How to be more confident during pregnancy

Self-confidence during pregnancy really can make the difference in how you experience your pregnancy.  It sounds very easy and obvious, but I can guarantee you, as I am sitting here with only 4 weeks to go, it is not as clear cut and easy as it seems.  If you don’t go into your pregnancy with a plan it is easy to get side-tracked.  Feeling tired and not in the mood for anything, and having unrealistic goals to meet your new addition’s every expectations (even though he has non) can take over before you know it.  These 9 useful tips will help you to experience your pregnancy with more confidence.

Dress To Feel Good

In my fist pregnancy (like my second) I felt very body conscious, fat and frumpy (from the beginning not even just towards the end) The difference is that in my first pregnancy I just wore oversized jackets, tops and pants.  It made me feel so much worse and really gave my confidence levels a dip.  Second time around, I dressed to suit my body, yet I took a “proud” approach to my body and bump.  I dressed up to highlight this new feature, and show it off at every occasion.  I stood tall, shoulders up chin up and honestly, it gave me such an instant energy and confidence boost.  I have put this point fist for a reason.

Treat Yourself to a Pamper Session Every Month

You don’t have to have a fortune in cash to do this.  Simply painting your toe nails once a week and giving yourself a pedicure does the trick.  Go for your waxes (or do it at home) The important factor is to make an effort.  Buy a face mask or go for one at a salon makes no difference as long as you pamper yourself at least monthly or weekly and still make that effort.  It is not for your partner or anyone else except you.

Take time out for yourself

We have busy lives and schedules, probably siblings to your soon to be new addition. All of this takes time.  Juggling work, looking after kids, house work and preparing for the new baby, feeling overwhelmed is normal.  Make sure you schedule an hour every day for reading, quiet time, resting, practicing a hobby or just relaxing with no distractions.  You need time for yourself to de-compress and re-ground yourself to be the best for yourself and others.

Work on your personal goals (have other interests)

With everything going on in pregnancy you can easily lose yourself to the needs of others.  It is so SO important to maintain your identity.  We all have (outside of a day job or working from home, being a home maker etc) other  interests and personal goals and dreams which we would like to achieve. NEVER, and I say again NEVER park your dreams aside for “after” pregnancy or any other reason. Firstly you don’t know if there is ever going to be enough time, or even if we will be here tomorrow so the best time to work on personal goals is today.  Start small and write your goals down.  In the morning before the day starts wake up 30 minutes to plan 3 things you are going to do today to get closer to your goals and do them.

Exercise and eat right

I know you are thinking, screw this, I am pregnant I deserve to eat for two or to indulge.  This is the worst approach you can take during pregnancy.  Eating a lot and not exercising is a recipe for disaster.  If you don’t care, then that’s fine, go ahead but I guarantee you this will make you miserable AND you would not be reading this if you didn’t care.  The baby is eating everything you are eating and if you are eating something you would not give a new born baby then you need to re-visit what you are eating. Put away the box of Easter eggs.

Exercising has many benefits, but the most important is maintaining your mobility and the endorphins to even your mood.  Mamma, I know you are tired and not in the mood, but schedule exercise 3 times a week and you will not regret it.  If you are concerned about exercising during pregnancy, here is a helpful article on warning signs on when not to exercise or to stop exercising during pregnancy.

Also imagine after the baby, if you have trained and maintained your exercising, how easy it will be to fall back into your exercise routine, not to mention not having piles of weight to have to lose. PURE BLISS

Do your makeup even though you don’t feel like it

Let me tell you, there are many times when I just don’t feel like anything.  It is all an effort, getting up, speaking to people, getting dressed, going to work, going to social gatherings, seeing friends. To be honest sometimes I even just watch the phone ring and go “I can’t”.  There are many times this will probably happen to you too, even though it is ok to sometimes just unplug and not do something when you don’t feel like, it can spiral out of control.  You need to keep tabs on how many times you are actually excluding yourself from life, and not making the effort to show up.  And I don’t mean show up being average.  Do your makeup when you don’t feel like it.  This actually goes hand in hand with dressing properly.  Yes you don’t feel like the effort, but picking yourself up when you don’t feel like it is what makes the difference between feeling mediocre and feeling your best.

Tackle gas lighting head on

Ladies, hear me out, gas lighting is a HUGE problem in pregnancy not only from your partner or spouse, but from bosses, business partners, family and friends and even ourselves.  Does this sound familiar “oh don’t mind her it’s the hormones”  or “she is over reacting it’s the pregnancy” or “I am just being unreasonable he is right”.  Fair enough there are hormones to play and yes, sometimes you might be verbalising things you would normally digest by yourself, but do not let anyone make you feel “crazy” or that you are losing your sanity because you are pregnant.  If this happens tackle it head on. 

So what do you do?  Call them out on this behaviour and it will be the last you will see of it.  Gas lighting is mostly done in a “joking manner” so that it is more acceptable, but honestly nothing irritates me more than people treating you as if you are some demon-possessed, crazy-ass woman because you are pregnant.  I find it particularly degrading and dis respectful in the work place.

Avoid nesting anxiety

Do you feel overwhelmed because you need to get everything ready for the baby?  Guess what?  The baby does not care, he will be sleeping non-stop for the first couple of months.  If it’s a crib made out of gold and extra Egyptian silk covers or a tomato crate with a Pep doggy blanket.  No difference whatsoever to him.  Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to do everything perfectly and to get everything 100% right.  Adding unnecessary stress and pressure all adds up and effects your overall well-being.

Involve your partner more and ask for help

This is whole article by itself.  We need to involve our partners more.  I always complain that my husband is not doing “this or that” to help but we need to ask if we are enabling them enough to help?  It is easy for women to take control of the kids or the food or the house as it comes naturally and this has been passed down for generations.  If the baby cries we take care of it because we feel we can do it better and it has been drilled into us.  What if you left your husband to figure it out?  Will he die?  Will the baby die?  Will the kids die?  Mmmm I doubt it. 

Give him a chance to help, show him how to do it, explain to him properly why you need him to do it.  Let go of controlling everything.  The food might not taste great the first couple of times, and the white washing might be a bit pink but it’s all team work and slowly but surely chores need to become everyone’s responsibility not just women.  He will figure it out.

I hope you find this advice useful.  Your comments as usual very much appreciated and if you know someone who could use the info please share.

 

Much Love xxx Brigitte

Written by Brigitte Willers
I am a working mom from Cape Town. I am passionate about fitness, all things self help and DIY. I like to figure it out and share as I go along, after all we are all just trying to figure this life out. I am all about women helping each other to excel whether its in work, play, or health and fitness. I am a qualified with the Health and Fitness Professional association, I have chosen not to use it as a career path but rather to help women achieve their goals via this blog. My work/business is Project Management in the FMCG and Entertainment Sector (www.theprojectlead.co.za) My true passion is music, nature, animals, helping others and most importantly my family. I am quite a philosophical mess (on the light side) and on a great adventure of finding my true self, like most of us (except maybe mermaids and unicorns because they know exactly who they are) Why don't you join me on this exciting journey and we can do it together, I promise I will make you laugh and you won't get bored.