The first few weeks of pregnancy can go by very quickly. With many family and friends sharing the joy of expecting a new addition to the family, even the most bothersome symptoms can somehow seem tolerable. But as pregnancy progresses and you become heavier and the days seem to drag by endlessly, you can become weary and even miserable. What compounds the experience more is your diminishing self-esteem – the result of pregnancy changes that are way beyond your control.

If you don’t feel good about yourself, don’t let these feelings consume you. Pregnancy is a milestone and the only way to enjoy it is to embrace these changes – stretch marks and all! Here are some ways on how you can look and feel good during pregnancy:

1.    Flaunt your pregnancy. If you are already showing, go ahead and flaunt it! For once in your life, stop stressing that you are no longer wearing that size zero dress and remind yourself that your body is accommodating your precious baby.  And you really don’t have to worry too much about what to wear because there are plenty of clothing brands that design clothes solely for pregnant women. Yes, you belong to that group of exclusive clientele! Instead of concealing your growing belly, find clothes that can complement your fuller figure. Remember that you can still dress comfortably but in style.

Once in a while, dress your best even if you just need to head out for a quick lunch out with friends. The effort that you put in looking good can do wonders to your self esteem.  So even if you feel that you’ve gone from looking fab to drab during pregnancy, force yourself to dress up because those feelings will slowly diminish once you learn to embrace the changes that pregnancy brings.

2.    Take advantage of that pregnancy glow.
Pregnancy hormones can give you that unmistakable pregnancy glow. Some women would even wish that it would last way beyond pregnancy because it is such an effortless way to look ravishing. But if you find that your skin seems to be oilier from the extra hormonal activity, switch to a foundation for oily skin or opt for a loose mineral powder to at least minimize irritation. Do the same for your hair if it gets oilier or if it becomes dryer than usual. With the right product and perhaps a little help from your stylist, these issues can be addressed.

3.    Exercise. Research has shown that exercise can help raise “feel good” chemicals in the brain. Keep a safe and regular exercise routine so that you have enough of those chemicals to counter the stresses and worries of your day. At times when pregnancy hormones contribute to negative feelings, a short walk can be a good way to de-stress and energize.

4.    Keep communication lines open. Many women have intimacy issues with their partner because they are unsure about how pregnancy can change things. Talk to your partner about how you feel so that your insecurities and fears can be addressed. During pregnancy, it’s normal to feel unattractive once in a while, so don’t let it get into you because there are many others who feel the same way. Constructively deal with your emotions and don’t shut your partner out because you really don’t have to sort through your emotions alone.

5.    Take care of yourself. When we gain the ultimate title of being a mother, it’s natural for us to be selfless and think only of our kids and family majority of the time. But while you are pregnant and even after your baby is born, it’s vital that you take good care of yourself too. Eat healthy foods, indulge in a pregnancy massage, get a manicure and pedicure, or just do whatever that relaxes you. By paying attention to your inner self, everything else will surely follow.

How do you manage to feel and look good during pregnancy? What are your biggest issues?