Wednesday, 6 March 2013

What to expect: Week 17

Your baby

The baby is really beginning to grow now and is about the size of your palm with a nice covering of body fat. Your baby’s heart is beating at 140-150 beat per minute which is twice as fast as yours! Your baby is beginning to practice the survival skills they will need at birth, like sucking and swallowing.

Your body

Now that you are starting to show, you may find that people you know (and even people you don’t) are feeling the urge to reach out and touch your belly. Some mums-to-be are fine with this whereas others are really not keen; be sure to let people know if you would rather they keep their hands to themselves.
Your appetite will have returned to normal now that the queasiness has disappeared and now is the time that most expectant mothers begin to “eat for two”. Be careful not to overindulge in the wrong types of food as whatever you put on now you will have to lose once the baby is born.

Pregnancy symptoms

Increasing appetite – Your growing baby is demanding more nourishment but try to choose foods that will fill you up without being too unhealthy. So avoid burgers and chips and try lean meat, high-fibre grains and fruit instead.

Heartburn/Indigestion – If you find yourself suffering after a big meal try to avoid lying down straight after you eat to keep gastric juices in your stomach where they belong.

Occasional headaches – These can be triggered by hormones, tiredness, tension or some other causes but they can be uncomfortable. You should check with your doctor or midwife before taking medication to help deal with them.

Occasional dizziness – Dehydration can cause dizziness, so make sure you stay hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. You should aim to drink more than that if you’ve been exercising.

Backache – This is a very common pregnancy symptom but you can ease it by making sure you have a supportive chair at work and a firm mattress at home. Otherwise, get a cushion for your chair and place it at the small of your back to keep your posture in line.

Stretch marks – Unfortunately stretch marks are part and parcel of pregnancy and fairly difficult to avoid. If you gain weight at a steady pace instead of in big spurts you may keep they stretching gradual and as a results the stretch marks less extreme.

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