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Managing Body Image During Pregnancy

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Taking care of your mental health during pregnancy is essential for both your well-being and the well-being of your baby. Checking in with your responses to the content you see on social media and curating your feed accordingly can have a significant impact on your mood. Take a look at the accounts you follow and ask yourself how scrolling through them affects you. If you find yourself feeling self-critical or less-than, it may be time to unfollow or mute those accounts to protect your mental health.

In addition to monitoring your social media use, it’s important to consider how you spend your time offline. Authentic in-person interactions with friends who may be going through similar experiences can be validating and help build social support. Whether it’s having mocktails with a child-free friend, attending a prenatal yoga class, or meeting for coffee with a mom friend and her toddler, maintaining connections with others can help you maintain perspective and feel good about yourself.

Sharing your experiences around eating and mental health with your care team is also crucial. If you’re struggling with food and body image issues, don’t hesitate to talk to your primary care provider, ob-gyn, midwife, or mental health provider about what you’re feeling. Opening up about past experiences with mental health conditions or eating disorders can help your providers tailor your care to meet your specific needs.

It’s important to speak up about the care you receive as well. If you’re uncomfortable seeing the number on the scale at your prenatal appointments, don’t be afraid to voice your concerns. Let your provider know that you prefer not to see the numbers and that you only want to discuss weight-related issues if necessary. Taking control of certain aspects of your care can help you feel more at peace with the changes you’re going through during pregnancy.

Consider adding a perinatal therapist to your care team to help with any potentially tricky feelings about your body after giving birth. Research has shown a link between body image difficulties during pregnancy and postpartum depression, so working with a specialist in perinatal care can help you better understand and normalize your experience. Don’t hesitate to seek help and support if you’re struggling with your mental health during pregnancy. Prioritizing your well-being is essential for a healthy and happy pregnancy.

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