How to Be Pregnant Gracefully

Three Methods:Moving Gracefully While PregnantDressing Gracefully While PregnantBehaving Gracefully While Pregnant

To be graceful means that you are comfortable in your body, move fluidly in your clothing, and that you behave with kindness and politeness.[1] However, pregnancy can throw you for a loop. Your body is changing rapidly, and other people might begin treating you differently. Luckily there are steps you can take to make sure that you can handle all of these changes with dignity and grace.

Method 1
Moving Gracefully While Pregnant

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    Talk to your doctor about appropriate exercise. Exercise is a terrific way for pregnant women to improve their balance and also strengthen their muscles that will be used during labor and delivery.[2] However, there are some forms of exercise that are unhealthy during a pregnancy (such as the lifting of heavy weights), and some difficult pregnancies require bedrest. Speak with your obstetrician about what forms of exercise are appropriate for your body and your pregnancy.[3]
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    Walk every day. Walking is a great exercise for many pregnant women, especially in the earlier stages of pregnancy. It is low-key and generally fairly safe. Walking also helps improve balance and strengthens the same muscle groups that you will use during labor. If you take the time to walk 30 minutes each day, you will also feel more comfortable moving around in your changing body.[4]
    • Women in the final stages of pregnancy might need to avoid lengthy walking, however, due to back pain, foot pain, or poor balance. Women who need to be on bedrest also should not take walks.[5]
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    Exercise lightly 30 minutes per day. Doctors recommend that pregnant women have at least a half-hour of aerobic activity per day. This should not be hard, high-impact exercise: you do not want to dehydrate yourself, lose your balance, get fatigued, or limit the flow of oxygen to the fetus. But it is important to move each day in order to keep your joints healthy and to learn how to get by in a growing body. Indeed, many prenatal exercises reduce the severity and frequency of common pregnancy symptoms such as aches, pains, and trouble sleeping.[6] Some excellent prenatal exercises include:
    • Swimming. Just don't hold your breath for long periods of time![7]
    • Prenatal yoga. Yoga is a great way for many pregnant women to maintain their strength and flexibility during pregnancy. However, not every yoga move is safe during pregnancy. For example, hot yoga and poses that involve standing for long periods of time are not recommended. Join a specialized class designed for pregnant women that is led by an experienced professional.[8]
    • Indoor biking. Biking outdoors might be difficult for pregnant women because their balance has changed. A stationary, indoor bike, however, is a great way for women to get a good amount of cardio exercise in a safe, controlled environment.[9]
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    Listen to your body. While pregnant, you might be more susceptible to joint pain, poor balance, dizzy spells, fatigue, and dehydration. Never force yourself to do something you are not comfortable doing. If you find yourself overheating, panting, or getting too thirsty, stop your activity and take a rest. Forcing your body to move when it is already exhausted is unsafe and might lead to falls, injury, or other accidents.[10]
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    Stay balanced. Women who are pregnant have a tendency to lose their balance because of weight gain, rapidly changing body proportions, and loosening ligaments (a side effect of pregnancy hormones). Take proper precautions to keep yourself safe and moving gracefully and to prevent unnecessary falls. Some precautions include:
    • Do not stand on ladders, chairs, or step-stools.[11] Keep both feet firmly planted on the floor at all times.
    • Wear stability shoes. Comfortable shoes with great traction and good arch support will help keep you upright and moving gracefully.
    • Lean against walls or heavy furniture for extra support. Don't be afraid to find stable objects around you to help keep you balanced. Lean against a wall or sofa when you have to.
    • Avoid standing for long periods of time. This is particularly hard on your joints and your circulation. Either sit down or walk around a little bit: do not stand motionless for more than a few minutes.
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    Wear comfortable shoes. To avoid unnecessary falls or aches while you are pregnant, stay away from high heels.[12] Look for shoes that have a low heel (or no heel at all), good traction to prevent slippage, and excellent support. It is much more important for you to be able to move comfortably than for you to be at the height of shoe fashion.[13]
    • Remember that many women experience swollen feet while pregnant. You might want to consider buying shoes that are the next size up, looking for shoes that are extra wide, or finding shoes with flexible sides (such as shoes made of canvas) to accommodate this swelling.
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    Gain the recommended amount of weight. All pregnant women should gain weight--ideally 25-35 pounds. Some women lose weight in the very first few weeks of pregnancy due to morning sickness, but this weight should be regained shortly.[14] Ideally, women who are quite thin should put on more weight during pregnancy than women who are on the heavier side. No matter what, pay attention to your weight to make sure that the pregnancy is developing normally. If your body is not putting on enough weight--or if you are gaining too much weight too quickly--there might be complications later.

