Many plus-size women are usually concerned about their body image. This can become even worse during the first three months of pregnancy as your body goes through various changes. At this time, fluctuations in hormone levels lead to expansion of the uterus, swelling of breasts, enlargement of the feet and even skin breakouts. Such changes can come as a big shock for those who are not psychologically prepared.
Since you cannot reverse the changes happening to your body, you need to find ways of dealing with your body image issues. The first step would require you to be fully prepared for the expected changes. This means finding out about all that can happen to your body and getting prepared for it. Thereafter, you can try to include various strategies to manage your bodily changes.
Bodily Changes During The First Trimester
The first trimester starts from week 1 of pregnancy to week 12. One of the first signs of this stage occurs when your periods stop. At this time hormonal changes will affect many organ systems in your body. Such changes vary from one woman to the other. Each pregnancy that you have would also have different characteristics. Various changes that may occur include:
(i) Extreme tiredness/ fatigue unrelated to physical exertion.
(ii) Tenderness of your breasts as they swell up. Nipples will also become more visible and firm.
(iii) The characteristic morning sickness (upset stomach that may or may not lead to throwing up).
(iv) Intense craving for certain foods. Alternatively, you may develop a distaste for particular foods.
(v) Unexplained mood swings.
(vi) Problems with bowel movements (constipation).
(vii) You may have an urge to frequently pass urine.
(viii) Headaches, heartburn and varicose veins.
(ix) You will experience weight gain or even lose weight.
Managing Your Body Image
Having a positive body image before pregnancy will help you to better manage your body image while pregnant. Furthermore, having a good understanding of what changes to expect helps in planning how to deal with such changes. Here are a few ideas to help in dealing with the complex mix of emotional and physical changes:
1. Always remain focused on your baby. This will help you accept that there is a good reason for all you are going through. You will also realize that it is a natural process, which should not cause any alarm.
2. To overcome the emotional turmoil, try expressing your feelings to your partner, family members or close friends. You might get useful advice from those who have gone through similar situations. This will also help you relieve the inner tension within.
3. Find out what changes you can make to your daily routine as you experience bodily changes. For instance, you can decide to go to bed earlier because of fatigue. Eating smaller and more frequent meals may help you cope with food cravings or lack of appetite.
4. Get involved in light exercises to help get your mind off the bodily changes. Swimming, yoga or going for walk are excellent exercises for this.
5. Eat healthy and nutrient-rich foods, while avoiding sugary foods.
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