When you find out you're pregnant, it'll help if you start to relax about how your body should look. Let's be honest here, your body will change, and you'll have absolutely no control over any of it.
But all those changes will be happening for a great reason: you're growing a baby! With that in mind, here are a few ways to feel good about your nine-month metamorphosis.
Harness the power of make-up!
Make-up can do wonders during your pregnancy. It can be used as a tool to feel pretty and in control. That's particularly important during a time when many women feel they've lost control of their body.
Your skin tone and texture may change during pregnancy. So go ahead and experiment. Makeup can be washed off, it isn't permanent, and it's a great way to make you feel good about yourself.
Don't mess with your hairstyle
During pregnancy, your hair goes into a growth phase. This is good news for some women who find they now have shinier, thicker hair.
If you normally have plenty of volume anyway, and fear that any more will be unmanageable, you may find a shorter style easier to wear while you're pregnant. You don't have to go through a dramatic change, though. Women get overwhelmed by the results when they do.
And remember, your luxuriant head of hair will thin out after you've had your baby, so that pregnancy hairstyle may not last well.
Your body is going through enough changes as it is. Work with your hairdresser to find a cut that suits you and will work for you as a new mum.
Stay active to feel good!
It can be hard just to get dressed every day when you feel bloated and sick. Believe it or not though, a little effort can leave you feeling upbeat and perhaps a bit like your pre-pregnancy self.
Besides, it may be a new experience to exercise not primarily to lose weight, but just to feel good.
As exercise promotes muscle tone, strength and endurance, it can:
-help you to carry the weight you gain during pregnancy
-prepare you for the physical challenge of labour
-make getting back into shape after the baby is born easier
Hone your maternity fashion sense
Black - the colour of choice for chic, non-pregnant fashionistas - works wonders for mummies-to-be as well. It's worth investing in a pair of maternity jeans too, because they are comfortable and look great.
In early pregnancy, dresses that nip in at the waist and then flare out can flatter your changing body. In later pregnancy, make the most of your fabulous cleavage and go empire line.
Lavish love on your skin
The same pregnancy hormones that put your emotions into overdrive can wreak havoc with your skin. Your complexion may look great, with that much raved-about pregnancy glow, or it may become drier than usual and splotchy.
A good, gentle moisturiser can work wonders on your expanding belly or anywhere your skin feels dry. There's no evidence it will reduce stretch marks, but it will make your skin feel gorgeous, soft and supple.
There's nothing like a manicure or pedicure to lift the spirits and give your self-esteem a quick boost. Throw in a pregnancy massage for good measure. Whether it's your partner, a friend or a specialist spa treatment, you're sure to feel the benefit.
Talk yourself into a good mood
If all else fails, tell yourself that even though you can't squeeze into a pair of size 12 jeans right now, you're still fabulous. Beauty is a state of mind, not a certain look, size or weight. Listen to your favourite music to make you feel good and happy!