The American Pregnancy Association notes that a woman who has a normal pre-pregnancy weight -- meaning that she isn't over- or under-weight -- should gain between 25 and 35 pounds during her pregnancy. Between this weight gain and the upsurge in hormones that pregnancy brings on, feeling like you look attractive to your husband isn't always easy. That said, putting your looks into perspective and taking care of your personal grooming habits can help to combat a negative self-image.
It's On You
If you're feeling like a stranger in your own body, shying away from the mirror when you catch a glimpse of your pregnant image, your concerns aren't uncommon. According to the U.S. Office on Women's Health body image is often a major issue during pregnancy. Just because you feel like your old body is gone forever, doesn't always mean that your husband finds you overweight or unattractive. Avoid confusing your own negative self-image with someone else's view. Focus on your growing baby and educate yourself on the need for weight gain during a healthy pregnancy. This may help you to see your growing belly in a better light, making it easier to accept that your husband sees you as the beautiful mother of his child. Don't forget that confidence is one of the most attractive assets that any woman has.
Show it Off
Gone are the days of frumpy tent-like maternity clothes that hide your body under unflattering forms. Instead of tossing on an oversized pair of sweats or a moo moo, consider a more curve-hugging style. While you don't have to wear belly baring tops or short shorts, you can go with an eye-catching dress that fits snugly over your baby bump and shows off your legs. If you're trying to blend in to the background, wearing dark or bland colors, try a splashy hue such as red or a hot pink to draw your husband's eye to your growing baby-body curves.
You can perk up your appearance with a beauty routine that will boost your self-image and make your husband take notice of your glowing skin. Although some women report having crystal clear and flawless skin throughout their pregnancies, others aren't always that lucky. If your pregnancy hormones are causing your skin to break out, the experts at BabyCenter suggest that you wash your face with a gentle cleanser, pat your skin instead of rubbing it dry and choose an oil-free moisturizer. Before you try any type of acne medication or topical fix, consult your doctor to make sure that it is safe for pregnant women.
While your pregnancy hormones may cause the hair on your head to grow at a seemingly fast pace, leaving you with a flowing mane of shiny locks, they may also cause unwanted hair to sprout up in less than desirable places. Dermatologist Alexa Kimball notes on the BabyCenter website that pregnancy-induced hair growth typically happens during the first trimester, when androgens -- sex hormones released during pregnancy -- are on the rise. If your growing mustache or stray chin hairs make you feel more manly than mommy when it comes to your husband's view, you can tweeze or wax the offenders away. Avoid medications that reduce hair growth or any topical creams, depilatories or bleaches that may absorb into the skin. Always consult a doctor or other medical expert for advice.
Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.
George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images