Friday, June 09, 2006

Week 21

How your baby's growing: Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long. His eyebrows and eyelids are fully developed. And you can certainly feel him move. He's oblivious to your schedule, though, so don't be surprised if he starts working out just when you're settling down for the night. If you're having a girl, her vagina is formed now, though it will continue to develop until birth.
• Note: Experts say every baby develops differently — even in the womb. This developmental information is designed to give you a general idea of how your baby is growing.How your life's changing: You're probably feeling pretty comfortable these days. You're not too big yet, and the usual aches and pains associated with early pregnancy are, for the most part, gone. Relax and enjoy it while you can — the third trimester will bring some mild discomfort from carrying a baby who is nearly full-term.That's not to say you don't have some minor glitches to deal with now. Increased oil production may have given you a mild case of acne, for example. If that's the case, be diligent about washing well with a gentle soap and water twice a day, but don't take any oral acne medications — or even use any topical acne products — without checking with your practitioner first.You're also prone to varicose veins now (especially if your mom has them). That's because pregnancy puts added pressure on the veins in your legs. (Your blood volume is increased and your uterus puts pressure on the inferior vena cava, the large vein that returns blood from the lower half of your body to your heart.) As if that's not enough, an increase in the hormone progesterone causes the walls of your blood vessels to relax, so as your baby and uterus grow, the veins can become more and more prominent. Varicose veins tend to worsen with each pregnancy, and while they're most likely to show up in your legs, they can also appear on your vulva.If your legs ache, put maternity support hose on first thing in the morning. Increasing your circulation with a brisk walk each day can also help, as can elevating your legs and sleeping on your left side with your feet propped up with a pillow.Pregnancy Tip: Hit the garage sales "I saved a ton of money on baby gear, nursery furniture, and toys by going to garage sales a few months before my baby was due. Many of the items I found were as good as new!" --Becca

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