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Overcoming Your Pregnancy Body-Image Fears

If you have hang-ups about what pregnancy will do to your body, you're not alone. Beyond your expanding belly, all kinds of changes -- good and bad -- occur from head to toe. Here, we uncover your most common fears about gaining the pounds necessary for a healthy baby, along with advice on how to deal.
pregnant woman on scale Fear #1: Gaining, and Not Losing, Weight

Even though gaining weight is a natural and necessary part of pregnancy, some women can't get past the numbers that will start to creep up on the scale. They're worried about gaining too much weight during pregnancy and that their bodies may never look the same post-pregnancy. Some women reportedly put off having children because of this fear.

Overcome It: Before pregnancy, start working toward the acceptance that your body will go through a lot of changes, and though it may never be exactly the same after you have a baby, you will never be the same either. That being said, plenty of women do bounce back to their pre-pregnancy weight or a number close to it. Instead of focusing on your weight, concentrate on health and fitness, which will be good for both you and your baby-to-be.

"Women need to develop a willingness to view bodily changes as part of the journey of motherhood, instead of something to be feared," says Julie Hanks, a psychotherapist, and owner and director of Wasatch Family Therapy in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. "It's crucial to have a healthy view of your body during and after pregnancy."