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6 Surprising Benefits of Pregnancy

Self-confidence Soars

The ultimate do-it-yourself project, pregnancy can serve as a unique confidence builder. Some women find their body image actually improves with pregnancy, says Mae Shoemaker, past president of the International Childbirth Education Association. Women with low-risk pregnancies, she points out, realize that they're still capable of doing lots of activities, even with the extra stress on their body.

And for women who have suffered through infertility, pregnancy is a great relief. They get confirmation that their bodies can do this miraculous thing, notes Shoemaker.

Childbirth has been compared with marathon running, for good reason. Some studies suggest that women gain a newfound sense of their own strength after going through labor and delivery. At minimum, pregnancy and childbirth can change your perspective for the better. When you're living with the knowledge that your body is creating a new person and delivering him or her into the world, you're less likely — at least some of the time — to sweat the small stuff.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

Content courtesy of American Baby