Your sweet baby is making huge strides this week, coming in at a whole 10 ounces and roughly 6 ½ inches. This puts baby at the size of a banana! While baby continues to grow, there’s still plenty of room but those somersaults and flips will surely be noticed.
Baby is hard at work practicing the skills needed for day-to-day life. Swallowing is a regular occurrence with several ounces of amniotic fluid being gulped down each day. All of that amniotic fluid is converting to a substance called meconium. The black, sticky substance collects in the bowels and will grace you with its presence in baby’s first diaper. Some babies may even pass the meconium while still in the womb or during delivery. Either way, that first one is a doozy, so prepare yourself mentally.
Your little one is continually growing. If your child is a girl, the uterus is fully formed and the vaginal canal begins to form. Seven million premature eggs sit inside her tiny ovaries, which will be reduced to about two million by the time she is born. If your child is a boy, his testicles are starting to descent. They won’t leave the abdomen just yet since the scrotum has yet to completely form.
You’re halfway done so it’s time to rejoice, right? Not just yet. As amazing as those movements feel and as pleasant as those passerby smiles may be, it’s not all a walk in the park. Swelling, leg cramps, and heartburn are a solid concern at this point so remember to rest with your feet elevated and staying away from spicy food may be in your best interest.
It’s not all misery though. Those hormones are sometimes pleasant and beneficial. Your hair and nails are growing longer and thicker than ever, giving you a luscious head of hair. With that said though, the top of your head may not be the only place you’re growing hair. The lip, back, and arms may experience a darkening and more present hair appearance. Those thick locks will only last for the length of your pregnancy though so don’t get too attached. Those nails won’t always be strong either. Even during your pregnancy, they may also be dry and brittle.
Your hunger is likely in full force now that the nausea has most likely subsided. Kick those saltines to the curb and enjoy a real meal. It’s best to stick to the small meals to keep the indigestion to a minimum. Not only will it benefit your body, but it will also keep a steady stream of calories flowing to baby, so it’s mutually beneficial. Don’t be afraid to eat, just make sure you keep the meals small.
While you’re busy eating make sure you get plenty of iron. Your blood volume has increased and the increased hemoglobin production needs the extra minerals. Red meat is a well-known source of iron but there are plenty of vegetarian options as well. Look towards legumes, spinach, raisins, iron-fortified cereals, and prune juice for your additional iron intake.
If this is your first child, you may want to sign up for a childbirth education class. The classes are available at most hospitals and birth centers. You’ll learn important labor and delivery lessons such as proper breathing techniques and what to expect.
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