What’s happening this week
- may find this an enjoyable time of pregnancy – the aches and pains are fading and you’re not too large to be uncomfortable
- may feel tired – make sure you are getting enough iron
- could notice your shoes feeling tighter if your feet are swollen
- may find that your contact lenses become uncomfortable
- may suddenly realise that, yes, you really are going to have a baby!
- measures about 19 cm
- can now hear your voice – if you talk, read or sing to your baby, you may notice some extra kicks in response.
This is a good time to think ahead for what you’ll need for your baby – even if, like many mothers, you don’t want to start buying anything yet. If you are working, your progressing pregnancy may mean some adjustments at work…
There are a number of aspects of pregnancy that can affect your well-being at work. For example, varicose veins can be aggravated by standing for long periods, and the effects of hormonal changes on your ligaments can increase the likelihood of injury or strains when lifting heavy loads.
You have the right to rest breaks during pregnancy. But you can also think about how you can help yourself. For example, standing may not necessarily constitute a risk, but it might be hard work if most of your job involves standing.
Take care by:
- remembering to lift properly
- wearing suitable clothing/flat shoes/support stockings
- eating little and often to keep your energy levels up – take fruit and healthy snacks to keep at work
- delegating where possible – don’t be proud!
- If you need help in changing your work conditions, talk to your union representative or your personnel department.
- Breast milk provides all the food and drink your baby will need during the first four to six months of his/her life.
- It also provides special factors to promote the growth of babies’ bra ins, nerves, and eyesight. These cannot be found in any other type of milk.
- Your breastmilk is made specifically for your baby and it will change constantly to meet his needs as he grows.
- Breast milk contains antibodies to protect your baby from infections. It contains interferon which helps your baby fight viruses.
- Your body can react to infections in your surroundings by making antibodies that will be passed on through your breastmilk to give him the necessary protection. This is nature’s own way of providing a ‘tailor-made’ medicine.
- Breast milk comes with its own regulating substances. This means that your body can make extra nutrients available when needed by the baby and lower them when they are no longer necessary
- Breast milk primes the baby to produce antibodies so breastfed babies have a better response to immunisation.
- Breast milk (unlike formula milk) creates the correct conditions in the baby’s bowels to prevent the growth of harmful germs, which cause stomach upsets.
- If your baby is born prematurely, breast milk has special properties which prepare his bowels to tolerate milk.
Many couples put off buying baby equipment till the seventh or eighth month – but it can be very tiring then to walk round all the shops. This is a good time to begin to think about what you’ll need for your baby, and what would suit your house and your lifestyle. Don’t feel that you have to buy everything new – most mothers borrow where they can. Car seats, however, are an exception – they should never be bought second- hand; it is impossible to tell if it has been in an accident and, if it has, the seat is not safe.
Breastfeeding - Why is breast milk so special?
A mother who has a premature baby will produce different milk from that of a mother who has a baby at full-term. This milk is higher in growth factors and antibodies to help fight infections.
If you decided to have an amniocentesis, you will get the results about now. You may feel very relieved, but some parents have results that are worrying. It’s very important to talk these results through with your LMC or obstetrician. You may want to go away and talk with your family, your spiritual adviser or just have some time alone. It’s not often that you have to make an instant decision. Take the time you need and ask for the help you need.