“Love yourself at all times. Love the body you live in,” Bipasha Basu captioned a photograph in which she flaunted her baby bump in full bloom just days before she delivered her baby girl. Alia Bhatt put her best fashion foot forward during her pregnancy journey and even launched a clothing line to flatter the growing frame of expecting moms. Even Debina Bonerjee did not hide away her baby bump, and instead embraced body positivity during pregnancy with open arms.
With time, women celebrities across the globe are making a point with maternity photoshoots. It is to normalise the changing shape of a woman with motherhood.
Bipasha, who glittered in gold while rocking the baby bump, used the hashtags “#mamatobe #mypregnancyjourney #loveyourself #staybodypositive #healthiswealth #embraceyourself to pitch for body positivity to her 11.8 million followers on Instagram.
Debina Bonnerjee, who has given birth to her second child, wrote on Instagram, “Realise the amazing potential of the magic you are capable of creating and embrace it.”
In the past, Bollywood actresses such as Kareena Kapoor Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sameera Reddy, Neha Dhupia and Sonam Kapoor also flaunted their baby bumps, and put the spotlight on body positivity during pregnancy.
Love your body image during pregnancy
An August 2022 study on the Archives of Women’s Mental Health looked into the physical changes associated with pregnancy. It notes that this may increase the risk of body dissatisfaction, which is further linked with negative mental health conditions such as depression and eating disorders.
Of the 161 participants, over 50 percent were dissatisfied with their body image. Among these, 52 percent were among pregnant, and 56.2 percent were in the postpartum phase.
The American Pregnancy Association concedes that loving your body image before pregnancy can help you get through the emotional and physical changes during your mama-to-be journey.
Having a positive body image of yourself is not just about your physical appearance. It is simply about how you feel about yourself and this is important in pregnancy as there will be body changes that you won’t be able to control. Expecting moms might worry about how they will look after pregnancy and whether they will be able to achieve weight-loss goals.
Health Shots reached out to Dr Kamna Chhibber, clinical psychologist at Fortis Healthcare, to learn more about what pregnant women can do in order to focus on body positivity during pregnancy..
“As a woman who is expecting, thoughts about body shape can be difficult to manage,” admits the expert.
According to her, anxious thoughts can pop up where it can be hard to “embrace the bodily changes or feel relaxed about how one would manage in the future”.
You could also choose to feel empowered, if you want! Take a cue from Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, who felt “pregnant and powerful, bold and beautiful” while expecting her first child. Check out her post here!
How to stay body positive during pregnancy
1. Remind yourself of the larger goal
In such a situation, Dr Chhibber advises that it is important to remind yourself of the larger goal and goodness of what is going to be filling your life. Leaning onto your desire for having a baby can be helpful and the reminder of the wonderful experiences that will unfold, tend to be helpful.
2. Discuss your concerns with a doctor
Sharing your thoughts with your doctor would ensure that the myths and misconceptions you may harbour would get dislodged. “Concurrently, the doctors would be able to help give you guidance on how you can manage your health and take care of your well-being,” said Chhibber.
3. Focus on what you can control
Give yourself reminders that you will tackle the challenges that you anticipate facing in the future. This would be helpful, suggests Dr Chhibber.
Shifting attention to what’s in your control is important. So, focus on making sure that you are adopting healthy practices for yourself during this period of time.
Also read: Redefine body beauty: Sameera Reddy puts body image issues to shame with this ‘self-love’ post
4. Stay fit
Staying fit is an important thing you must follow pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and postpartum. Being active will not just help you maintain your physical health, but also save you from letting your mind wander into unwanted directions.
5. Eat right
Don’t make pregnancy a reason to eat all that you want and give in to your cravings all the time. Healthy eating during pregnancy is a prerequisite for a healthy and comfortable postpartum period. Not only will it keep unwanted weight away, it will also help you feel less guilty about giving into cravings uninhibitedly.
Also, if you ever get conscious of your stretch marks or extra fat, think of the little one who will definitely bring a lot of joy in your world!