woman looking at her appearance in mirrorMany women have expressed this similar feeling during their pregnancy: “I feel miserable when they look in a mirror or step on a scale…I look so fat!”

In a society as obsessed with appearance as ours is, the weight you gain during pregnancy can easily become a source of depression. It shouldn’t: there’s an important difference between pounds added because of bad willpower and pounds gained for your child. In fact, many see pregnant women as beautiful both outside and inside. Some women and their significant others consider the rounded pregnant silhouette to be the most lovely of female shapes.

As long as you’re eating right and not going over your doctor’s recommended pregnancy weight gain, you needn’t feel “fat”—just pregnant. Your added inches are all justifiable by-products of pregnancy and you’ll lose them soon after the baby is born. If you are going over the recommended pregnancy weight gain, feeling defeated won’t keep you from getting bigger (and may even increase your appetite). Careful inspection of your eating habits will.

Dieting to lose weight or prevent weight gain during pregnancy is very unsafe. Never cut back on what you eat because you’re afraid of putting on too many pounds. You might consider wearing clothes that flatter your changing figure. Instead of trying to squeeze into your old clothes, go on a little shopping trip: there are tons of maternity styles out there lately. Some other ways to feel better about your appearance are to get a low-maintenance hairstyle, pamper your complexion, and take the time to apply makeup if you usually wear it.