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You're Not Fat, You're Pregnant. The Importance of Self Talk During Pregnancy

Me, 38 weeks pregnant & an hour before being induced

I remember the first time I was pregnant and noticed my belly was growing big and round. For me, this was a sign that things were finally okay, that maybe my body did know what it was doing and this amazing miracle was happening. Despite the morning sickness, the heightened sense of smell that plagued me and being so tired I fell asleep everywhere, I felt great.

As I continued to put more weeks of pregnancy behind me and my body and baby continued to grow, I noticed that my attitude changed a bit. When people asked how I was feeling I would answer with “I feel so fat” or “I am so huge” and noticed the same things said by other pregnant women the more their bellies grew. It seemed to be a pretty standard answer — that we were huge and fat.

While there is no denying that pregnancy does increase the size of your mid-section, it’s a good thing — it’s healthy, it means your baby is growing, but I have since wondered, when did it become okay to call our pregnant growing mid-section “fat” — even if we’re talking about ourselves?

“The more often someone engaged in fat talk, the lower that person’s body satisfaction and the higher the level of depression after three weeks”, - Journal of Applied Communication Research

Women in general are not the most kind to ourselves. So many of us engage in self fat-talk, which includes making comments about our weight, our size and body shape in a negative way and somewhere along the way that became okay to do during pregnancy too. I kind of get it, our bodies are changing and we do get bigger, but it’s not like its a result of eating too many donuts and cookies. It’s a baby — a growing, healthy baby and should not be talked about in any negative way — especially by ourselves.

When I am pregnant again, which I am hoping is sooner rather then too much later, I want to make sure I am aware of how I am talking to myself — about my beautifully pregnant body. It’s not healthy to look at such an amazing thing so negatively, it’s not healthy to promote fat-talk in general and it seems especially cruel to do while pregnant and weight gain and size is healthy and important. Research has even shown that the more a woman engages in fat-talk, the higher her level of depression goes, which is a main concern I have for women who are pregnant, the hormones increase that likeness already.

There is not much more beautiful in this world then a woman who is about to bring a child into it. So, I am moving to ban the reply “I feel so fatwhen it comes to pregnancy. In reality, I wish all negative fat-talk would stop, but let’s start by saying “I’m feeling wonderfully pregnant instead.

:: Did you inadvertently refer to yourself as ‘fat’ when pregnant? ::

Read more from  on Accustomed ChaosUnspoken Grief
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Photo credit: Devan McGuinness

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