I always said I wasn’t going to compare myself to anyone else in pregnancy and just allow my body to do it’s thing. I mean it is hard enough to avoid at the best of times but in pregnancy it seems even more challenging.
The main reason I think pregnant women compare themselves to others is for reassurance, not to be competitive. It definitely has been that way for me. What symptoms do other people have? When did they start showing? Is my bump bigger/smaller than theirs? When did they start to feel kicks? You want to know that you’re “normal” while you’re waiting for those all important scans.
These are a few things that I have been doing in my pregnancy to help manage my anxiety and prevent self comparison …
Instagram is such a wonderful platform to use during pregnancy as you can follow people in the same position as you who can make you feel less alone in such an uncertain and new phase of your life however it might not always feel like this. I have to be very careful to follow accounts of women who inspired me and made me feel positive rather than doubt myself. As I scrolled through my feed I would start to notice that some posts would make me feel anxious so I made the decision to unfollow or mute these accounts for the time being. I knew exactly what triggered my anxiety and I had to take control of it.
I decided from the get go not to weigh myself through my pregnancy and this for me is a huge step towards not comparing myself to others. The doctors and midwives will tell me if I need to watch my weight but unless they do I will continue to live a healthy balanced life and let my body do it’s thing. Seeing the number on the scale go up and up is never going to be a nice feeling and I don’t want to be worrying about what everyone else’s numbers are doing so I have made the decision to take myself out of that scenario entirely.
I have a few things that I have to remind myself of almost daily when I start to notice my nerves creeping in. These are saying things to myself like – My last scan showed that everything was completely normal and the doctors are all really happy with the progress, I can feel some movement in there so this baby must be happily wriggling around, or I don’t feel any pain or have any signs that anything is wrong. These kind of affirmations just help me to relax and go by the facts rather than assumption which is never rational.
Reminding myself of how incredible the human body is, and how different we all are. It would be impossible for all of our bodies to react in the same way to pregnancy, they don’t even react in the same way to every day things so why should this be any different. Friends of mine with the same figure as me have been bigger or smaller than me and that is ok, we are all in this together and just have to wait and see what our bodies do.
These things might seem like small, meaningless tasks but put all together they have had such a huge impact on my anxiety and have helped me to actually relax and enjoy my pregnancy so I hope they may help you too. You are amazing, your body is amazing and what it is doing has no comparison to anyone else, in pregnancy and any other time.