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Bump grown v fast, body image issues, please help!!

(14 Posts)
emeraldgirl1 Mon 19-Nov-12 06:43:35

My bump has literally doubled in size this past week. I am 23w. Up until then I kept getting told I didn't look pregnant, now I am being told , 'oh you look really pregnant now'.

I know I should be proud and happy but I feel fat and embarrassed sad

Have had long term body image issues, an eating disorder for years that have kept at bay for a few years now. I did a lot of 'work' to start to like my body and I really succeeded until now!! I know this is different and that I'm not fat, but my changing shape is very difficult for me. Am starting to trim back on food sad as I don't dare make my stomach any bigger. I do know this is v bad and am trying to fight it.

Of course it is not helping that people (all being v nice! I have done this to preg women too!!) are constantly commenting on my body in a way they don't when you're not preg! Nobody usually scrutinises my tummy and says , oh, yes, much bigger since I last saw you!! But now of course they are! I dread seeing people and try to disguise my bump so they won't comment but that has got harder this past week.

Problem is that I have also got pelvic girdle pain and so my usual body-image saviour of workouts and brisk walking is off the menu. I had planned to keep up decent exercise but can't do that now which is not helping mentally or physically. Yoga doesn't feel like the kind of workout that will keep me in decent shape afterwards.

Please please don't flame me, I am not some ridiculous gym bunny who wants to stay skinny. I am really having a hard time with this as it has changed so fast and I can't control it. I am trying to eat well and eat good stuff for the baby. I just hate my bump and am ashamed to say so.

emeraldgirl1 Mon 19-Nov-12 06:48:52

Oh and I feel like I should add - I am NOT skinny, never have been. Don't aspire to it. I have an athletic shape and have learned to like my body by eating properly and exercising. (Ie being a bit of a control freak...) Losing that control is hard for me. I wish I was one of those curvy little pregnant women but I feel like a rugby ball here...

Fluffeh Mon 19-Nov-12 07:27:55

I can relate completely. I have real body image issues and a very recently controlled eating disorder.
I'm only 17w but feel huge and it doesn't help when people comment on my stomach or say "you're looking really healthy now". To me that is a comment that means the same as "haven't you gained weight".
Lifestyle changes are hard too and my ED councillor wants to leave therapy until after the birth.
I'm trying my best to distract my mind and have found that if I know the approx size and weight of the baby each week I can picture the space it's taking up along with fluid and I feel a bit better.
I don't have any real advice but I do understand how feeling torn about bump size but loving the baby is horrible sad.

emeraldgirl1 Mon 19-Nov-12 07:45:48

Thanks Fluffeh but so sorry you're feeling the same way. It is pretty guilt-inducing, isn't it?! I'm having a girl and am kicking myself about this as I've been so determined not to pass on my own body issues to a girl I might ever have (was a major reason I was upset about having a girl at first, actually) and am irrrationally worried I am somehoe passing some of this onto her before she's even arrived sad

That's great, great advice though about knowing the size of the baby each week. I think that would help me a bit.

But yes, it feels like people are suddenly saying, "oooh, haven't you got fat?!) I KNOW they are not, and as I say I have been guilty of doing this to pregnant women before (never told them they had got fat, but def commented on size of bump) but it is so tough. I have never been great at people commenting on my body (even if they're telling me I've lost weight in the past) as I just find that kind of scrutiny quite unbearable. Of course now people feel it's OK to pass comment, of course they are only being nice, but it is really having a bad effect on me. I didn't anticipate this at all and don't really know how to cope with it.

Fluffeh Mon 19-Nov-12 11:22:05

We don't know the sex yet but I know I'd feel the same if its a girl. Have you tried telling your mw how you're feeling? Mine knows about the ED so is pretty supportive and told me to say the word if I feel it all getting on top of me.
It doesn't help when other people assume in happy to see my bump grow. I really wish I could be, I thought, stupidly, that this would be the one time in my life I could stop obsessing about my size and weight but I'm finding it so hard.
Picturing my baby and knowing my body is feeding him/her and helping them grow is getting me through some days but I do have sad days where I just cry and wish I could relax and enjoy pregnancy. Maybe when we get our babies in our arms we'll forget about these weeks and be proud of what the bumps were building smile.

emeraldgirl1 Mon 19-Nov-12 11:48:16

Hope so Fluffeh!!
I haven't mentioned to my mw how I'm feeling yet - this has crept up in the past 3-4 weeks and I haven't seen her for 3 weeks now. I will mention it at the next appointment I think. Tricky though as you're never sure if people will be a bit judgy about it.
I wish I had managed to be as optimistic as you!! I thought I would have a hard time getting bigger, but I didn't really anticipate how much. The sheer speed of it has really taken me by surprise - I honestly have doubled in size virtually overnight. Nobody warned me about this!! confused

BonaDea Mon 19-Nov-12 11:54:52

emerald - where are you based? I'm going to some great classes run by a company called Maternally Fit which are proper fitness classes (ie you break a sweat and are not just doing breathing and bending!) for pregnant women held all over London. They are all run by physiotherapists, and so I'm sure they could take the girdle pain issue into account...

Those or something similar in your area might help you feel that you are not losing control. I am not a fan of yoga either, although I have to say that the class I went to this week was actually pretty hard and I have some aches and pains two days later, so not as wishy washy in terms of fitness as i had imagined.

