A close up of a woman's pregnant belly.
Emily Skye

Stop! Don’t fall for the pregnancy comparison trap

Emily Skye

“Her bump is so much smaller than mine.” “How is she still running?” “Why am I putting on so much weight compared to her?”

If this is what it sounds like in your head right now, I have one word for you: STOP!

Pregnancy is stressful enough without comparing yourself to other pregnant women. Comparison is a trap that so many of us fall into – and it can be really hard to get out of. To help you appreciate and make the most of YOUR pregnancy journey, I want to share a few things I learned when I was carrying my two bubs.

1. Choose who to take advice from

During my first pregnancy, I was reading everything, listening to everyone and struggling to not freak out with all the information coming our way. (Trust me, my hubby Dec had to put up with a lot!)

There are always people ready to give their opinion, whether you asked for it or not. While it’s good to be informed about the changes you’re going through and what to expect, remember to choose who you listen to wisely.

Top of the list? Your doctor and yourself. Your partner and a few sensible friends and family members might also make the cut. Once you’ve got your circle of trust, shut the rest out.

Always do what's best for YOU and your bub, and remember that just because someone has good intentions, that doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about.

2. Do what feels right for you

Years ago my life was all about how I looked, how lean I was and how much muscle I had. Now, these things aren’t even close to being my priority. My health (both mental and physical) is most important to me and I always prioritise how I FEEL. Sure I like to look good, but not if I have to sacrifice my health for it – especially my mental health. This was especially important during my pregnancies.

When I’m pregnant, my priority is the health of my babies – nothing else even comes close. I tune in to my body and always do what’s best for my growing baby. If that means I rest and don’t exercise, then that’s what I do, and I don’t beat myself up about it.

Pregnant Emily Skye wearing a bikini in her bathroom.

Every pregnancy is different, so relax and marvel at what your body can do!

I did two very easy home workouts during the entire first trimester when I was carrying Mia, and spent the rest of the time laying on my couch. Instead of feeling guilty, I allowed myself to eat what I could keep down and to rest when I needed it.

When I was pregnant with Izaac, my second, I posted a few strength training videos to my socials. If you follow me, you might have seen a few people criticising and questioning why I was exercising. It’s simple: I chose to work out if I felt up to it because a) I had clearance and support from my doctor to do so, and b) because it was GOOD and HEALTHY for me and my bub. There are MANY benefits to exercising while pregnant and it made me feel good mentally and physically – which could only be good for my growing baby.

There’s no such thing as the ‘perfect’ way to do pregnancy, so listen to your body and remember that keeping yourself as safe and happy as possible is the best thing you can do.

3. Remember every pregnancy is unique

Every pregnancy is different and comparing yours to another is pointless.

Just as we all lose fat and build muscle at different rates, all baby bellies grow at different rates, too. During both of my pregnancies, I had extra body fat and I often got puffed just walking up my stairs. I had frequent bouts of nausea, dizziness, and times when the thought of “healthy” food made me want to puke.

When I was first pregnant with Mia, I started beating myself up because I kept seeing these other beautiful pregnant ladies who were further along than me but still exercising and eating healthy (some even had abs – ABS!). I made the mistake of comparing myself and my pregnancy to theirs, which was horrible because it stole the joy I could have been feeling about being pregnant.

I’ll say it again: no two pregnancies are alike, even your own!

Eventually, I had to make the choice NOT to compare, and instead to embrace everything that comes with growing a baby. Once I did that, I was able to really appreciate my pregnant body for what it represented – the start of my life as a mother.

While you’re on your own journey, I hope you come to feel the same way. I can’t wait to welcome your new addition to the FIT fam!

Emily Skye
Personal trainer • Founder

Emily Skye is a strength training expert and the face of FIT, the digital fitness app that helps women worldwide build strength and confidence, stay active through pregnancy and rebuild post-pregnancy. Emily holds a Certificate IV in Fitness and Master Trainer qualification from the Australian Institute of Fitness. She is also co-founder of James Cosmetics and a mother of two.

Emily Skye
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