You are having a baby, and now that the reality of your situation has sunk in, you can finally start to enjoy it. In times gone by, women had very different pregnancy experiences to ones that we do now: they were made to stay indoors for the duration, and labor was even considered a public event if it was the birth of a prince or nobleman. Thankfully, times have changed and your greatest concern, after of course the health of your unborn child, may be how you can maintain looking good while your bump grows. If this is one of your concerns, don’t worry, here are some ways that you can embrace your changing body and bloom.
The first trimester is a tricky one: your baby is growing at such a rate that all the nutrients from your food are being used to nourish your baby first, and you second. This will mean that you can be prone to outbreaks of spots, dry hair, and the exhaustion you experience can give you black bags under your eyes – and this is all before you have a bump to show for it!
You need to make sure that the food that you eat during your pregnancy is rich in nutrients, and that you eat enough healthy food to support your baby’s development and give you the necessary nutrients. Your hormones will be fluctuating, and so will your mood. Help is at hand though, and there are pregnancy calendars that provide all the advice you need in terms of your baby’s development, your symptoms and even dietary advice relevant to each week; for example, at 11 weeks pregnant, increase your vitamin C intake consider adding oranges, papaya, strawberries, and broccoli to your diet.
Once you are over the hurdle of your first trimester, you will begin to bloom. Your body will be changing shape into one that you may not have never experienced before. As early as eight weeks into your pregnancy, your breasts will start to be fuller, tender and change shape, and you will begin to outgrow your current bra. Your preferred ordinary bra may be underwired, and it has been said that they can inhibit blood flow or hamper milk production – this has not confirmed, but if your breasts have outgrown your bra, the underwire will make it uncomfortable to wear. You will need to buy a maternity bra, and take full advantage of their design: adjustable with extra hook fastenings, extra support, and they are typically made from fabrics such as cotton which are more breathable and will help you feel cooler as you feel warm during pregnancy.
Your maternity bra will give you a supportive but great shape, which will make your clothes hang beautifully. You do not want your breasts to spill over the top or sides of your ill-fitting bra!
What to wear?
The most valuable piece of fashion advice that any pregnant woman can be given: do not just go big, and never wear your partner’s clothes – his clothes are designed for a man, and not for a pregnant woman. Yes, your body is bigger than it was, but you should not opt for oversized clothes. Your bump may fit in just fine, but the rest of you? You do not want to spend your pregnancy in clothes that swamp you and make you look baggy. You may be tempted to wear black or navy to slim your figure, but colors flatter your shape and, surprisingly, horizontal stripes can work well.
Your pregnancy will provide you with opportunities to accentuate your new body shape in all its blooming glory. Do not be afraid of your curves, rather show them off! Your voluptuousness needs to be celebrated: lower that neckline and wear that blouse that clings. You may find that during the colder weather you want to keep warm with knitted sweaters, but they have a tendency to create the illusion of a blob of mass color; instead, use cardigans. Cardigans are a great way of keeping you warm but can accentuate and frame your bump; they flatter your shape and keep your curves as curves!
Why not really accentuate your bump when you are wearing a tight dress by using a skinny belt and positioning it above your bump, almost under your breasts? Your bump and shape will be accentuated, and you can accessorize your belt with your outfit. Do not be afraid to try out different styles and accessories to those that you ordinarily would choose; although, do remember not to go over the top with your accessories, as you don’t want anything to take away from your natural beauty.
As your body grows, and you gain weight, your body will react to the pulls of gravity, and your posture may turn into more of a slouch. You will be tempted to push your hips forward and slouch your shoulders, or you may stick out your bump and throw your back, but this will give you a back strain. Keep your hips and shoulders in line as you walk, and tuck a pillow behind the small of your back when you sit. This is particularly important during your third trimester, as your body releases hormones that relax your muscles in preparation for labor, so you are even more susceptible to back pain.
Wearing high heels changes the way that you stand, and wearing them while pregnant puts extra pressure on your pelvic and back joints. Your weight gain is primarily on your belly, and it will cause a change to your usual posture when you wear high heels, and this can give you pain. The release of the relaxing hormones also affects the ligaments in your legs, and their loosening can cause you discomfort. Now may be the time to invest in some new flats, although do mindful that pregnancy can alter the size of your feet, so you may need a whole new selection of shoes once you have given birth. Is that so bad?