Now measuring thirteen and a half inches and weighing over one and a half pounds, your baby is filling out. The wrinkled skin is starting to look smoother. The joints and ligaments of the spine are developing—these structures will protect the spinal cord. Sweat glands are forming in the baby’s skin. The nerves around the mouth area are showing more sensitivity, and the swallowing reflexes are strengthening. Your baby may even get the hiccups, which will feel like tiny intermittent spasms in your abdomen.
You are getting close to the beginning of the third trimester, and you may start to feel some of the emotionality of the first trimester. Although you are looking forward to the birth of your baby, as the weeks go by, the reality of being a mother may start to hit you. Talking to other women who have been through pregnancy and childbirth can help—not only will you have someone to listen to your concerns, but you can learn from their experiences. Also, if you are writing in your journal, continue to explore some of the changes you will be facing as your baby is born. One of the largest concerns can be your job. Perhaps you are afraid it will be too demanding and want to explore other options? Perhaps you’re considering taking a year off but don’t know if you can afford it. (For help, read: “Finding Stimulating Part-Time Work? Yes, It’s Possible!” or: “Two Incomes to One: Can You Afford to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom?”)
Hot Topic: Sleep
Sleeping may get more difficult as the baby get bigger. Your sleep can be disturbed by trips to the bathroom, your inability to get comfortable, or your baby practicing kicks and flips at night. Here are some things to try if you are having trouble sleeping:
- If you don’t already have one, get a long body pillow
- Go to the bathroom at least twice in a thirty-minute period before bed
- If you are still going to the bathroom during the night, try to drink most of your fluids early in the day and limit drinking in the evening
- Try doing pelvic tilts before bed
- Experiment with different sleeping positions, including sitting propped up, or in a recliner (pregnant women are not advised to sleep on their tummies or flat on their backs)
- Take a fifteen to thirty minute walk during the day
- Listen to soft music or a relaxation tape before bed
- Write in a journal before sleeping
- Read a few pages of a riveting novel before going to sleep
- Limit caffeine intake
Fast Fact: Fundal height is measured from the top of the pubic bone to the top of the uterus in centimeters. It should correlate to your week of pregnancy within one to three centimeters; so at this point, your fundal height will be around twenty-five centimeters.
Q&A: Sarah Maddison, MD, an experienced obstetrician in Raleigh, North Carolina, answers our readers’ questions.
Q: What does coffee do to the developing baby? Is one cup a day okay?
A: Coffee probably does nothing to a developing baby. Extreme caffeine intake is associated with smaller babies and a slight increase in stillbirth, but these moms also are more likely to smoke and have poor weight gain. Since caffeine intake isn’t really studied primarily, it is hard to tell which of those habits is really the culprit. One caffeinated beverage a day is well within what would be safe.
Eating For Two: Dinner
This meal has the added benefit of not only providing Omega 3 and Omega 6, but also having a powerful combination of anti-oxidants from the blueberries or raspberries and walnuts. Serve the dish with steamed, organic broccoli, a side spinach salad, and couscous.
Laura’s Immune-Boosting Salmon
- Two filets wild or organic salmon
- 2 tablespoons ground mustard
- 2 to 3 tablespoons blueberry or raspberry all-fruit spread
- Two handfuls of walnuts, crushed
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Mix the mustard and all-fruit spread in a bowl. Add more of the mustard or fruit spread to your liking.
3. Spread the mustard/fruit spread mixture on top of both fillets, and sprinkle with crushed walnuts.
4. Cook in oven twenty minutes, five minutes longer if the fillets are especially thick.
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