It’s not unusual for pregnant women to complain about their pregnant and post pregnant bodies: the stretch marks, weight gain, and varicose veins. But Circle of Moms members who've been through pregnancy say there's much to be gained from not only accepting, but embracing the changes.
Clara explains: “I was unhappy I got major stretch marks, but it all comes with the territory. I think many women have a vision of the perfect body while pregnant. Plump boobs, smooth skin with no marks. But that is [rarely] the case. Being pregnant is a wonderful thing and we women need to accept [the changes], even stretch marks."
Letting go of a perfect body image is the key to embracing your pregnant body and being able to enjoy the experience of becoming a mom, says Deanna J. “I think it is perfectly normal and even expected to mourn the loss of our old bodies. I also believe that you need to get over it and see what beautiful changes your baby is giving to your body. Your baby is helping your body to change and become a wonderful place for him/her to grow. The [change] your body now shows will always be a reminder of the wonderful little life that you brought into this world.”
Mary N. takes it even further, suggesting that moms should feel confident in, rather than dread, their pregnant bodies, because going through pregnancy and child birth is an incredible reminder of a woman's unique power. "Maybe I'm odd, but I loved my body while pregnant." She enumerates the benefits: "My boobs got huge almost overnight at around 12 weeks (I’d been a B cup my whole life), and I loved my belly...My skin was the clearest it's ever been, and my hair was great as well."
Some Circle of Moms member can’t imagine NOT embracing everything about being pregnant, new body and all. “I loved being pregnant, I loved everything about being pregnant, even my changing body,” says Michelle G. “My body was changing because I was bringing a baby into the world. Once my children were born, I was ok with my body. Am I the size I was before I had children? No, But every stretch mark I have, I wear with pride because I have three beautiful children who created those stretch marks. I love my rounder tummy, again because it reminds me I am a mom, and I love being a mom."
Circle of Moms members aren’t the only ones hoping to change attitudes, their own included, toward pregnant bodies. A web site called The Shape of a Mother celebrates the wrinkles, stretch marks and other body changes that go along with pregnancy and motherhood with an archive of shared photos submitted by real moms.
The Silver Lining
While adjustment to your changing body can take time and perspective, many moms say there's one pregnancy body change they immediately embrace: “I finally have BOOBS!,” says Amy K. She adds, sagely, “You can be unhappy if you want, but what good does it do you? “
Most moms seem to agree with her: “I’m not 100% happy with my new body, but it did give me my beautiful baby boy, so I can't complain,” says Katarina G. Tashley R. echos her feelings: “I'm so not happy with my body, but having my babies is worth it,”
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.