Pregnancy and Body Image

It is freaking crazy to me how big my belly is getting. Being 32 weeks pregnant, it literally feels like there is a basketball in there. It makes me SO happy because it reassures me that baby girl is growing, and feeling her little kicks and rolls excite me every single time.


But a fresh outlook on body image is needed in pregnancy. I always knew that I'd be okay with the weight gain that comes along with pregnancy (and thank GOODNESS that I am finally gaining weight now; didn't start till the third trimester!) but even when you know you are gaining weight for the right reasons, it is hard sometimes to get used to your growing body and the escalating numbers on the scale.

I love my growing baby bump, it's my favorite part of pregnancy! I love that people notice and ask me about my baby, and I loveeeeeeeee the sweet lady at Panera who gave me free coffee and a cookie the other day in the name of "feeding the baby!" It's so fun to be growing and feeling the baby move. But it can also be taxing on your body image, especially if you are a gal like me who has struggled with body image and weight her whole life.

Pregnancy is such a delicate time when you are gaining weight and WANTING to gain weight. My doctors (both my OB and my high risk perinatologist) both want me eating lots of proteins and nourishing foods to support Baby Emma's growth. So that's what I've been doing! I am always one to listen to my doctors (expect when my doc diagnoses me with a gluten allergy and I still eat gluten....but that's another story for another time. Still working on that one!).

But I won't lie and say that I am totally cool with not being able to flip around in bed easily, go on a run when I'm stressed, being told how "huge" I am, and seeing those numbers creep on the scale. On top of that, with my history of binge eating, a LOT of my pregnancy symptoms are similar to my post-binge episodes such as heartburn, nausea, burping, and indigestion. It is so hard for me to experience the symptoms of a binge, but know deep down that I haven't binged! By the grace of God I have been binge-free throughout the pregnancy, but these symptoms can mess with your head! When I look down and see a big belly and am struggling with heartburn and nausea, I can't help but feel "guilty" even though I've done nothing wrong.

And isn't that just the way of the devil? To get us living in regret and guilt even when God has purified us and made us whole? It's terrible and I hate it. I am praying for God to renew my mind and take ownership of my thoughts. Because all I can say is pregnancy does funky things to your thoughts and moods.

All I know is that I am proud of every pound I've gained because I know these pounds are nourishing my sweet baby girl. And the heartburn and nausea and ickiness will pass, it's temporary and oh-so worth it. And I am excited to be looking pregnant because hellooo I get free cookies! And I know that I am doing my best to nourish my baby while giving myself grace for the occasional sweets and treats. I appreciate my body and love that God has given us women this gift of growing a child inside of us. I mean if you stop and think about it, it's pretty crazy! And no bad thoughts or negative body image can take that crazy miracle away from me. I have 8 more weeks (or maybe less depending on when she makes her debut!) of being THIS close to my baby girl and sharing my body with her. And I'm going to enjoy it!

My body has gone through many changes over the years, but hands down, this is the best change of all.