Your body is changing, big-time -- and that's a good thing! Celebrate your pregnant body with one (or all) of these fun ideas.
Pregnancy is definitely a cause for celebration! So shift your focus from the morning sickness and the swelling and try these six ways to honor the amazing feat you're accomplishing day by day -- growing another human being inside your body.
1. Schedule a maternity photo shoot. Even if you aren't the kind of girl who's constantly snapping selfies, you won't regret scheduling a maternity photo shoot. I hemmed and hawed my way about whether I should have my first-ever maternity photo session with my third child and I was 38 weeks along before I made the decision to just go for it. Yes, I was huge and yes, I felt ridiculous posing with my belly and yes, I may have had a double chin, but the pictures are beautiful and I will treasure them forever. There is no better way to celebrate that gorgeous pregnant body that highlighting it with a little professional help.
2. Strength train. It might sound weird, but when you think about it, pregnancy is a time of amazing strength for a woman. And although I find certain types of exercising to be more difficult than others, especially as the months progress, strength training is something that can be done safely and effectively through the entire nine months of pregnancy. "I am a huge fan of strength training during pregnancy," says Erika Boom, certified personal trainer and certified prenatal and postnatal instructor in Miami. "It keeps your metabolism high and builds muscle mass, which in turn makes you accumulate 2 to 3 percent less body fat than a woman who doesn't strength train during pregnancy [would]." A way to let your inner pregnant woman roar that will also help you slip into those prepregnancy jeans a little faster? Win-win!
3. Get a belly cast -- or dress up your bump. I've never been into the pregnant belly casting trend, but after looking into it more, I've realized that it's a fun way to celebrate your bump -- and remember it after it's gone. (And yes, there will come a day when it's gone.) There are some great DIY options for belly casting kits online, or you can get a bunch of your fellow pregnant friends together and find a store near you that specializes in belly casting, belly painting, or temporary tattoos to decorate that baby bump.
4. Rock a body-conscious dress. Rather than transforming yourself into a pregnant goddess with something flowing and floor-length, let your new figure shine with a form-fitting dress. This is a style meant for women with curves, and who's got better curves than a pregnant woman? Luckily, body-conscious dresses are stretchy, so you won't have to worry about the comfort factor that is pretty much my number-one rule for dressing during pregnancy. Highlight that bump and flaunt some of your (bigger) assets!
5. Don't pack away that bikini just yet. Granted, you might have to go up a size, but just because you're pregnant doesn't mean it's time to pack away that bikini. If you're pregnant during the summer months or lucky enough to live in a tropical locale, consider baring your bump in a bikini on the beach. You are beautiful, mamma, and so is that bump!
6. Start from the bottom up. Here's a confession: A few weeks ago, I went through my delicates and got rid of every undergarment that made me feel frumpy or fat, or was just plain uncomfortable. And then I bought an entire new collection of soft and silky undergarments that were so much more comfortable. No more trying to fight my new curves or going about the day wishing I could be home in my jammies. It's a small thing, but every time I slide on a new pair of comfy, cute underwear, I feel like I'm loving and appreciating my pregnant body even more.
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