Thursday, August 17, 2006

Week 27

How your baby's growing: Your baby is really starting to fill up your uterus. This week he weighs almost 2 pounds and is about 14.4 inches long with his legs extended. He can now open and close his eyes, and he sleeps and wakes at regular intervals. He may suck his fingers, and although his lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with assistance — if he were to be born prematurely. Chalk up any rhythmic movement you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and isn't bothersome to him, so enjoy the tickle. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. Wonder what he's thinking?
• 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: Your body is gearing up for the final lap, so you may start noticing some new symptoms. Along with an aching back, for example, you may find that your leg muscles cramp up now and then. They're carrying extra weight, after all, and your uterus is putting extra demands on your circulation. (As your uterus expands, it puts pressure on the blood vessels that return blood from your legs to your heart and on the nerves leading from your trunk to your legs.) Unfortunately, the cramps are likely to get worse as your pregnancy progresses. Leg cramps are more common at night but can also happen during the day. Flexing your foot (by pointing your toes forward and then flexing them back toward your shins) stretches the calf and should give you some relief. Walking for a few minutes or massaging your calf sometimes helps, too.It may be the furthest thing from your mind right now, but it's not too soon to think about family planning. You'll want to have made some decisions before your baby arrives. And in some states, if you're considering a tubal ligation during your hospital stay, laws require that you sign a consent form at least a month before delivery day. (You can still change your mind later.)Pregnancy Tip: Beyond orange juice "Need more vitamin C? Try red bell peppers! They have nearly twice the vitamin C of a navel orange, and a half cup is one of the five servings of fruits and vegetables you need each day." — Kayla B.

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