My Maternity Shoot and Body Image While Pregnant
I read a comment the other day on Instagram that said having no belly while pregnant is the new pregnant. I was kinda of like huh, what? Did I really just read that? My first pregnancy I gained 80 pounds. With this pregnancy I’m on track to gain half that. It’s just how my body handles pregnancy. But as a woman it can be hard looking at these changes and also feeling good about yourself. It’s this battle of a little guilt mixed with insecurities. On one hand I’m so overwhelmingly happy to be carrying my sweet boy. On the other hand I don’t even want to look at myself in the mirror for the time being. It’s a struggle and I know I’m not alone in facing these challenges.
I was anticipating this maternity shoot and almost didn’t do it because I didn’t want anyone to see me. I know right, how ridiculous. I’m beyond #blessed to be a mom and on baby number 2. I know that. I can’t wait to meet and hold the little guy. With my first pregnancy I regret not taking pictures. I was so caught up in how I looked vs what my body was doing and I completely regret that. I should not feel that I should look a certain way while pregnant or not pregnant for that matter according to what people on Instagram think. It’s absolute insanity. No woman should feel that way. Ever. I found myself thinking and worrying about the most ridiculous things. Things like “What will “they” think?” “Do I look ok?” “I’m so fat, look how fat I got.” “I don’t carry like other woman, how’s my hair”, and blah blah blah. Why was I so concerned with my outer appearance more than what was going on on the inside of me. Like the healthy baby boy that’s taking up residency inside my uterus. That’s what it’s all about. It’s about creating LIFE!
I had to literally slap myself out of feeling sorry for myself because I didn’t fit the pregnancy bill on social media. I’ve accepted that this is how my body does it and to be quite honest it amazes me now and leaves me in utter awe and amazement. So not only have I full accepted it, I am 100% embracing it! And if your body does it similar to mine and less like a 6 pack then know that’s ok, you should embrace the shit out of yourself too no matter how YOUR BODY handles pregnancy!
And yea you have the fitness gurus who workout non stop while pregnant, that’s them and how they do it and that’s fine but don’t shame anyone who chooses not to do it like that or who simply can’t. There are other ways of being active.
I really can’t stand what social media has turned being pregnant into — A competition of women who refuse to gain weight and need to prove some sort of point that they can have a flat stomach while carrying a baby. I find it so narcissistic.
After reading a comment like the one I mentioned above, it left me feeling inadequate for a moment as if I were doing it all wrong. And I thought to myself how I don’t want future baby mamas to feel they need to live up to some sort of standard or ideology of being “the new pregnant”.
You’re supposed to gain weight, your body is suppose to change. I mean you’re creating life inside of you for crying out loud. If everything stays the same just … what the fuck?
It boggles my mind the endless comments on social media praising and idolizing women who don’t gain weight while pregnant. I see things like “Oh I hope I look like you while pregnant” or “I will only get pregnant if this is how I look”– It’s absurd and drives me nuts. Having a pregnant belly is OK and I encourage it!
As a woman reading things like that can make you feel like you are less than. And let me tell you something you beautiful mothers out there who gain a good amount of weight…you are absolutely fucking incredible. You’re amazing and you should be celebrated. Every pregnant woman should be! This is no competition I can assure you, it’s life and it’s a journey. Personally I could care less about how you look physically as long as you and baby are both healthy and Mom is mentally ok. These superficial things are so unimportant.
Here’s the thing about social media too and appearances, it’s just that, appearances. People only post what they want you to see, the life they want you to think they’re living. It’s only seconds caught on camera, that’s it seconds. And from my experience a lot of it is almost always fabricated. And some people just down right lie and people believe those lies. Google has become the answer to everything and no one takes professionals seriously anymore because, well…Google.
Let me tell you a little something about google. You will only find what you want to find on the web. There are libraries and data bases that you have to pay to have access to. If you really want peer reviewed articles you will actually have to pay for the most legit ones so don’t take google at face value. We all know the self diagnoses anyway, all roads lead to chickenpox is it? LOL No, but seriously…
This time around I find being pregnant to be more spiritual. I meditate and have such wonderful visions. I feel like everywhere I go I’m being supported and loved by the divine presence and it’s comforting. And because we all know I’ve been having those irrational thoughts about labor and delivery (I mean, who doesn’t), so it’s nice to feel and know that I’m surround by love. Not saying that I wasn’t the first time but with this pregnancy I’m just in-tuned more and more accepting than I was the first time. With my first pregnancy fear ruled me and it was truly terrifying.
For this maternity shoot although nervous I wanted to exude bohemian goddess vibes because on the inside this is how I feel about myself. My photos capture that and they also capture the love and adoration I have for my family and they for me.
Grateful for Diana from LovePrintPhotography for taking such wonderful photos!
I really wanted to pour my heart and soul into this post and be so completely honest that it hurts. I think our vulnerability is what makes us all relatable. We’ve all dealt with something or another in our lives and it’s not that it’s nice to know other people have gone through it or are going through something difficult or challenging, it’s the hope of knowing they made it out ok and things always get better.
When you’re creating life and your body is going through changes that you don’t expect or anticipate it’s ok to take it day by day and stay as positive as you possibly can throughout it all. It’s not easy but the reward, well…the reward is just when you think you know love, these little people come along to remind you just how big it really truly is. Like my one true BFF in the picture below. 😍
Photos taken by LovePrintPhotography