” If I try to fish for him to say something to make me feel better, like “I feel fat,” He goes “well you’re pregnant – what did you expect.” It HURTS to know your Darling Husband doesn’t even find you attractive anymore πŸ™

My only advice is to find the strength and you wont regret it. Someday you and I will get old and the beauty will fade anyway… only if we chose our perfect bodies over a family, we’ll be old and regretful for never having made the sacrifice… if children are what you truly want. I’m glad I sat down to write this because it reminds me to take my own advice… I’m having a pretty bad day. Please PM me if you need to talk.

@ETA I saw 2Peas is feeling similarly as I was writing this. You’re not alone, either of you can feel free to PM me.

Post # 16
Member
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

I feel exactly the same way. I was in figure skating, and I have allays been thin and I am also tall -I am 24 now and I still get people asking me if I model. (no) But I love my body for the most part and I would be terrified to lose it. Or to have my fiancé stop loving it. 

What you are feeling is totally normal. I don’t know if I will ever have children. Not just for those reasons, but I don’t really like kids in the first place. Would you consider adopting?

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