Pregnancy and self-esteem

Pregnancy brings about tremendous changes in the body of the pregnant woman. These are not only hormonal changes but also visible ones, since the body is changing in a spectacular way.

Εγκυμοσύνη και Αυτοεκτίμηση

Usually, hormonal changes ensure good psychology for the pregnant woman.

Therefore, a woman who, up to that time, has a good relationship with her body and femininity, will love her new body and will feel proud of it.

On the contrary, a woman with low self-esteem and poor body image up to the time of pregnancy will see the changes in the body as synonyms for obesity and will not feel comfortable in it.

Body changes will become more and more intense, as months go by. A woman's clothes no longer fit her and she needs increasingly larger sizes or clothes that are specially designed for pregnant women.

When the image of her new body is negative, the pregnant woman may feel shame and may refuse to appear naked, e.g. on the beach or in front of her partner due to her poor self-image.

However, for most women their new body often becomes a synonym of complete body. The amniotic sac and the baby in the womb provides the woman a sense of completeness and becomes such a great source of joy, to such extent that some women experience the baby's birth and its separation from their body as a loss. Depending on the psychology and self-esteem of the woman, this loss will be either successfully replaced by the joy of contact with the baby or will lead to postpartum depression.

Pregnant women, like teenagers, will spend quite some time in front of their mirror, observing the changes in their body. Her new breast, now magnified during pregnancy may seem particularly attractive, especially to a woman who loves her body.

On the other hand, the return of the body to its previous state can be a cause of new stress. These concerns are not unfounded, since, indeed, the body can become flabby during the first postpartum days and it requires special care.

Therefore, women who feel good with what is happening to them and take care of themselves, will take the right precautions to keep their body as firm as possible, using moisturisers.

During pregnancy, due to hormonal changes, a woman's weight can exceed normal limits. So, she needs to be careful; she must be properly nourished, but avoid anything that may harm her body image, her health and the baby's health, as increased weight gain is associated with diabetes.

On the other hand, many chemical beauty products she was using before, such as hair dyes, nail varnishes etc., cannot be used during pregnancy. For some women, who invest too much in such beauty products, this may also contribute to their sense of not being as attractive.

This new body does not to the woman alone. She gradually acquires the responsibility of motherhood and especially since she perceives the baby's movements, she feels that she must care more for her health.

Thus, pregnancy can increase the feeling of self-esteem for many women. Their body gets the meaning of motherhood and this makes them feel complete.

Breastfeeding too, can be a challenging issue on the self-esteem of women and the image she has for her body. Many women believe that such a practice destroys their sexual identity. They feel like cows, as they say, and refrain from breastfeeding, thus losing the unique opportunity to live new experiences with their baby.

On the contrary, women with high self-esteem enjoy breastfeeding. Besides, as gynaecologists point out, breastfeeding protects the breast from sudden loss of volume and keeps it firm. 

Thus, reconciliation with our nature not only preserves the body image after pregnancy, but is also a sign of good self-esteem.

Dimitra Stavrou

Psychologist/ Dermatherapist

Research Associate SEC

SEC – Self Esteem Center


Pregnancy and self-esteem | Babylino


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