Your little one hits a major growth spurt this week with a full inch in one week. That puts baby at around 14 inches and just over 2 pounds. Baby is officially the size of a rutabaga! Even though your baby is getting so big, they’re likely still curled up in a tight little ball in the womb.
Your baby is already getting into a routine. Your child already has a bit of a sleep schedule and will wake and sleep around the same times. When your little one is awake, their little brain is busy learning all of the functions they’ll need to survive out of the womb. Activities like blinking, breathing, and muscular movements and reflexes are already in practice. Their tiny ears are already capable of hearing so feel free to read books, sing, and just talk to your baby. The protective layer of vernix will muffle everything, but baby will recognize voices at birth.
If you’re feeling tiny repetitive movements, it’s very likely it’s hiccups as baby continues to breath in amniotic fluid. Those little lungs are hard at work in preparation and those hiccups likely feel strange but amazing simultaneously. The hiccups are completely normal and are likely just a reaction to what you’re eating (which will get to them about two hours after your mealtime). Baby is sucking in plenty of amniotic fluid, but it’s possible that they’re even sucking on their thumbs. This self-soothing behavior commonly starts inside the womb and you may catch a glimpse of it during an ultrasound.
Welcome to the end of the second trimester! The journey is long, but you are well on your way to holding your baby in your arms. Baby is growing comfortably inside of your basketball-sized belly.
If you’re experiencing swelling in your extremities, know that you’re not alone. Nearly 75 percent of women will deal with edema, typically in the hands, feet, and ankles. This is caused by fluid buildup in the body’s tissue. Your uterus is putting extra pressure on the vena cava, the large vein that delivers blood for your lower extremities to the heart, making the routine blood pumping process more difficult than usual. You can rest easy knowing that it’s completely normal and only temporary. However, if it seems excessive, contact your doctor because it’s also a sign of preeclampsia. In the meantime, avoid long periods of sitting or standing and try to sleep with your feet and hands elevated. If your doctor is okay with it, some light pregnancy-safe exercise may also help.
All of the extra weight you’re carrying is putting strain on your body. Even if you can’t exercise, some light stretching is good for the body and will help circulation. Extend your toes out and in to stretch your calves and avoid muscle cramps that are particularly common these days. Stretch often and relax as often as possible to relieve the strain. Don’t forget, pregnancy is a great reason to convince your partner to pamper you with a nice leg and foot massage.
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