I've said it time and time again: If I could look as good in a pregnant state as Denise Richards or Brooke Shields, I'd continue reproducing possibly until the end of time. There are many women who love being pregnant. And for each woman who glows with splendor while carrying a baby inside her, there are probably two (at least) who, for various reasons, count the minutes between getting a positive pregnancy test and looking into their newborn's eyes.
Since having my first daughter five years ago, the consumer industry's approach toward these precious nine months has undeniably changed. Some Labor and Delivery units rival the Ritz Carlton, and with the myriad of new merchandise on the market aimed at expectant women, one could almost consider getting pregnant simply for the sheer enjoyment of experimenting with them all. Whether it involves a change in perspective or products, there are many approaches pregnant women can take to ensure that they feel great about themselves—inside and out—while expecting.
What many women forget—as they stare in disbelief at the cover of a magazine portraying an expectant celebrity eight months along and counting but looking no more than four—is that celebrities have access to dietitians, personal trainers, and personal shoppers whose job it is to keep them trim, toned, and magazine-cover ready. Note: As you work to put your eyes back in their sockets and close your mouth while balancing the aforementioned magazine on the newly grown shelf just below your chest, please don't forget about airbrushing. Add to that the likely possibility that four minutes or so after that celebrity walks in the front door with her new baby, her trainer pops up in front of her with cartoon-like enthusiasm, a protein shake, and a reminder that he'll meet her in six weeks (or less) for a two-hour run, 1,000 crunches, and some Pilates.
Rest assured, there are a few pregnancy pitfalls that even celebrities can't avoid. Stretch marks, excessive weight gain, and swelling can all be part of the process depending on the way in which one's body responds. As fabulous as Demi Moore looked on the cover of Vanity Fair in 1991, it was rumored in many a magazine that even she lives with stretch marks. The gossip magazines had a field day when Kate Hudson gained a rumored 75 pounds during her pregnancy. However, she appeared quite happy in nearly every picture taken of her during this time, lending more than an ounce of credibility to the idea that how you feel about yourself while pregnant is what it's all about.