How to feel good about your pregnant body
Whether you've dreamed of being pregnant for years or it's taken you by surprise, chances are you've imagined what pregnancy might look and feel like. You may be looking forward to the changes your body will undergo as your baby grows — or you may be dreading them.
If you're apprehensive about the transformation or worried that pregnancy will cause you to "lose your looks," remind yourself that the changes are happening for a good reason: You're creating a new human being! With that in mind, here are a few pointers to help you revel in your nine-month metamorphosis.
When you feel bloated and sick to your stomach, simply getting off the couch can seem challenging. But resist the urge to loaf. Even a ten- or 15-minute walk or a little yoga will leave you feeling energized and more like your pre-pregnancy self.
Here's another reason to get moving: Exercise promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance, so it can help you manage the extra weight you're carrying, prepare you for the physical stress of labor, and make bouncing back after the baby much easier. See more on the benefits of prenatal Yoga.
"Makeup can do wonders during pregnancy. It can be used as a tool to feel pretty and in control," says makeup artist Bobbi Brown. That's particularly important during a time when many women feel like they've lost control of their body.
So go ahead and have some fun: Try a new shade of lipstick or eye shadow. "Makeup can be washed off — it isn't permanent," says Brown, "and it's a great way to give yourself a quick pick-me-up."
One of the perks of pregnancy — thanks to pregnancy hormones — is thicker, more lustrous locks. (You're not actually growing more hair — you're just losing less than usual.) Some women also notice that the texture of their hair changes or their strands become shinier.
If you normally have a thick head of hair and fear that any more will be unmanageable, you may find a shorter cut easier to wear while you're pregnant. But don't assume the changes are permanent and take drastic steps to accommodate them.
"Don't go for a dramatic change," says Amina Rubio, a stylist and colorist at the David Oliver Studio in San Francisco. "After all, your body is going through enough changes as it is. Work with your stylist to find a cut that suits you."
Rubio recommends using clips, barrettes, and combs to enhance your style. But don't overdo it. "Less is more," Rubio says.