Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bumps are beautiful?

Bumps of the baby kind are beautiful, right? I know I think so. The curve of a woman's stomach during pregnancy exudes a beauty that can't be faked. A glow from within that can't be applied with a brush. The way in which her hand falls instinctivly over her front to protect the life within. Her hair gleams thicker, her face; fuller.

So, why is it that pregnancy doesn't always feel beautiful? Lately, I have been spending many a minute admiring maternity photography in preparation for our pregnancy photo shoot. I've been collecting ideas and inspiration whilst being mesmerised by the beauty of a pregnant body. I've always found pregnancy to be incredibly and naturally beautiful, yet this time around during my second pregnancy I have felt very very far from beautiful. I look at the women in these photos and wish that I could so openly celebrate the physical changes my body is experiencing with similar pride. During my first pregnancy, I couldn't get enough of figure hugging, bump enhancing clothing and snapped a sneaky self portrait whenever the chance arose. I loved the way my body altered and though I am still reminded of the journey with faint stretchmarks, I look back and see beauty. This time around? This time is different.

It may have something to do with the heavier weight I began my pregnancy with. By no means overweight, but a heavier weight than I am used to. I have now totalled up a weight gain of 15 kilos, and with 12 weeks still ahead of me, I am dreading the rest that is to come. It really saddens me that at a time when I am supposed to be celebrating my bodys changes, I am dreading them. Instead of looking down at my bump like those picture perfect pregnancy models, I am looking at my thighs in the mirror and unable to hold back the tears.

Perhaps this 'picture perfect' ideal that the media portrays is the culprit? Google pregnancy and you will find bumps without stretchmarks and thighs without an extra kilo, women look radiant although unchanged. The real pregnant woman however needs that support around her hips from healthy kilograms and is most likely sporting a fuller, more rounded looking face. These real pregnant women are so rarely shown, that us Mother-to-be's are finding ourselves wasting precious time pinning pictures of maternity goddesses to our 'I wish' boards and feeling more and more depressed about our real body image.

Even the blogosphere is somewhat guilty. While each and every parenting blog I follow I love to bits, I am sometimes disheartened and well, yes I'll admit it... jealous, when every week a pregnancy fashion post features a slim looking, stress-free and well put together mama. We rarely talk about our feelings about the impending baby and our families, but instead focus on the cosmetics of pregnancy.

Whilst I have all these notions and theories, I have no answer for the problem. I once wrote this post titled 'The body of a mother'. Perhaps, I need to read my own words and look for that positivity and wisdom that I once felt so strongly.

What about you? Did you feel beautiful whilst pregnant? Or quite the opposite? How did you overcome body woes and self-esteem downs when carrying your baby? I would love to hear your stories, thoughts and feelings on the topic, so as always...feel free to share with me!
Plenty of love, 
winterlove blog natalie

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  1. It’s sad you feel that way :( Your belly looks so cute!!! When I was pregnant I couldn’t put on any weight and I felt horrible. Every time I was made to get weighed I felt worse. I’m sure it won’t be the same if I have another baby but if it is I won’t be going near the scales because I ended up with a healthy 8 pound boy. I didn’t feel beautiful, I wanted that big round pregnant body and when I got to the last month I did get a nice round tummy but I was always getting comments about how I didn’t look pregnant and there were lots of tears! A family member told me that my son felt more comfortable on her body than he did on my body after I had him because she was larger. If I was you, and had been putting on good pregnancy weight I would stop looking at the scales, your body is doing exactly what it’s meant to do for your baby, and that’s beautiful. x

  2. I can relate Nat. I never felt even remotely close to the images portrayed in the media through either of my pregnancies. I find it hard to ever feel beautiful as I am always carrying too much weight. But after I got past that "is she fat or is she pregnant" stage, and the babies were moving around, I fell in love with the fact that my body could grow and nurture another life. I loved to cradle and rub my blooming belly. Even though I don't look at my body with admiration or love, I learned a respect for the strength, ability and functions of my body that I wouldn't have if I had not been pregnant.