You're now well on your journey to becoming a Mum and hopefully most of the symptoms of your early few weeks are now firmly behind you and you are revellling your blossoming 'bump' with a renewed energy and positive outlook looking ahead to your precious new arrival.
Did you know that at this stage your body will now need about 350 extra calories every day to sustain both your little baby and you. However - as lovely as this sounds - it's all too easy to fall into the 'eating for two' trap so If you feel you are putting on too much weight during your pregnancy discuss your concerns with your own doctor or midwife who will be able to offer you their professional advice, rememeber - you should never diet while you are pregnant.
Changes to your bodyYou might well be feeling short of breath at the moment. This is due to your ever expanding uterus pressing on your ribcage! There is absolutley no need to worry about this, it's perfectly normal and both you and your baby will still be getting enough oxygen. As you are gearing up for your third trimester you will at some point start to feel increased contractions called Braxton Hicks or practice contractions. These feel different to the real labour contractions and will be much shorted in length and not increase in intensity or frequency. Again, do not worry if you are not feeling these yet, all pregnancies are different and you may not experience any at all!
Changes to your babyThe good news this week is that you have reached a stage in your pregnancy where if your baby did make an early appearance, they would have a very good fighting chance of surviving with a little help. Your baby is now able to breathe in air through it's lungs, as the vascular system is now capable of handling carbon/oxygen exchange. Rhythmic breathing and body temperature can now also be regulated by the brain stem of your growing baby and your little miracle is also starting to slowly rotate in preparation for his or her grand entrance head first! This will not happen for a good few weeks yet, though hopefully!
At this exciting stage your baby will be weighing about 900 grams and will be about 33cm long. Baby is a tiny, but perfectly formed little person now and will be able to recognise your voice! Now is a good time to get to know your baby and spend some time talking, reading or even singing to your 'bump' - it may seem a little strange at first but you'll soon be amazed at how quickly they repsond to the sound of your voice and your touch.
Now is a good time to get to know your baby and spend some time talking, reading or even singing to your 'bump'Up until this stage baby's eyelids will have been fused together but they will now start to open. The retinas will be developing their normal layers - this is the basic process called 'sight'. Their little legs will also be extended, as though it is time to start stretching - so prepare for some sharp little kicks along the way!
Baby will also be waking or sleeping quite regularly, closing and opening their eyes and maybe even sucking on their tiny fingers and over the coming weeks you will start to notice a pattern emerging. Their brain is now also very active at this stage as more brain tissue is developing.
Tips for a happy pregnancyIf you find that your ankles, feet and hands are starting to swell - try to drink plenty of water to help keep your blood circulating well. Light exercise such as walking, swimming and pregnancy yoga will also help to keep you moving. You might also be experiencing a lot more flatulence than you care to admit! This is thanks to those pregnancy hormones relaxing intestinal muscles - so you can blame it on the pregnancy for the time being!
Occasional dizziness or faintness might also be felt. This is because your bulging belly is putting pressure on your blood vessels. Drinking lots of water will help to keep your blood circulating.