Your body is changing all the time now that you’re pregnant… Embrace the new you with these feel-good tactics.

Many mums-to-be struggle as they feel fatigued, unattractive, unhealthy and even out of control (yes, cravings, we’re talking about you). Negative thoughts about your changing figure may impact your ability to enjoy a healthy and happy pregnancy.

Body-image issues, coupled with morning sickness and raging hormones can make pregnancy a trying time. If you feel bad about how you look while pregnant, you’re not alone. Here are ways you can feel better.

1. Get a prenatal massage

Pregnancy often comes with physical discomforts like backache and other pain. Massages can ease muscular discomfort, help you relax and even reduce swelling in your hands, feet and ankles. It can also reduce stress and anxiety while increasing blood circulation, so as to deliver oxygen and nutrients more efficiently around your body and to your baby.

Make sure you engage a therapist who is certified in pregnancy massage ― regular massages may not be safe for you and the baby, and can sometimes induce contractions.

2. Keep fit

Though you simply feel like crashing on the couch at the end of the day, make it a point to work out once or twice a week. Exercising releases endorphins that will help you improve your mood while reducing stress and anxiety. Exercise has also been known to reduce constipation, improve sleep and speed up post-delivery recovery, something many expectant women hope for!

Even if you haven’t been a gym rat to date, no need to fret. You can start slow, like a taking a brisk 10-minute walk around the block, or going for a leisurely 20-minute swim. Slowly increase the intensity of the workout to the level of you’re comfortable with.

Be thankful that you’re able to grow a beautiful baby.

3. Change your mindset

Adopt a positive mindset. If you spend lots of time on the Internet reading about pregnancy risks or the worst that could happen, stop now. Focus on the positive things that are happening to you, instead. Be thankful that you’re able to grow a beautiful baby, slow down your pace of work, and take time to relax.

If it helps, pen a journal for your baby. Besides being a record of that first gummy grin or first kick, use this platform to capture the barrage of emotions you are going through as a mum -to-be. Logging your thoughts can help you build an emotional attachment with your baby, which acts as a foundation for the special bond that you will share with your child as she grows. It will also help you to grow emotionally as a parent.

4. Eat well

You’ll be amazed by what a great diet can do for your pregnancy. Healthy eating is not only critical to your baby’s growth and development, it’s also vital to helping you feel good. For instance, getting enough iron enables more oxygen to be carried around your body, even as it helps you fight fatigue, while good carbs like whole grains will give you an energy boost. If you’re feeling queasy constantly, eating small amounts more often will keep your energy levels up, while providing a pick-me-up throughout the day.

If you’re feeling queasy constantly, eating small amounts more often will keep your energy levels up.

5. Find support

Be open about how you’re feeling. Share those feelings with your husband, a sister or close friend. If you don’t have any family or friends who you feel will understand what you’re going through, try a local antenatal support group, online forums or even parenting blogs. There’ll always be expectant mums who yearn to share their journey with a kindred spirit.

6. Flaunt your growing bump

Instead of trying to conceal your burgeoning belly by stuffing yourself into those pre-pregnancy pants, breathe deeply and embrace the exciting world of maternity wear. Indeed, you’ll have at your disposal plenty of fashion-forward pieces that won’t just make you feel comfortable, they’ll flatter your figure, too. Don’t forget to sign up for a maternity photoshoot to immortalise those brand new curves.

Photos: iStock

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