Your baby now measures about fourteen inches from head to heel and weighs a little less than two pounds. This week, the baby’s eyelids open and begin to blink, although the baby can’t see things clearly yet. The organs are all fully developed but will keep maturing to be ready for birth. The lanugo (fine hair over the baby’s body) has begun to disappear, though some patches of this hair may still remain after the baby is born.
Another common side effect of pregnancy that you may experience is shortness of breath. Your uterus expands and gets in the way of your diaphragm and lungs. Hormones also cause your respiration rate to increase as more blood is needed for the developing baby. You may notice this especially when you exercise, and it also serves as a reminder to slow down. Simply being aware of your breathing patterns can help to alleviate shortness of breath; you can also practice taking slow deep breaths and filling your lungs. If you are having shortness of breath, you may get some relief in the third trimester as your baby drops lower into your pelvic cavity. (Here are two articles that may be of interest: “Pain Relief for Childbirth” and “Do C-Sections Risk the Lives of Mothers?”)
Hot Topic: The Nursery
Now is a good time to start decorating your baby’s room, although some people choose to wait until the baby actually arrives to do the nursery. You will soon be in the third trimester and will not have as much energy as you do now. You also may have started to feel the “nesting” instinct (the need to get things done) that happens to some women in later pregnancy, and this gives you extra energy to accomplish tasks. You can choose a specific theme or color scheme, or if you are waiting until birth to find out if you are having a boy or a girl, you may want to pick a neutral theme, such as the ABCs, Safari Animals, and Ocean Scenes, etc.
Fast Fact: Although each woman’s experience is different, the average weight gain at this point of pregnancy will be about fifteen to twenty pounds, according to recommendations by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
Q&A: Sarah Maddison, MD, an experienced obstetrician in Raleigh, North Carolina, answers our readers’ questions.
Q: Moms often feel ugly during pregnancy and some moms don’t step into a salon to get nails or hair done the whole pregnancy. Is it okay to have your hair highlighted or your nails done when pregnant?
A: These things will never be studied in pregnancy. You can consider things safe until proven unsafe—or unsafe until proven safe. Because the first trimester is the most sensitive time for injury to the baby, I tell people that they can wait until after the first trimester to do highlights, spray tan, tooth whitening, etc.
Eating For Two: Breakfast
In this recipe, the amount of sugar has been reduced, since the applesauce provides sweetening, as well as the added benefit of fiber.
Karin’s Banana Bread
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- Two eggs
- 1 cup mashed banana (2 to 3 ripe bananas)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet (dark) chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Cream together butter and sugar; add applesauce, eggs, bananas, and vanilla.
3. Blend last four ingredients in a separate bowl.
4. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and mix.
5. Pour into nine by five inch loaf pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
6. Bake for sixty to sixty-five minutes, or until a tester (toothpick, skewer, etc.) inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool for ten minutes.
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