First thing I want to say here is that this isn’t the blog post I had planned to write today.
I wanted to write a quick fashion post about pleats or animal print, or maybe my recent buys. But after watching Sex & The City last night – the episodes where Miranda is pregnant it got me thinking about body confidence when pregnant. I loved being pregnant, firstly because my son was a little miracle (I say little – bloody massive) but still a miracle to us and so I will always be so grateful. But I loved my pregnant body, well at least up till 7months and then I just became bloated in places I never imagined.
However up until that point I loved my shape, I loved the fact I was happy with my body size and I was so proud to have a bump. In fact I would say I felt the most sexy I have ever felt around 4 / 5 months pregnant! But not everyone feels this way, and with all the body changes and weight gain you can feel pretty ugly and unlike you.
But when I look back at some of the photos post 6 months, I realised that I looked less like the chic model gallivanting across the street, and a lot more like the pink bubble you produce when you’re chewing a bit of Hubba Bubba gum.
Because the thing that a lot of women find with being pregnant is that their body is an absolute fucking nightmare to dress. Everything you think you know about what suits you and what made you feel good goes completely out the window, and you are left catching sight of yourself in a shop window thinking WHO IS THAT BAKED POTATO STRUTTING ABOUT TOWN?
Now, this isn’t a moan about how much I loved or hated my pregnant body. Because yes, it changes a lot too, and so do you as a person. Yes you have no control over it and that’s a bit woaaaaah, but actually? You should love yourself naked right now. When else are you going to be proud to have such a big round belly, and feel confident and proud when people want to stroke it.
I used to catch myself in a bra and leggings and feel like Yes Girl, Look at You! Not only should you feel pretty bloody proud of what your body is doing, but also get to appreciate your shape and big bump.
My tummy was the firmest it’s ever been (thanks baby, owe you one) and the couple of holidays I had before he was born on the ol’ babymoon to Rome & Portugal, I felt freakin’ awesome parading around by the pool in my swimming costume and tight dressses.
In fact, I’d go as far as to say, that was the most, in my entire 31 years (at the time) and one month on this planet, that I’ve ever loved my body.
But liking your body naked and liking your body in clothes is seemingly two very different things, and can make you lose your confidence. I mean after 7 months pregnant about 96% of my clothes made me look like I was going to a fancy dress party as a six-man tent. That and my podgy feet and heavily bloated lips!
So I’ve spent quite a lot of time today thinking about maternity style inspiration, and how I used to sit in my pants on my bedroom floor looking through a few fave preggo fashion accounts for outfit inspirations. Pintrest was always good. (Just a few that have been pretty inspirational include @annelibush, @hattiebourn and @thefashionbugblog). I found Boden, Next, JoJomamaBebe and H&M good for clothes that were still fashion savvy and comfortable. In fact how I miss those elasticated stretchy jeans and trousers..I could do with them now after a big meal.
But I’ve also realised that a lot of people comparing their body to other pregnant women, which is not always a good idea as some of them are a very different body shape to me even pre-baby.
I’ve always held a bit more weight in my middle which means the whole oversized jumper and maternity leggings look didn’t look quite so off-duty model on me as it does some of these fabulous fashionistas, and I was never one of those women who bounced back in her size 8 jeans 2 weeks after having my son. Far from it.
And actually, just because you all share the fact you’re growing humans, doesn’t mean you’re going to necessarily share the same body shape. So what might suit one preggo gal, didnt necessarily always suit me.
I guess the best way to describe how a lot of women feel is to imagine you’ve had your body your whole life and then one day you wake up and SURPRISE SOMEONE’S GONE ALL FREAKY FRIDAY ON YOU’ AND NOW YOU’RE IN SOMEONE ELSE’S BODY.
You might put on something that’s always been your go-to for when you want to feel sassy and awesome and on top of your game and all of a sudden it looks so heinous that even your dog is looking like up and down like WTF?
It just kinda throws you a little bit, especially when your hormones are busy creating fireworks in your brain and you’re desperate to find some normality – to feel like yourself – amongst all the change going on in your life.
Things that I found that really work for me were: Longline blazers and trench coats, because they create the illusion of length without adding bulk. Smock style Tops and Dresses and Maxi’s especially good in the heat! Men’s t-shirts, because they would cover my bump and even men’s boxers towards the last couple of weeks – there so comfy…. Wearing little heels and wedges because they made me feel like me again and gave me a little height which is no bad thing. And wearing thinner knits over long vests and tshirts because they showed off my bump, rather than hiding it in swathes of material. Wrap dresses were also another favourite especially for work and going out, so flattering on your growing chest and bump!
Find some photos you love of yourself during your pregnancy, and look at what made you feel happy about the way you looked or and try and recreate the look. They will serve as inspiration so that you can feel good about yourself, and can feel confident and brilliant and – dare I say it – cool.
Remember what an amazing and awesome thing you are doing, and try and enjoy the experience.
You got this, Mummies.