Thursday, August 17, 2006

Week 29

How your baby's growing Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to accommodate his brain — which is busy developing billions of neurons. With this rapid growth, it's no surprise that your baby's nutritional needs reach their peak during this trimester. To keep yourself and him well nourished, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamin C, folic acid, iron, and calcium. (About 200 milligrams of calcium is deposited in your baby's skeleton — which is now hardening — every day.)° Note: Experts say every baby develops differently — even in utero. This developmental information is designed to give you a general idea of how your baby grows in your womb.How your life's changing You should be able to feel your baby's movements strongly now. Pay attention to the kicks and nudges, and let your practitioner know if you ever notice a decrease in activity. She may ask you to do fetal kick counts to make sure everything's okay.Some old friends — heartburn and constipation — may take center stage again. The pregnancy hormone progesterone relaxes smooth muscle tissue throughout your body, including your gastrointestinal tract. This relaxation, coupled with the crowding in your abdomen, slows your digestive process, which can cause gas, especially after a big meal. Another problem you can credit to your growing uterus (and constipation) is hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids — which are simply swollen blood vessels in your rectal area — are very common during pregnancy and usually clear up soon after delivery. If they're itchy or painful, try soaking in a sitz bath and applying a hot pad or cold compresses medicated with a little witch hazel to the affected area. Also avoid sitting or standing for long stretches. Talk with your practitioner before using any over-the counter remedies during pregnancy, and let her know if you have any rectal bleeding. To prevent constipation, eat a high-fiber diet, drink plenty of water, and get some regular exercise.A small number of women get something called "supine hypotensive syndrome" during pregnancy. When they lie on their backs, they get a change in heart rate and blood pressure that makes them feel dizzy until they change position. You might note that you get dizzy if you stand up too quickly, too. To avoid getting the spins, move slowly as you go from lying down to sitting and then standing.Pregnancy Tip: Enjoy your freedom "Shake the pregnancy blahs by enjoying your last weeks of pre-baby freedom. Do all the things you may not have time for — movies, facials, romantic dinners with your mate — once your little one is here." --Bethany B.

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