Weight gain and body image during pregnancy
Today we are talking to Counsellor Ginette Lenham about perfect pregnant bodies, and that includes yours.

Pregnancy comes in all different shapes and sizes! Well, strictly speaking mostly just in the round shape variety, but the size varies from person to person. Just like we are all different to start off with, due to our genetics and the families we come from, so will this be carried through into pregnancy. In fact, pregnancy is even more unpredictable as thrown into the mix is the father to be's genetics.

It's good to bear in mind that some mums to be get morning sickness, whilst others don't. Even reactions to the waves of nausea differ, with many pregnant women finding that eating – especially carbs, helps, whilst others are turned off food altogether. Some women put on more weight earlier in pregnancy and some find the extra kilos arrive in the last trimester. Likewise, some baby bumps sit higher, others lower, some grow faster and others slower. You'll be lucky to make it through pregnancy without someone advising you of the sex of your baby, based on the size, shape and position of your baby bump – and nope it doesn't matter that your scan says differently!

Unfortunately, raging hormones, a changing body and the desire to be the best home possible for their growing bub, can leave mum to be exceptionally vulnerable to every single bit of advice and commentary out there. You will hear it, read it and see it, from friends, family, colleagues and the media. Even strangers will offer their two cents worth. Sometimes just due to human nature, you may start comparing yourself to other pregnant women, be it another mum to be in the waiting room of your doctor's office, or an expecting celebrity on the front cover of a magazine.

Since being pregnant is extraordinary and there are only nine months of baby growing time to enjoy, it seems a pity to be consumed with self-doubt and comparisons with others. Never is there a better time to throw away the 'shoulds' and shouldn'ts. For what use is looking at someone else and thinking "I wish I wasn't so sick, how come she isn't?" "Why is my bump bigger than hers, we are both 22 weeks?" "She hasn't put on any weight on her bum and mine has doubled!"

What your body is doing is absolutely incredible – it's growing a new person! So, cherish yourself, your body and your growing bump. Surrender to your unique pregnancy experience – and baby bump body. It may not be how you thought, or planned it would be, but it's your journey, yours alone and an amazing one at that.

Thank you to guest expert Ginette Lenham of www.whenweightmatters.com.au for her collaboration and wise words.