September 22, 2011

Big {Belly} and Beautiful!

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The beautiful experience of pregnancy can take a real toll on your energy, mood, health, and ability to take the time to look and feel good.  So we wanted to focus today on how we can still feel beautiful about ourselves, our growing bodies, and also look good for our husband while the mama-oven is working overtime.

If you’ve been there, you know how valuable this topic can be!  Here is some advice from the divas to keep you feelin’ beautiful, sexy, confident, and simply your best.

Chrissy - Updated Pinterest Pic - BeautifulBelly

*Photo Credit: Fresh Poppy Photography*

Health and Beauty

Get enough sleep ~ Not only do you and your inner sidekick need it, it is the best foundation to being able to keep energy levels up, body in best condition, and your mood in check.  Ironically, nighttime often proves to be restless sleep the farther along you are. Take a nap if you can {I’ve even hired a babysitter to come over for an hour to watch my other kids even though I’m home just so I can finally nap!} This also will allow you to be able to focus on your spouse during the hours you get together instead of being too exhausted all of the time.  Oh, and don’t forget about prenatal vitamins… a little extra nutrients {especially when nothing else stays down} will go a long way for you and your baby.

Be motivated to make an effort ~ Okay, don’t jump all over us yet!  I know how hard it is to get ready for the day when you’re feeling sick, have toddler cereal in your hair, and are trying to keep your feet up to make the swelling go down… but if you want to get the results of feeling better about yourself, you gotta give yourself a pep talk and make it a priority to get ready.  This doesn’t mean you won’t have your “days off” {LOL} cuz, believe me, we do!  But the plain truth is that on the days I don’t get ready, I feel worse about myself (pregnant or not) and if it means getting up 15 minutes earlier so you will have a chance to shower that morning, do it!  Do your makeup or at least freshen up to a clean face every day.  You’ll feel more awake, more energized, more prepared to face the day along with the challenges it will bring, and besides, the freshly showered smell is always preferred by yourself… and your hubby.  Just sayin’…

Have some Mama Pampering ~ Do some things that make you feel good – get a pedicure {it doesn’t hurt to have some cute toes staring back at you when you’re in the delivery room,} a manicure, your hair done, a foot massage – or even better – a pregnancy massage.  They focus on areas totally strained and affected during pregnancy, and believe me, they’re heaven.  Even a little quiet time where you can write in a journal or plan things for the baby out on paper is some pampering mama-time.  Instead of doing it all at once though, spread it out so you have these pampering appointments to look forward to.  You’ll feel refreshed and like a new you afterward.

Emphasize your femininity ~ Sure, we’re not all pink and frilly every day, but when you want to feel sexy and girlie, there’s nothing wrong with frillin’ it up!  A flat iron or curling iron/hot rollers are great ways to dress up your hair from boring to beauty.  Adding a necklace is also a great way to feel feminine and take an outfit up to the next stage of lookin’ good. Perfumes may not be a good idea for pregnancy sensitivity, but a flowery smelling shampoo is nice and light and again, your makeup is all gonna help you feel beautiful and feminine.

*Photo Credit: Fresh Poppy Photography*

Maternity Clothes

Have some secret weapons ~ Make sure you have a few maternity clothes that you REALLY feel good in. You don’t have to go spend a fortune on them, but if you invest in a few things that you absolutely love and try to wear those on date nights or times you want to look your best, you will feel it!  There’s nothing wrong with wearing yoga pants (my favorite!) to keep comfortable, but don’t underestimate the power of dressing up, and don’t be afraid to ask sisters or friends if you can borrow maternity clothing temporarily.  Most women have a box full in storage just waiting for them to be needed again. Empire waist shirts are totally flattering because they tie or have a border above your belly at your smallest point and are luxuriously comfortable and loose over your belly.  Stretchy shirts that are gathered on the side and a little form fitting are also flattering and cute!  Our friends over at Shabby Apple have some amazing maternity options if you’re lookin’!

