When You’re Pregnant And Not Feeling Pretty
Back when my husband and I were expecting our first baby, we were on a really tight budget. A third of our income went toward student loans to try to pay them off as fast as possible. This meant sacrificing many luxuries and pleasures for the first four years of marriage. It seemed like we were always telling ourselves “no” to anything fun or unnecessary because we were so committed to being debt-free.
You can imagine the added challenge our budget faced when I became pregnant with our first child. I struggled to feel pretty in my own skin through all the stretching and growing my body was doing. And because our budget was so tight, I really didn’t have any room to spend money on things that felt frivolous to me, like maternity clothes, when our limited resources were already going toward a car seat and crib and other non-negotiables for baby.
I was so thankful for my friends giving me their hand-me-down maternity clothes, but it seemed like whenever I looked in the mirror, I didn’t recognize myself. My body was surprising me and I struggled to see the growth as beautiful. On top of that, I was dressing in clothes that I didn’t pick out and didn’t necessarily fit me well.
I noticed this affecting my confidence and, in turn, my marriage.
Can you relate? If you can, please know you’re not alone.
When we feel insecure, we are tempted to withdraw from emotional and/or physical intimacy with our husbands.
Expecting a baby is a vulnerable, exciting, raw, and confusing time, especially when it’s your first child. It’s a time to focus on praying for more unity with your spouse—not for insecurity to weasel its way into your heart and divide you.
So this is now what I’m telling new moms-to-be (and their husbands!) when they’re expecting, because it’s what I wish someone had told me: it’s okay to prioritize your confidence, comfort, and beauty while you’re pregnant. Yes, go to your appointments and take your prenatal vitamins and play Mozart to your baby every night if that’s your thing.
But don’t neglect yourself. Your confidence is crucial for the health of your marriage and the joy you’ll experience before, during, and after delivery. And if that means carving out a little fun money to go shopping and find clothes (and lingerie!) that help you feel great while your body is doing one of the most beautiful things it was created to do, go for it!
You’ll feel like a new woman, and your husband will thank you for it.
Wife Step: Sit down with your husband and decide together on a number you’re both comfortable with spending on some items that make you feel beautiful. If he doesn’t understand at first, explain how much it would mean for your confidence and comfort as you go on this adventure together. And for bonus points? Offer to let him pick out the stuff for the bedroom!
Bailey Richardson is the wife of a Paul Bunyan look-a-like, the mama of a growing little family, and a woman on the wild adventure of pursuing Jesus. She lives in a small lake town in Minnesota where her family is highly involved in their local church and Young Life, a global non-profit youth ministry. A self-proclaimed “recovering perfectionist,” Bailey loves writing for and connecting with women who want to more deeply experience the grace, freedom, and abundance that comes from following Jesus. You can find her at baileymrichardson.com or on Instagram @baileymrichardson.