Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Week 17

How your baby's growing: Your baby weighs about 5 ounces now, and he's around 5 inches long — about the size of a large onion. He can move his joints, and his skeleton — until now rubbery cartilage — is starting to harden to bone. His sense of hearing is also developing. The umbilical cord, his lifeline to the placenta, is growing stronger and thicker.
• 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: With more weight up high and out in front of your body, you may feel a bit off-balance as you walk around. Store away your high heels and wear low-heeled shoes to reduce your risk of taking a tumble.You're likely to feel protective of your tummy, and that's good. Trauma to your abdomen could be harmful to your baby and dangerous to you, so be sure to buckle up when you're driving. Keep the lap portion of the seat belt under your belly and very snug across your hips for maximum protection.Pregnancy Tip: An easy way to keep track of the nutrients you need "I made a simple chart of the basic food groups and posted it on the refrigerator. At the end of the day I checked off what I had eaten. Then, for my bedtime snack, I tried to pick something that would fulfill whatever category was lacking — yogurt (or a bowl of ice cream!) if I needed more dairy, for example, or an orange if I needed more fruit." — Anonymous

Monday, April 17, 2006

16 Weeks

How your baby's growing: At 4 1/2 inches long (head to bottom) and 3 1/2 ounces, your baby is about the size of an avocado. In the next three weeks, she'll go through a tremendous growth spurt, though, doubling her weight and adding inches to her length. Her lower limbs are much more developed now. Her head is more erect than it has been, and her eyes have moved toward the front of her head. Your baby's ears are close to their final position, too. Some of her more advanced body systems are working, including her circulatory system and urinary tract. Her heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, circulating her total blood volume through her body many times. (By the end of your pregnancy, this will increase to about 190 quarts.) The patterning of her scalp has begun, though her hair isn't recognizable yet. Although closed, her eyes are moving (slowly), and she's even started growing toenails.
• 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: Have people been telling you how wonderful you look? The "glow of pregnancy" is real, thanks to increased blood flow to the skin. You may be enjoying yourself more, too, now that your hormones have stabilized and nausea has eased up. You're also probably less anxious about something happening to your baby (the risk of miscarriage drops dramatically after the 14th week) which likely adds to your overall sense of well-being.Soon you'll experience one of the most wonderful moments of pregnancy — feeling your baby move. While some women notice "quickening" as early as 16 weeks, most don't until about 18 weeks or more. If this is your first baby, don't be too anxious — you may not be aware of your baby's movements until 20 weeks or so. The earliest movements may feel like little flutters, gas bubbles, or even like popcorn popping. Over the following weeks they'll start to feel unmistakably like kicks.Pregnancy Tip: Feel your baby move "I wasn't sure if I could feel my baby moving, so a friend suggested I lie down for a while. After a few minutes, I started feeling a butterfly sensation in my lower abdomen. It was amazing!" — Linda B.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Week 15

How your baby's growing: At around 4 inches long, crown to rump, your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 ounces. He's busy inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, which will help develop the air sacs in his lungs. His legs are growing longer than his arms now, and he can move all his joints and limbs. That means his hands are more functional, too. Sweat glands are appearing, and although his eyelids are fused shut, he can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, he's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but his taste buds are beginning to form. And if you have an ultrasound, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or girl! (Don't be disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down the gender depends somewhat on how clear the picture is and the position of your baby during the ultrasound; he may be curled or turned in such a way as to keep you in suspense.)
• 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've probably gained about 5 pounds by now. If it's a little more or less, don't worry too much. Every woman gains weight at a different rate. While you're well into the swing of being pregnant, you may still be surprised by an unexpected symptom now and then. If your nose is stuffed up, for example, you can probably chalk it up to your pregnancy. That's because increased estrogen can cause swelling in the mucous membranes and possibly the production of more mucus. Your blood volume is increasing, too, which causes your blood vessels to expand, including those in your nose. (You may get occasional nosebleeds as a result.) And because pregnancy alters your immune system and makes you more susceptible to certain infections, it might just be that you have a cold or allergies. In any case, make sure you stay away from irritants, like cigarette smoke, aerosols, and alcohol. To soothe your nostrils, use a humidifier or vaporizer at night, and drink plenty of fluids. You can also try over-the-counter saline drops or a buffered saline nasal spray. (If you're truly miserable, ask your doctor or midwife if it's okay to take decongestant medication.)Don't worry if you and your partner are feeling a little stressed out these days. Many pregnant couples worry about the baby's health and how they'll cope as new parents. But with minimal physical discomfort and renewed energy, this is also a wonderful trimester for most women, so try to enjoy it!Pregnancy Tip: Take to the waters "Our community pool offers water aerobics. This is a great way to add some variety to your workout. I take my older children with me and let them swim while I exercise!" — Heidi

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Week 14 Hmmm how does Mommny Feel?

How your baby's growing: Head to bottom, your baby's 3 1/2 inches long — about the length of a lemon — and weighs about 1 1/2 ounces. Her body's growing faster than her head, which now sits upon a more well-defined neck. By the end of this week, her arms will have lengthened and will be in proportion to the rest of her body. (Her legs still have some growing to do, though.) She's starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy covering of hair all over her body (called lanugo). Her liver starts secreting bile this week, a sign that it's already functioning properly, and her spleen starts contributing to the production of red blood cells. She's also producing and discharging urine into the amniotic fluid, a normal process that she'll keep up until birth. You still can't feel your baby's movements, but her hands and feet (which are now half an inch long) are more flexible and active. Thanks to brain impulses, her little facial muscles are getting a workout as she squints, frowns, and grimaces. She can grasp now, too, and she may be able to suck her thumb.
• 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: As early discomforts (nausea, fatigue, breast tenderness) begin to fade, you may start to regain some energy and feel more comfortable with how your body's changing. (Although the top of your uterus is only a bit above your pelvic bone, that growth may be enough to push your tummy out a bit.) Starting to show is an exciting pregnancy milestone and it will likely give you and your partner the visible evidence of a baby that you've been waiting for. Take some time to plan, daydream, and enjoy this amazing time. It's normal to worry a bit now and then, but you can also breathe a little sigh of relief knowing that with the start of this trimester your risk of miscarriage has dropped significantly. Now try to focus on taking care of yourself and your baby and having faith that you're well equipped for what's ahead.Pregnancy Tip: A healthier way to satisfy your sweet tooth "I eat sugar cereal with extra milk instead of ice cream when I crave something sweet. At least I'm getting another serving of milk, extra vitamins, and grain." --Anonymous