I'm pregnant. Why don't I feel great?

Pregnancy can bring on a flood of conflicting emotions. Even though you're overjoyed by the new life growing inside you, there may be days when you're so frustrated by your body getting bigger that you can't wait for the whole thing to be over. As your breasts grow, abdomen swells, stretch marks appear and your waistline disappears, you may be wondering what's going on with your body. Women who've had the pregnancy blues often say it's hardest in the beginning when you may just look like all you've done is put on weight. It does get easier into the second trimester though, as your pregnancy progresses. With all the changes happening to your body, it's natural to sometimes wish that you had your pre-pregnancy body back. But there are plenty of pregnancy beauty bonuses that will help you to look and feel great.

What pleasant surprises does pregnancy have in store?

Brings out the kindness in people: the sight of a pregnant woman often makes people considerate towards you. People tend to let you jump the queue or hold doors open for you. They give up seats on trains and buses. And almost everyone smiles at you. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Fast-growing fingernails: around the fourth month, your nails may start to grow faster than usual. Pregnancy hormones get the credit for this, but also the blame. Fingernails may become softer or more brittle during pregnancy, and you may notice tiny grooves forming along the base of the nail. They should return to normal within a few months after giving birth.

A fabulous head of hair: during the second trimester, you might notice that your hair looks healthier and thicker. You're not actually growing more but, thanks to pregnancy hormones, you're just losing less.

That celebrated "glow": also during the second trimester, you may notice that your skin looks brighter than usual. Hormones are partly responsible, but an increase in blood volume also brings more blood to the skin, giving it a radiant look.

Bigger breasts: it's common to go up a cup size or two during your pregnancy. Be ready to go on a shopping spree and get new inner wears.

A very happy husband: believe it or not, your husband may be loving your new shape. Men tend to see the sensuality in blossoming breasts and soft curves. The sight of your pregnant form is a constant reminder of his virility too, and we all know how important that is to men.

How can I look my best during pregnancy?

Whether or not you find consolation in the pregnancy perks above, there are lots of things you can do to make yourself feel better about your new body:

Emphasise the positive: if your legs are gorgeous, flaunt them in skirts, dresses, tights, leggings or jeggings. Upper arms like a supermodel's? Show them off with a sleeveless top, kurta or choli. Proud of your new cleavage? Highlight it with flattering tops.

Spoil yourself occasionally: treat yourself to a pedicure, a manicure, a massage, a new lipstick or some lacy underwear.

Exercise: feeling fit and strong will make you feel better about the way you look and help you bounce back after the birth. Exercising outdoors will lift your spirits too. Find out which exercises are the safest and most effective in pregnancy.