Positive Self-Image During Pregnancy

In an attempt to counteract these potentially hurtful remarks, many of which focus on the pregnant woman's size, Hunking and her midwifery partner, Kelly Sexsmith, make a concerted effort to reassure their clients that all babies are carried differently. For example, a woman pregnant with her first baby will carry differently than a woman carrying her fourth child, and a woman with a large frame may carry differently than a woman with a petite one. When private is public Not only do pregnant women find themselves being subjected to insensitive remarks about their size; they may feel that their entire private lives have become public property and that what matters to everyone is not they themselves, but rather their childbearing function. Author Sheila Kitzinger writes in The Experience of Childbirth, "Suddenly [she] is somebody different - an expectant mother - a subject of interest and concern to society - her life seems to be no longer intimate and apart, but something anybody can talk about. They even know when her last period was, whether she is being sick in the morning, and whether her nipples are the "right" shape." Trying to measure up to everyone's expectations of the perfect mother-to-be can have a devastating effect on a woman's self-esteem.

Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about pregnancy and parenting including the bestselling "The Mother of All Pregnancy Books." She regularly contributes to a number of print and online publications, is frequently quoted in the media on a range of parenting-related topics, and has appeared as a guest on a number of television and radio shows. Ann and her husband Neil live in Peterborough, Ontario. with the youngest of their four children. Learn more at her site, having-a-baby.com.

Copyright © Ann Douglas. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org.