This week you may spend time coming to terms with your pregnancy and the reality of things that come along with it.
Your physical changes this week
Your rib cage expands and stretches to cope up and help you breathe smoothly. However, you may still feel breathless as there are several activities going on inside your body, including your circulatory system which is working extra hard and is one of the main reasons for your breathlessness.
Progesterone is an important pregnancy hormone which, besides softening the ligaments of your pelvis, also affects the muscles of the digestive track and makes it slack causing digestion to slow down. So say no to spicy or heavy food even though your food cravings might tell you differently.
The white processed variety of bread and pasta does not help in large bowel movements and therefore will not help in controlling constipation. If the issue of constipation is too bothersome then consult a doctor.
There is a possibility that you are retaining more fluid than you normally do. This shows when you are standing for a long period. Wear shoes that are comfortable and you can easily slide your feet into.
Your baby's changes this week
- Your baby spends time sucking his/her thumb, holding the umbilical cord, hiccupping and practicing reflexes of grasping.
- He or she looks less translucent as fat is being laid this week.
- You baby's fingers now have nails which are as tiny as can be.
- Genitals are formed as per the sex of the baby.
- The baby's muscles are developing and being fine-tuned.
If you have a baby girl, then in this week her uterus and vagina are in place while for your baby boy his testes descend from his abdomen to his scrotum. Due to pregnancy hormones, sometimes a baby is born with enlarged genitals but they will shrink to a normal size within the first few weeks after birth.
Your baby's eye lids are still fused to the eyes but they can detect the difference between light and dark. Your baby will open his/her eyes closer to the end of the gestation period.
Hints of the week
Take very good care of your spine. Do not bend to pick up your toddler or anything heavy.
Since you are spending at least one third of the day on bed, the mattress you lie on must support your spine and be comfortable.
If you are forgetting to do things or feeling slightly foggy in the brain, then know that this happens to most pregnant women. Don't let this worry you. Focus on one thing at a time, complete it before moving to the next one and stay relaxed.
When you feel rolling movements, poking sensations, quick jabs and an almost electric sharp sensation in the bladder, it is your baby trying to send you signals that he/she is active.
Your body is growing larger, so your wardrobe needs to be upgraded with new clothes. It is completely your choice what you want to wear, as long as you’re comfortable and happy with yourself. Remember that your well-being effects your baby too.
You might want to start discussing options for your baby's name. You can take the help of books of baby names, consider names from your family tree etc. There are websites with options of names too. Huggies has an adequate bank of options of names for your baby. Remember to include your partner in the process since he is an equally important part of the pregnancy.
Give yourself credit for nurturing a life in your womb and doing a great job of it!
Also try to eat additional healthy foods (not snacks or confectionary) picked out of a variety of food groups to meet the additional calorie requirement to provide important micronutrients to your body and foetus.