During pregnancy, the body changes so quickly that it can leave expectant mothers with mixed feelings on body image and self-esteem. If you love the way your bump looks and makes you feel – that’s awesome. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with not loving every single thing about your changing pregnancy body. Remember, pregnancy is not a permanent state, but even temporary change can make it difficult to stay confident in how you look.
Of course, the battle for body confidence is very real for new moms too. I promise, you’re not alone and these feelings don’t have to last forever. Sometimes, we just need a bit of encouragement to help recharge our confidence — or at least give it a little lift.
So, here are my 6 quick tips to help you boost that body confidence so you can feel good, strong, and sexy in your own skin.
Start your day with kind words…
…to yourself! There’s a lot of power in our words, especially the ones we speak to ourselves, and there is even more power in positive words. Say something kind to yourself as soon as you wake up. Give yourself a compliment or practice mantras that set an uplifting tone for your day. You don’t have to wake up and list everything you love about your body, but tell yourself what you’re proud of you for. Make a habit of thinking of yourself in a positive light.
Enjoy sex, and plenty of it!
It’s common to feel as though you’ve lost your mojo during the later stages of pregnancy and after birth. But that mojo is still there! All you need is a spark. A huge component of body confidence at this stage is tied to how we think our partner sees our body. When you’re not feeling 100% about how you look, it becomes very easy to believe that your partner finds you less attractive as well – but I’ll be the first to tell you that that’s not the case. The best place to get affirmation of attraction? The bedroom.
Fight the urge to give in to fatigue.
Fatigue is one of the main symptoms of pregnancy, and a definite side-effect of having a new baby. When we’re incredibly tired it’s easy to stay tired, because it feels like a draining effort to try and boost energy levels. However, fatigue is closely linked to increased feelings of sadness and depression – which all ties into body confidence and self-esteem. Try to look for ways to keep energy up wherever possible to help combat this. Check out our blog post on Fresh Ways to Fight Fatigue for some new energy-boosting hacks you may not have tried yet.
Put social media in its place.
There’s no benefit in endlessly scrolling Instagram and looking at all the impeccably-styled bumps and moms who “look” like they have everything together, with perfect bodies to boot. We’re betting they’ll be the first to tell you otherwise, too. If you find that negative thoughts and energy build when you’re using social media, give yourself a break from it. If there are particular people that (even unintentionally) make you feel worse about yourself, unfollow them. Remember, when you unfollow someone for this reason you are not disrespecting them, you are simply respecting yourself.
Do workouts that are fun, not forced.
Regular exercise is one of the very best ways to boost your self-esteem, foster feelings of self-efficacy, and regain your body confidence. However, you’ll never be able to stick to a regular exercise schedule if your workouts feel forced. It’s just not worth doing workouts that don’t make you smile while you sweat; exercise should make you feel goooddd! If you’re in a workout rut, try a new class with a group of friends. Give swimming, spinning, Pilates, Barre, Kickboxing or a trending exercise class a try and see what you like! When it’s fun, you’ll want to stick with it, and before you’ll know it you’ll be in a regular exercise routine. If you need a little more fitspo check out our blogs on Spicing up your Exercise Routine, First-Trimester Exercise, Yoga in Pregnancy, Lower Body Exercises, and this Sexy Arms Workout.
When all else fails… just kidding. We are serious about this one because how we feel in our clothes has a lot to do with how we feel about our bodies – and there is nothing vain about that! There’s credence to the idea that when you look good, you feel good. If your current clothes don’t make you feel sexy and help boost that confidence, treat yourself to a little shopping! We’re not suggesting a wardrobe overhaul, but a few pieces that make you feel amazing when you wear them can be a healthy treat.
I leave you with this last quote as something to think about when it comes to body confidence: “And i said to my body. softly. ‘i want to be your friend.’ it took a long breath and replied ‘i have been waiting my whole life for this.’ –Nayyirah Weed
Melinda Nicci is the founder and CEO of Baby2Body, a Sport Psychologist, and professional pre- and post-natal fitness trainer. Melinda is passionate about health and wellness, travel, art, and photography, and loves spending her free time with her two children and exercising outdoors, when the London weather permits! Learn more about her at baby2body.com!