Obviously some of this is a psychological issue, but you are clearly aware that is the case, so thought I would give a practical suggestion rather than just say the obvious which you already know which is: you're not fat, you're pregnant and lovely!

emeraldgirl1 Mon 19-Nov-12 12:34:21

BonaDae - am based in London, will investigate MaternallyFit - thank you! That's a really great suggestion x

butteroneverything Mon 19-Nov-12 20:51:42

Emerald - I've found this part of pregnancy really weird too, and totally didn't expect to - it's definitely not just you! I've never had any major body image issues or an eating disorder but before being pregnant I liked being slim and felt quite good about it. I'm 25 weeks with my first pregnancy and have only started showing in the last 3-4 weeks. It means that every time I see anyone they're like, "Oh my god! Look at you!" etc etc etc and stare at my tummy. Which really winds me up. I know it's irrational but I just feel self-conscious and wish they wouldn't. (although I never say anything, just grit my teeth and smile...grrr). I also find the way clothes look now is taking a bit of getting used to.

Anyway, I've nothing constructive to add, other than to say that I know how you feel, and that's coming from someone who didn't think she had weight issues before! Strangely I've found that wearing clothes which make it really obvious that I'm pregnant (i.e. tight-ish jersey dresses/tops) helps a bit. I keep telling myself that come March 2013, I'll have a lovely baby to show for it. Keep thinking positive!

iamwhaticallpregnant Tue 20-Nov-12 12:12:43

Hi Emerald - well I read this and I really really related. I have always had major weight issues and dieted my entire life. I go up and down every year and my weight has always dominated life events. I am the same as you in that I wasn't showing at all for ages! Now - in the last two weeks my bump has trippled in size and it is massive!! It has gone from no one knowing to the whole world seeing.
The only advice I could give you is the best thing you can do is try to embrace the bump . Instead of trying to hide it - like I used to - embrace it and try to show it off. I have stopped wearing baggy jumpers and leggings, and am wearing dresses that show off the bump so that people can see straight away that I am not fat - I am pregnant. This was my main concern - that people would think goodness isnt she fat. If you show off the bump and dress to show it off people will only think goodness she is pregnant! It only took a week and now my whole view of it has changed and I am proud of my pregnant bump. You can't change the bump but you can change your attitude towards it.
It might sound silly - but I buy those terrible gossip mags and last week there was a page of Fern Cotton going about town in different outfits - with her bump showing in her clothes - and I looked at her and thought - wow, she looks so good and happy. So - why shouldnt I? I am sure that is all that people think when they see us. They don't think anything bad. My partner bought me a mag the other day which I think was called NOW Pregnancy or something - all about pregnant celebrities. Know it's silly - but as someone who has always aspired to look like skinny celebs - the pics of pregnant ones made me a lot more confident. My absolute idol is Holly Willoughby - who looked beautiful throughout all of her pregnancies and she never tried to hide her bump. I feel a lot more confident about my bump and have even become a bit of a show off!!

worsestershiresauce Tue 20-Nov-12 14:20:31

I'm 26 weeks and really do look bigger every day, so much so that my DH always comments on it when he gets home. I too had an eating disorder, long term, up until only a few years ago, and was hospitalised twice in my early teens for it. Fortunately for me the sheer relief that my illness had not as expected affected my fertility has been enough for me to really enjoy the pregnancy and feel proud of my changing shape. I see it as a sign that I'm ok, I'm well, and everything else is in the past in a box that will never be opened again.

What has helped me is focussing on ,making my body strong and healthy, not starving it of nutrients. The maternallyfit classes sound perfect, but if you cannot get on one of those try using a gym ball to do core strengthening, or doing the Davina DVD (it is not difficult and makes allowances for SPD).

I agree with dressing to make the most of the bump. I wear fitted clothes, and look better for it. Baggy clothes make me feel fat and ugly. Proper maternity wear in a fitted style is actually very attractive, and although you may not feel like you are glowing all the oestrogen in your body will be having a positive affect on your hair and skin. Pregnant woman are gorgeous, attractive, sexy, all of those things.

emeraldgirl1 Tue 20-Nov-12 15:19:59

Thanks so much everyone for posting... I have been v guilty of the trying-to-hide-my-shape thing recently. I just feel so self-conscious and don't want anyone to notice. But maybe that is not helping. I do have a couple of nice fitted tops from Isabella Oliver that certainly emphasise my bump but I have been too shy to wear them! Guess I should just try one out and risk it and see if it makes me feel any better than shuffling around in leggings and DH's old sweater...

Chottie Tue 20-Nov-12 17:57:01

I've been looking for maternity clothes with my DD. Have you looked at Seraphine? Their clothes are lovely, you just buy your normal size i.e. 10/ 12/14 and they are designed to accommodate your bump, but don't have yards of loose fabric either.

worsestershiresauce Tue 20-Nov-12 18:24:31

Oh g*d leggings and a man's jumper is the most unflattering thing ever. I wear that in the house in the evening and feel like a fat frump (but don't care as no one can see me). Try some fitted maternity trousers, a pair of boots with a small heel and a proper maternity top - you'll feel miles better. H&M are good for value basics. Isabella Oliver is nice, but very expensive so I've limited myself to a couple of tops from there.

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