Moms-To-Be

When you’re pregnant, you reflect a special beauty about you that is unequaled at any other time in your life. Yet pregnancy can be difficult as you anticipate and adjust to the changes in your body.

Even though you may be thrilled about being pregnant, you may not be thrilled with the way you look. Your figure, skin, hair and nails may change. You may feel insecure about your appearance. You may be too tired to fix your hair in its usual style. You may feel frustrated by the decision about “what to wear” or defeated by a limited selection of maternity clothes—often at unaffordable prices.

But you don’t have to feel anxious or insecure about the way you look. You can look and feel terrific, even glamorous. Gone are the days of secrecy and seclusion surrounding pregnancy. Today, you’re encouraged to maintain your usual lifestyle during the maternity months. You can work, exercise, entertain and enjoy sex until your baby is born.

Being attractively groomed and neatly dressed will help you look and feel terrific! Use your cosmetics and clothes as an outward expression of the beauty developing inside you. Pregnancy is exciting! With a new life growing inside you, you’re probably anticipating the first feeling of movement. You may be wondering what your baby will look like. These and other fascinating sensations combine to make pregnancy a wonderful experience to enjoy.

Because pregnancy lasts about nine months, it’s natural to divide it into three equal parts of three months each. Each part is called a trimester.

The material in the remainder of this book is divided into trimesters, and each of the next three sections deals with a different trimester. The book concludes with a post-partum section, so you’ll know what to expect after your baby is born. During this first trimester, you’ll notice many changes in your body—and not all of them are what you expected! Your skin, hair and nails may change. You need to be aware of what adjustments you may need to make as you embark on your first trimester.

During the second trimester of pregnancy, your body has adapted to change, and you’ll probably begin to feel better. Nausea usually stops by this time. Fatigue has eased, or you have adapted to your limitations and know what you can and can’t do. The uterus is rising out of your pelvis and has lifted itself off you bladder. This relieves bladder pressure and the bathroom urge. Life is looking better all the time.

Some women believe the last three months of pregnancy are the most uncomfortable of all. Maybe they forgot the nausea and vomiting of early pregnancy. At any rate, the excitement of impending labor and delivery often masks the discomfort of these last few months. You may be reminded you look pregnant when friends ask when your baby is due or why you haven’t delivered yet. But this doesn’t diminish the thrill of anticipation. In this last trimester, you may find it difficult to walk gracefully as you carry a 15-pound weight directly in front of your stomach. Yet there are many attractive pregnant women near term who radiate a glowing beauty that comes only with pregnancy. Relax and enjoy it!

DRESSING FOR PREGNANCY

As you get used to the idea of being pregnant, your thoughts turn to maternity clothes. You need to learn about the changes in your body that occur during pregnancy. If you’re aware of changes, you can plan for clothes to help you look and feel your best.

MAKEUP

Most women are pleased that they’re pregnant, and it shows. Their faces reflect and radiate the excitement, happiness and hope they feel. That’s part of the “glow” of pregnancy you often hear about. Even if your energy level is low or your skin is blotchy, makeup can enhance your “glow.”

POSTURE

During pregnancy, hormonal and chemical changes in your body cause changes in your skin. Some changes will please you; others will not. Some women enjoy a clear complexion during pregnancy. Other women are plagued with dry, flaking skin or oily skin and blemishes.

FOCUS ON YOUR FACE

Direct attention toward your face, away from your tummy. You can’t hide your pregnancy—and that’s not the intent. But if eyes are focused on your tummy, they won’t be focused on your face!

SKIN CARE

Good posture during pregnancy contributes to your physical and mental health and makes you look better. You can develop poor posture at any age, but it may be aggravate by the weight and stress of pregnancy.

PERFUME

Using perfume is a wonderful way to pamper yourself. A special fragrance can contribute to the mood of the moment, subtly change your mood, announce your arrival or delay your departure. Perfume can establish your individuality and strengthen your femininity. While pregnant, surround yourself with scents you love.

CARE OF TEETH

Smile—you’re pregnant! A beautiful mouth with healthy teeth and firm, pink guns is essential for an attractive appearance. A healthy mouth can lessen your discomfort during pregnancy. Contrary to old wives’ tales, your baby does not take calcium from your teeth.

FOOT CARE

Your feet are under more pressure during pregnancy because they support your increased weight and the weight of the baby. When your feet hurt, you hurt all over. Pain and discomfort are often reflected on you face. You may hunch your shoulders in an effort to obtain relief. Knees may “give” to try to ease the pressure, which can cause a curve in your spine. Attention to feet is essential during pregnancy.

HAND AND NAIL CARE

Beautiful hands and nails can add to your appearance during pregnancy. Hands can make a positive statement about you and your sense that’s another old wives’ tale. While hormonal changes may lead to tooth and gum problems, your dentist and daily dental care provide necessary solutions. Brush and floss daily.

HAIR CARE

Hormones that cause skin changes may also cause changes in your hair. Estrogens, plentiful during pregnancy, are largely responsible for healthy hair. For many pregnant women, hair is longer, thicker, softer and shinier and normal hair loss decreases. For other women, hair becomes oily, dry, dull or brittle. Hair problems during pregnancy may be abused or complicated by neglect or mistreatment. Whether you have problems or a beautiful head of hair, practice good hair care while you go through the changes of pregnancy.

COLOR

Color is the most memorable and stimulating element of design. Color is light. Wavelengths of different light rays are seen as different colors— red, orange, yellow, blue, green, indigo, violet and a range in between. When choosing maternity clothes, consider color. Warm, light bright colors appear to advance, causing shapes to appear closer, somewhat larger and more emphatic. Bright colors get more attention and boost your spirits. Cool, dark, dull, colors appear to recede, causing shapes to appear farther away, somewhat smaller and less emphatic. Dull colors have a calming effect on moods. Choose maternity clothes with plenty of ease and wear even the bright colors, as often as you like.

DEFENSIVE DRESSING

After your baby is born, don’t expect too much from your figure at first. You may be surprised to turn over in bed and discover your stomach flops down beside you. You may wonder if that loose, flabby tummy will ever go back where it belongs. It can almost be depressing to see some women snap into shape overnight or others who look fantastic in a few months. For some—and you may be one—it can take almost a year before your see a reflection of your former self in the mirror.