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.
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.
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.”
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.