Pregnant mothers-to-be have a tendency to focus on their dislike of their bodies. There is rarely a pregnant woman who says she feels great about her body during pregnancy. In the U.S., body image is so important to most women. As early as 8-10 weeks of pregnancy, many of my prenatal yoga students are already lamenting that they “feel fat”, they “look fat”, and they “know co-workers may be noticing their weight gain and wondering why”. I, myself, felt that way 18 years ago. Looking back on my own feelings and behavior early in my pregnancy, I realize I was a bit self-absorbed and really far from “fat”.
In my prenatal yoga classes I have a bowl of affirmations on pieces of paper. I offer them to each student as she comes in to prenatal yoga class. I’ll never forget the mother-to-be, Amber, who read her affirmation out loud. Her affirmation read, “I love my growing body and feel more and more attractive every day.” And Amber quickly followed that with, “Said no pregnant woman ever!” Of course everyone laughed. It was funny. But how sad that we can’t appreciate the incredible and miraculous work our bodies do during pregnancy to create life! We have such unrealistic expectations of our own appearance and forget the stunning and breathtaking miracle of pregnancy.
It’s time to celebrate the pregnant woman and wonder, and marvel, and revere the astounding mystery and magic her body can create. Yes, it’s an every miracle that babies are created and born every day, but it is still an awe-inspiring “everyday miracle.”