This growing baby is almost eighteen inches long and weighs about four and three-quarter pounds. The central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves) continues to mature. The lungs are well developed, with the surfactant continuing to coat the alveoli to make the inflation of the lungs easier. Your baby’s body continues to add ounces of fat stores, which help the baby to stay warm after birth. At this point, babies will open their eyes when awake and close their eyes when sleeping.
You may notice reddish or purple veins developing on your legs. These varicose veins (and the smaller ones, “spider veins”) are common during pregnancy and are caused by hormones and the increased blood flow and pressure in your abdomen. Light exercise and putting up your feet afterwards can help. Avoid crossing your legs and standing in one place for too long. You can also wear support hose; put them on in the morning before you even get out of bed. Pregnancy-related varicose veins will usually fade, but not go away completely until about three months after delivery.
Hot Topic: Preparing Older Child for Baby
To help prepare your older child (or children) for the baby’s birth, you can talk about how things will change when the baby is born, and encourage your child to talk about his or her feelings. (For specific suggestions to help toddlers, see: “Preparing Your Toddler for Another Baby.”) Some other suggestions from recent new moms include:
- Have big brothers and sisters be involved in plans for the baby, including nursery decoration, clothing, and toys
- Read books about having a new baby and being a big brother or sister
- Siblings can even pack their own bag to take to the hospital, with books, activities, and snacks
- Have the older child pick out a gift for the baby, and also have a gift ready to give the older child from the baby
- The first time your child meets the baby, don’t have the baby in your arms, instead, put the baby in the bassinette
- Make sure to spend one-on-one time with your older child or children after the baby is born
Fast Fact: In the United States, just 12 percent of companies offer paid maternity leave, and only seven percent have paid paternity leave, according to a report from the National Partnership for Women and Families. (For more information about the Family Medical Leave Act and maternity leave, read: “Maternity Leave On Your Dime.”)
Eating for Two: Breakfast
Becca’s Citrus French Toast
- Two eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk or soy milk
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Six slices whole-wheat bread, cut in half diagonally
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon orange juice
- Fresh fruit
1. Mix the first six ingredients in a medium shallow bowl. Whisk until slightly frothy.
2. Put the bread slices into the mixture, coating both sides, until all the liquid is absorbed.
3. Spray a large nonstick skillet or griddle with nonstick cooking spray. Heat on medium.
4. Put the bread slices on the skillet; cook on each side about two minutes.
5. Serve topped with yogurt and fresh fruit.
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