Pregnancy is a glorious season… mainly because it ends with your family holding a beautiful baby. Otherwise, it can be hard, discouraging, and a blow to the ole self esteem. Here’s how you can fight the frumpy ugly feeling and put your best foot forward during this life season.
This pregnancy, my 5th one… I’ll let that sink in… was a surprise.
A “I’m driving to the drug store right now to buy a test and take it in the bathroom alone because this can’t be happening to me” type of surprise.
I’d given away all newborn stuff, boy and girl. I’d given away all maternity clothes, for every season. I’d gotten within 5-10 pounds of my pre-motherhood weight and my hips had nearly stopped with the infernal clicking when I walked.
I was… as they say… moving into a new season.
Until that morning in Walgreens.
Part of why I found the idea so difficult is that I’m not good at being pregnant. I don’t like to be uncomfortable nor do I like to blow up like a blimp every year. It’s hard for me. It’s why I don’t weigh myself when I’m pregnant, why I haven’t weighed myself in over 5 years. And why I may never do so again.
When I got over the shock and settled into figuring out how on earth we’d actually take care of 5 kids 5 years and under… I realized this time I needed to do things differently. Instead of just being super cheap for the sake of it, I needed to put my best foot forward and try to embrace pregnancy. Embrace this time.
The Best Ways to Fight Frumpiness in the Pregnancy and Postpartum Periods
You’re going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. In fact, the bigger you are the easier it is. It’s that weird second trimester, “I’m not pregnant, but I’m weird looking” phase that’s the worst, eh? Here’s how to fight the frump, even if it’s just mental.
Figure out your style
This may be the best thing you can do. With a few of my pregnancies I just wore whatever would fit around me. I felt gross. Partly because I don’t like being pregnant, but mostly because I didn’t feel like “me.” My clothes were the wrong colors, the wrong cuts, the wrong style, and I felt like a Big Alien Whale.
If you don’t know your style, I encourage you to sign up for this free course that’ll help tell you your own style based on your personality. It’s fantastic.
Get clothes in that style
You may have to look around for a while to find what types of pregnancy clothes you love, but just do it. Quality over quantity. Style over the number you possess. It’s better to have 4 dresses you love than 10 that are ugly and make you feel frumpy. Maternity clothes can be expensive, so you can go to thrift stores, ask around from friends who share your tastes, or just scour for deals.
Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize
This is a mental game. The bigger the necklace, the cuter the shoes, you feel eyes are taken away from your huge tummy, tree trunk thighs, and swelling face. The necklace may or may not do the trick, but it really helps. If you have plain outfits, or clothes without much pattern, buy cute flashy shoes.
Having a cute pair of shoes (that will fit your expanding feet) will help you feel put together and cute, even if you don’t “feel cute.” Trust me, I know how pregnant women really feel. It’s tempting to buy cheap Styrofoam shower flip flops, but they won’t help your cause.
Some days I barely move past the couch. Fatigue and soreness are a constant companion of the pregnant woman. However, keeping as active as you’re able makes a big difference. It helps reduce swelling, gives you more energy, and helps fight massive weight gain. Nothing makes you feel more frumpy than being 256 pounds heavier than pre-pregnancy self. Even if you have to “make yourself” try to keep doing things you enjoy.
(My Women’s Essentials Madrid Sandal’s on our recent beach vacation)
Even if “active” just means going to the beach, park, or outside with family, try to fight the intense lethargy. I struggle at this big time, but find when I do make myself (not every time, of course) get out there I feel better.
Put away all skinny person clothes
Just do this. In fact, if you have skinny clothes from years pre-pregnancy, get them out of your closet now. When you open your closet, the only clothes that should be accessible and in view are those you can fit into. Period. No skinny jeans, sheath dresses, or button-ups. Fold, vacuum pack, or stow them away. But keep them out of view. Opening the closet – even if it’s nearly empty – and seeing only clothes you can wear makes a huge mental difference.
Try to go for “comfy yet cute”
If you are a high heels and short skirt type person, pregnancy may be hard for you. Or rather, I can’t imagine sporting high heels for too much of the pregnancy. But you can still feel fairly put together and cute without being too dressy. Aim for your style but toned down a notch or two. Even sporty type workout clothes that are color coordinated still look put together. You may have to go from “work ready” to “casual” but you can still do that within your own taste.
Get postpartum ready
After you’ve delivered, you’ll likely need nursing clothes. You won’t be wearing maternity but neither will you fit into your old clothes. I’ve already purchased a few dresses in an “in between” size as well as some supportive garments to help re-attach my stomach to itself. Buy comfy shoes, slippers, and cute pajamas or robes if you plan on staying in for a few weeks. Modern Day Confinement.
To sum it all up…
Take a bit of time to plan out how you can feel at your best and able to meet the challenges of pregnancy. Your spouse may not care if you stay in your pajamas all day, but when those pajamas start becoming too tight and too short… it’s time to treat yourself well.
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