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About Baby

Growing continues as baby makes big strides this week. Your little one is weighing in around just over a pound and measures to approximately eight inches from crown to rump. This week your baby is the size of a grapefruit! Baby’s skin is growing so fast that it is pretty loose and saggy right now, but that’s a good thing. Once baby fills out and the fat deposits set in, everything will be in place. Tiny veins and arteries are forming so baby’s skin has a bit of a red hue to it right now but that will go away when the fat layers form. Keratin, a thick protective protein, is forming within the skin to make the baby’s largest organ strong. This protein will also be found in baby’s nails and hair.

Another organ is busy maturing in preparation for birth. The lungs are hard at work to ready themselves for that first breath and every one to follow. Protective cells and capillaries, called pneumocytes, are forming within the lungs. These cells are vital for proper lung performance.

Baby’s heartbeat is getting stronger by the moment. If you have a stethoscope available, you can even hear their tiny heart beating through your belly. Kicks are stronger too, which you will not only feel, but may even see. As bewildering as it looks, it is completely normal!

About Momma

The hormone progesterone is hard at work these days and is making itself noticed. That fuzzy air-brain type feeling that makes you feel like you’re forgetting the simplest things is compliments of progesterone. You’ll often hear this referred to as “Pregnancy Brain” and it can last a bit after delivery even as your hormones rebalance after birth.

Progesterone looks to put on a show so it’s not only affecting your cognitive ability, but it’s also playing a role in that skin discoloration you’re likely experiencing. It makes an appearance all over the body. You may notice that the palms of your hands and soles of your feet are reddened. You’re also more prone to heat rash and skin tags at this phase of the pregnancy. Don’t forget those stretch marks either because you can thank progesterone for those too. Darker complected women may also experience a dark line from the naval to pubic area, known as the linea nigra.

As if that weren’t enough, progesterone also affects the pigmentation you already had. Freckles and areolas will likely appear darker during the surge of hormone. Some women may also experience what is commonly referred to as the mask of pregnancy, or chloasma. This creates a darkened appearance around the nose, cheeks, eyes, and forehead. It will go away after the pregnancy but in the meantime you can wear concealer to cover it up.

Swelling in the ankles, feet, and gums are common at this phase of pregnancy as well. Unless it comes on suddenly or is causing severe problems, there shouldn’t be any concern. Those pesky Braxton Hicks contractions continue but changing positions and drinking water can help with some of that discomfort. You’re likely feeling bloated because you are retaining some water, but continue to drink plenty of fluids. Water consumption actually helps combat edema. Support legwear and light exercise will increase circulation and improve discomfort.

*This is only general information and is not meant for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Always consult your physician or other health care provider about all health concerns, conditions, and recommended treatments.

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