Method 2
Dressing Gracefully While Pregnant

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    Get strong, supportive undergarments. Many maternity stores carry special bras and other undergarments to help support you as your body changes and as your breasts grow. Be sure that these undergarments are strong and supportive without being too tight. A good, supportive maternity bra will give you better posture and will reduce the frequency of back pains. A supportive bra will also make all of your other clothing look and fit better. However, a bra that is too tight might be uncomfortable or hurt your circulation.[15]
    • Talk to a clerk at a reputable maternity shop if you require assistance finding a well-fitting bra. They should be able to measure you so you can get the support you need.
    • Some women like wearing a sports bra after they have outgrown their regular bras but before they are ready for a maternity bra.[16]
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    Buy clothing that expresses who you are. Most maternity clothing is designed for feminine women. However, there are new companies emerging with comfortable pregnancy wear for women who identify as butch or masculine, for androgynous people, and for transmen.[17] Do not let the limitations of traditional maternity wear limit yourself: true grace is being yourself at all times.
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    Wear loose clothing and accessories. Tight clothing and accessories are not recommended for pregnant women. They can lead to discomfort and to a poor fit as the pregnancy continues. Moreover, pregnant women are more at risk of unsightly and potentially dangerous varicose veins, which are exacerbated by tight clothing. Make sure you buy clothing that is loose and flowing. Stay away from tight clothes, belts, socks, and undergarments. [18]
    • Do not wear any slimming undergarments such as girdles or control-top pantyhose.
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    Don't be afraid of your curves. As your pregnancy continues, there will be no way to hide your growing bust and belly. Nor should you: your body is something to embrace and enjoy. While your clothing will need to be loose and stretchy enough to be comfortable, there is no need for you to wear tents or muumuus. Try to find clothes that show your figure without cutting off your circulation.[19] This could include:
    • Dresses made out of stretch jersey that fall below the knee
    • V-neck shirts and sweaters
    • Shift dresses that show off your curves
    • Skinny jeans with a maternity waist
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    Look for non-maternity clothing items you can wear during pregnancy. There are a number of clothing items that are loose or stretchy enough to be worn during pregnancy as well as in your day-to-day life after your pregnancy. Most of these items can be purchased at any clothing store--not just in maternity shops. This can give you more freedom to buy clothes you like and can enjoy instead of limiting yourself to traditional maternity options. By being creative and flexible in your "maternity" wear, you can be more fashionable and find clothing to suit your own personal style.[20] Such items can include:
    • Leggings. Just make sure you buy a larger size and that you roll the waist below your baby bump![21]
    • Anything with an empire waist. Empire waists are a great way to stay comfortable while pregnant, or to disguise the early stages of a pregnancy if you do not want to call attention to it.[22]
    • High-waisted tunics.[23]
    • Maxi dresses. Be sure that you buy one in a comfortable fabric, such as a stretch jersey.[24]
    • Wrap dresses and wrap shirts. Because you tie these yourself, you can adjust the waist as necessary as your pregnancy develops.[25]
    • Yoga pants. These provide you with a comfortable waist. Many women who have C-sections enjoy these pants because they do not aggravate the healing incision.[26]
    • Many of these items can be made yourself if you are an experienced sewer.
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    Buy a maternity band. Maternity bands allow women to wear the pants, skirts, and shirts they already own during pregnancy. By wearing the maternity band and leaving your pants or skirts partially unzipped, you can give your waist the room it needs while wearing your most beloved items of clothing. These bands can also help provide support to your belly as it grows, leaving you more comfortable.[27]
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    Wear a single, dark color from head to toe. If you wish to appear slimmer during pregnancy, it is a good idea to avoid large patterns, horizontal stripes, or light colors. Wearing the same shade from head to toe in a dark color makes you appear more streamlined, even with a baby bump.[28]
    • If you are a fan of stripes, make sure they are vertical, not horizontal, stripes. That will help your body appear longer and leaner.[29]
    • If you like wearing patterned clothing, try to keep the pattern smaller and more contained. A floral cardigan might look quite nice, for example, but a paisley maxi dress will likely look garish and overwhelming.[30]
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    Accessorize carefully. You can use accessories to draw attention to features of your body that you like, and to draw attention away from parts of your body with which you are less comfortable. In general, some tips for accessorizing in a fashionable, graceful way include:
    • Wear bright scarves. Many maternity clothes come in dark, non-patterned colors. A scarf or shawl is a great way to get some color and patterning in to your wardrobe. Scarves also do a good job at hiding extra cleavage as your breasts grow in size.[31]
    • Take off your rings. Many women experience swollen fingers during pregnancy. Take off any non-adjustable rings if you notice your fingers begin to get bigger: you do not want to have to cut off your rings to maintain your circulation.[32]
    • Wear shorter necklaces. Long necklaces and pendants might fit awkwardly over your growing bust and belly. Look for shorter necklaces that call attention to your face and neck instead.[33]
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    Wear breathable fabrics. Many pregnant women are warmer than usual and may even experience hot flashes during pregnancy.[34] Keep yourself cool by wearing loose, natural fabrics that breathe. This will keep you comfortable and also prevent you from sweating or becoming red and flushed.
    • Layering your clothing during pregnancy is also a great idea: you can always remove a layer of clothing if you begin to get too warm.
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    Treat yourself to some extra self-care. Pregnancy can be tough on your body and self-image. Spend extra time pampering yourself with a new haircut, a spa day, or with scented lotions. Keep yourself feeling happy and relaxed: the most important part of looking good is feeling good. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself healthy and confident.

