This is not the typical before and after picture. Instead, this is a picture of me 6 months ago before finding out I was pregnant and a picture I took this Wednesday, 6 months later with 8 extra kilos (17.6 pounds) on me and the burgeoning bundle of joy that is my body these days. I always knew that gaining weight came with the pregnancy package, but that doesn’t make the adjustment any easier and at times it can be a bit overwhelming. Here I share with you how to embrace and love your growing body.

1. Know the Facts

The average woman gains between 15 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. This number may be different if you started underweight or overweight, or are carrying multiples. You’ll likely gain between 2 and 4 pounds during your first trimester, followed by a pound a week until delivery day.

The key here is that the gain is gradual. Keep in mind that any big jumps up or down in weight might need a discussion with your doctor. Women who are nauseous and sick in the first trimester or longer might even lose some weight. Your doctor is your best resource and will monitor any questionable changes.
Here’s approximately how that weight is distributed:

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2. Move and get physical
In addition to making you feel better, exercise helps alleviate fatigue and can even speed recovery after childbirth. A few rules here: Consult your doctor before starting a program, drink plenty of fluids, and never exercise to the point of exhaustion. And if something feels wrong, stop or switch to a lower-impact workout. I will have all these options in my prenatal plan.

3. Your “girls” are growing and they look good.
The other day I was doing my workouts in the living room and I couldn’t quite figure out why my husband was so happy enjoying the show…until I remembered: Oh, yeah, I have two very nice ladies on display. Enjoy those while they last my pregnant friends.

4. Pregnancy sex.
Yes. If you have a healthy pregnancy, there’s no reason why you and your partner can’t have sex. The thick mucus plug that seals your cervix helps to guard your baby against infection. The amniotic sac and the strong muscles of your uterus (womb) also keep your baby safe.
While we’re on the topic of pregnancy babes, let me tell you that there’s a lot of extra blood flow and hormones during pregnancy. And that extra blood flow can cause certain things to be a little bit more, shall we say, interesting? This might sounds naughty I know, but let’s be honest pregnancy sex can be so good.

5. Eat Well
You’re eating for two now, right? Well, sort of. I talk about this in my prenatal videos because you only need an extra 200 to 300 calories per day during early pregnancy. After that, an additional 500 should be sufficient. Unfortunately, some women use their nine months as green light to eat whatever they want. All these excess calories and poor food choices can lead to unnecessary weight gain.

6. Avoid Comparison
Since the average for weight gain during pregnancy varies wildly, comparing your numbers against others can be tricky. There are many factors that go into how much you’ll ultimately gain. You may have wicked morning sickness and have trouble keeping on the pounds. You may have started under your ideal weight and collected fat stores as a result. You might be put on bed rest or restricted activity, making exercise difficult. The possibilities go on.
I didn’t have any morning sickness at all, instead I have been hungry all the time during the past 6 months.
Bottom line: All women are different, all pregnancies are different, genetics and there’s no benefit to comparing your weight gain with anyone else.

7. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Every time I stress out I just think about my boy and how happy I am that he is growing healthy and happy. Imagine the moment you finally see your baby. After all, there will be plenty of time to reclaim your body later and drop all those extra pounds. So for now, enjoy the ride!

8. Keep Calm And Pamper Yourself
Do things that make you feel good about yourself! Head to the spa and give yourself a treat, after all you are making a human and you don’t do that often so make sure to treat your pregnant body with lots of love while it last. Facials and massages are my favorite and most spas in the world have prenatal treatments.