Thursday, August 17, 2006

Week 28

How your baby's growing: By this week, your baby weighs a little over 2 pounds and measures about 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can open her eyes — which now sport lashes — and she'll turn her head toward a continuous, bright light from the outside. Her fat layers are beginning to form, too, as she gets ready for life outside the womb.
• 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:Do your legs feel creepy-crawly at night? Tingling in your lower legs and an irresistible urge to move them is known as restless legs syndrome (RLS), and it can make it hard to relax when you're settling in. No one knows what causes RLS, but it's common among pregnant women. Try cutting down on caffeine, which can make the symptoms worse, and massage your calves when they feel tense. Some studies also show that taking iron supplements helps ease your discomfort.At this point, you may visit your doctor or midwife every two weeks; then, at 36 weeks, you'll switch to weekly visits. Depending upon your risk factors, your practitioner may recommend repeating blood tests for HIV and syphilis, plus cultures for chlamydia and gonorrhea during your third trimester, to be certain of your status before delivery. (Identifying and treating these infections is crucial for your health and your baby's.) And if the blood work done at your first prenatal visit showed that you're Rh negative, you'll receive an injection of Rh immunoglobulin to prevent your body from developing antibodies that could attack your baby's blood. If your baby's biological father is also Rh negative, the shot isn't necessary, but most practitioners will do it routinely rather than test the father. (You'll receive another shot of Rh immunoglobulin after you give birth if your baby is Rh positive.)Many dads worry about watching childbirth. "We don't like childbirth," writer Rick Epstein says. "It's spooky and iffy and it takes too long. Also it hurts, and we don't like to see that."Pregnancy Tip: Sleep easier "Now that it's later in my pregnancy, I find that if I sleep on either side with a pillow tucked underneath my stomach, I can make it through the night." --Venece

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