Dr Mandakini Chopra Speaks About Body Image During Pregnancy And How To Deal With It

Dr Mandakini Chopra Speaks About Body Image During Pregnancy And How To Deal With It

18 May 2022 | 5 min Read

Reema Shah

Author | 328 Articles

Pregnancy is a beautiful phase of your life but it also causes many changes in your body. Although these changes are natural and all pregnant women go through it, these changes can be a struggle for some women, as it may be uncomfortable or difficult.

However, If you learn to love your body you can get through the physical and emotional changes during pregnancy. It is all about how you feel about yourself rather than focusing on what you look like. There are certain challenging body changes during pregnancy that you cannot control. It is also helpful to understand the reason behind these changes and how you can deal with them.

Pregnancy Effects On Body Image

Pregnancy can create body image problems for some women when they experience changes they did not have before. It can even make the body image problems worse. Women gain a lot of weight during pregnancy and the body undergoes several changes. 

The hormonal changes make the stomach and breasts larger. This is because the baby grows and your body gets ready for breastfeeding. As your body gets larger, you might develop stretch marks around your hips and stomach area. The excess hormones might make your skin break out with acne. 

Additionally, there are fatigue and mood swings that you experience. Hence, a bad mood may make you think in an unhealthy way about your body. 

But this isn’t right- if you are comfortable with your body before pregnancy and feel good about it, those positive thoughts will help you get through the physical and emotional changes during pregnancy. 

Read on to find out ways to improve your body image.

How to Feel Good and Love My Pregnant Body?

Women are amazing, they have the ability to nurture and deliver a new life. While some of the body changes that happen during pregnancy are uncomfortable, you need to remember that they are all there to support your growing child. It is just a phase and the pregnancy journey also comes to an end with the birth of the baby.

Ask your doctor if you can do yoga during pregnancy or do any other physical activity to have a positive body image during pregnancy / Credit – Canva

Speaking to BabyChakra, Dr Mandakini Chopra, Sr. Physiotherapist, Women Health Specialist, says “Body image issues are experienced by almost all mothers and for a first time mum it can be a little more difficult to adjust as the journey is completely new. As the body is making a new life within the changes are bound to happen in almost all the functions of the body as the endocrine system undergoes changes. 

Drink enough water as per your weight recommended by international standards. Eating fibre-rich food helps to keep the skin and the gut healthy. Additionally, a healthy lifestyle along with exercise and diet are crucial as they also keep the hormones under control.” 

Here are some tips to have a positive body image during pregnancy-

  • Instead of worrying about the body changes, focus on the positive capabilities of your body. It is your powerful body undergoing the changes to help the baby grow and develop and is normal.
  • Do not keep your feelings to yourself. Communicate how you feel with your partner, family, or friends. Not expressing your feelings will only make you feel worse.
  • Involve yourself regularly in any physical activity. Try yoga, a light swim or walk that can help you relax your mind and drive the focus away from the body image. 
  • Consult with a doctor and try prenatal yoga. Yoga helps you stay connected to the mind and body in a way that makes you feel good rather than focus on how your body looks.
  • Ask your doctor if you can get a massage. Massage helps release stress and anxiety while making you feel more comfortable in your own skin.
  • There are multiple sites and books that you can read to educate yourself about pregnancy. If you are aware of what you can expect and feel during pregnancy, you will feel more in control.
  • Not just your body, but take care of your mental health too. If you need help, get therapy sessions with a specialist. Do it for yourself without any hesitation as it will also be good for your baby. 
Follow a healthy diet during and right after pregnancy to stay healthy and fit for yourself and the baby / Credit – Canva

 How Do I Get My Pre-Pregnancy Body Back?

The body undergoes multiple changes during pregnancy. After the birth of your baby, your body takes time to adjust to the body of the non-pregnant state. For some women, their bodies might not return completely to the way it was before getting pregnant and that’s okay. Irrespective of having children or not all women experience changes in their bodies as they get older.

Try breastfeeding as much as possible after your baby is born as it will help produce the hormone oxytocin. This hormone helps in shrinking the uterus back to a smaller size. Additionally, it also helps to burn more calories.

Choose a healthy lifestyle by incorporating healthy food and doing regular physical activity to lose the weight you gain during pregnancy. You can join a gym or yoga centre that offers child care. You can also go for a walk with your baby. Just remember that no matter what, you are capable and worthy so prioritise your and your baby’s health.

Cover image credit – VistaCreate

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