Method 3
Behaving Gracefully While Pregnant

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    Be honest but discreet about pregnancy symptoms at work. During pregnancy, many women experience symptoms that lead to discomfort, including: nausea and vomiting, bleeding gums, hemorrhoids, yeast infections, stretch marks, and swelling.[35] Most people will be sympathetic to your plight--especially if they have experienced pregnancy themselves. However, resist the urge to overshare information about your body in professional situations. Take a sick day if you need to, but do not tell all your coworkers and clients about just how bad your hemorrhoids have gotten.
    • Be sure to talk to your doctor about any sudden symptoms you experience.
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    Ask for help if you need it. During pregnancy, you might not be able to stand for long periods of time or lift heavy objects. Feel free to ask a neighbor for help lifting a box or ask someone on the train for their seat. People will understand, and most people will be happy to help.[36]
    • Be sure that you express your gratitude to anyone who lends you a hand during pregnancy. Always be polite and kind--especially to those who have gone the extra mile to help you.
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    Deal politely but firmly with violations of your privacy. Many pregnant women report being asked inappropriate questions or even being touched inappropriately during pregnancy.[37] Strangers might try to touch your belly, or your boss might grill you about why you drank a cup of coffee that morning. Remember that your body is your own, and other people do not have the right to know your private, medical information (even if you do have a baby bump). However, social norms might make it difficult for you to draw firm boundaries. For example, you are probably better off not yelling at your boss. However, there are some tricks you can use to make sure that people do not violate your privacy. For example:
    • Be vague when asked an inappropriate question about your pregnancy choices. Bland cliches that do not directly answer their question, such as "I'm just so happy to be a new parent!" or "It's really exciting!", might help distract someone from prying further.[38]
    • Redirect the conversation. Tell them that you don't want to hog the spotlight with your pregnancy and ask them how their day is going. Getting them to talk about themselves is a great way to prevent them from prying into your life.[39]
    • Be honest when something makes you uncomfortable. Especially if you are touched without your permission, tell the person grabbing your belly that your personal space is important to you. Be firm without yelling, cursing, or being impolite. But remember that the person who touched you is the truly disgraceful person.
    • Practice using the following phrases: "That's between me and my doctor;" "That's between me and my spouse/partner;" "Thank you for telling me about your experience, but everybody's experience is different;" "We haven't decided on a name yet [even if it's a lie];" "We'll see how it goes." These are great ways to disarm some of the most common prying questions.
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    Write thank-you notes. Many pregnant women have formal baby showers. Other pregnant women might be given gifts to help them prepare for the new baby. Whenever you are given a gift, write a personalized, effusive thank-you note to express your gratitude. Gratitude is one of the most graceful emotions you can express, and your friends and family will feel appreciated for the help they've given you.


  • Remember that grace is about behavior as well as appearance. If you act with kindness and politeness, nobody will care that you have more difficulty walking than usual.
  • Use oils and lotions with Vitamin E to keep your skin healthy. Spread it over your tummy and thighs to help prevent itching and dry skin where your body is stretching to accommodate the baby. Unfortunately, nothing has been proven to prevent stretch marks. But cocoa butter takes out the redness.


  • Don't wear tight, ill-fitting clothing. Let comfort take precedence over fashion: you will look better if you feel comfortable and happy.
  • Ask your doctor about exercise recommendations. Do not begin an exercise routine without running it by a medical professional.
  • Talk to your doctor about any symptoms you experience: your health is the number one priority during your pregnancy.
  • Weight gain during a pregnancy is normal and healthy. Do not try to lose weight or remain skinny during pregnancy: that is not healthy for you or the fetus.
  • Be careful of the ingredients in any lotions, oils, hair dyes, or cosmetics that you use. Some ingredients are not safe for pregnancy and other ingredients have suspected harmful effects on babies. Check with your doctor, midwife, nurse, or other professional carer if you are not sure.[40]

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Categories: Pregnancy