Consider the season for comfort ~ If you’re 8 months pregnant in the summer, you’re gonna want to accommodate with light weight shirts and skirts or sun dresses.  I even went as far as to “modify” my own maternity clothing to make it work better for me.  If you need an extra layer under a low cut maternity shirt for example, cut a tank top into a halter so you have yourself covered, but you don’t have a tight fitting FULL extra layer of warmth underneath.  Or take a long sleeved shirt and cut and hem it into a cap sleeve.  For the winter season, perhaps a great pair of boots will be your best friend.  Finding solutions that better fit your needs can make a big difference when your clothing is limited and your comfort is constantly lacking.

Mix and match ~ You know the trick to feeling like your wardrobe doubled in size?  Just get clothes that can go together in different combinations and then get creative!  White, jean, or khaki bottoms are great to mix and match with almost any top, and shirts that need layering are easy to switch colors up underneath.  Switch up your outfits between skirts, dresses, shorts, capris, and jeans.

If the shoe fits ~ Most women experience foot swelling, which stretches out your shoes and just makes it impossible to wear your favorites.  Since you’re going to be pregnant for the better part of a year, go ahead and buy some shoes that will provide comfort and support even if your feet balloon. {You think I’m kidding? Wish I had a pic!}

*Photo Credit: Fresh Poppy Photography*

Having Fun and Being Social

Keep your weekly dates ~ There really is power behind having something too look forward to, and it when it comes to enjoying yourself even when you don’t feel your best, take advantage of these nights with your best friend who wants to help you look and feel beautiful – your husband!  Besides, when you’re having fun, it’s easier to forget about swollen ankles, sore backs, and other aches and pains.  It’s a win/win!

Plan some special getaways ~ Take a mini vacation getaway near or far – just away from home.  Leave the laundry and dishes and go make fun memories together that will buoy you up and give you more positive memories of your pregnancy.  Getaways when you already have children do require some extra planning, but I’m willing to bet you’ll be glad you did!

Allow yourself some help ~ When people offer you some help, take it if you need it!  It will help your stress level and – really – sometimes it’s okay to be the one served!

Don’t extinguish the spark ~ There are lots of ways to keep the spark alive throughout your whole pregnancy. I know my husband found me much more attractive than I did, and it helped to just believe him when he would throw the compliments my way.  Keeping the romance going helps both you and your husband to feel good, be happy and enjoy each other.  However, the days you’re gonna invest extra time and energy in him don’t always have to be the days you do all the laundry, wrestle the kids at nap time, and restock the whole pantry.  I know it’s sooo easy to just fall asleep immediately and know he’ll forgive ya for ignoring him, but if some days you just let more of the little things go or postpone them until tomorrow so your energy and sanity are still in tact by the time you get to him, he’ll surely appreciate your extra attention, and the value will be worth it.  You can check out our romance and intimate moments sections for tonzz of ideas!

Choose your attitude ~ Our thoughts and attitude truly do color any situation.  Being a whiny, needy, grumpy, frump is waaay more *ahem* unattractive than the same woman who although may feel that way, shows her husband a beautiful smile, kiss, talks more about the things you’re looking forward to with baby, positive parts of pregnancy and excitement. When the tears or venting happens – and it will – consolidate it so it’s less frequent.  You will be glad you did.  The pregnancy experience will be 100% different for yourself and your hubby.

If you are expecting a baby – CONGRATULATIONS!  Enjoy the journey!

Planning a baby shower soon?!?! HERE is a darling printable pack YOU WILL NEED for this special occasion!!

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Recent Comments

2 Responses to “Big {Belly} and Beautiful!”

  1. Tara Tara says:

    Great tips, Kiirst!! :) I will definitely be referring back to this! :)

  2. Kayla says:

    These are some good tips but I think they really only scratch the surface. I am not (nor have I ever been, nor do I ever hope to be) pregnant, but any time I see tips for a better self-image, I’m more than happy to read them. I do think that you need to put in effort and keep a positive mindset and certainly having clothes that accentuate your “better” features makes everyone feel better. However, I think the more reliable and “real” answer here is remembering how little of your worth and meaning should be based on your appearance. Doing your make-up (or any other self-care) probably makes you feel better, I believe it is/should be because you’re loving yourself, not because you’re fitting into a “beautiful” standard. Not to mention, keep in mind that you’re creating a beautiful new life, and remember all the amazing, wonderful things your body is doing for you. It may help you appreciate it more and want to take excellent care of it :)


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