Hey pregnant mama!
The excitement builds with your ever expanding waist line. If you had been putting it off, you're probably forced to shop for some maternity clothing at this point or risk losing some buttons. As I've mentioned previously, a belly band is a life saver for many women, extending their “regular” clothing and helping to hold up maternity pants that might be a little too big yet.
Although your energy may be up, that doesn't mean that you will be without some unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy.
Common Symptoms this Week:
- Heartburn, gas, or indigestion (Try relieving this with papaya enzyme)
- Swollen/bleeding gums (so keep up with dental care)
- Round Ligament Pain (lower abdominal achiness)
Of course, you may experience none of these symptoms.
Many women also experience an increased libido at this time in pregnancy. And unless your doctor or midwife tells you otherwise, there's no reason why you can't enjoy that extra drive as much as you want! Of course, it's also normal if you (or your partner) are feeling less-than-sexy with all of the symptoms and changes of pregnancy.
There is only one “right way” to go about pregnancy, and that is in honoring your body and emotions in the moment, as well as your partner's.
Your Baby’s Development
You still may not be able to feel it yet, but your little one is very active this week! The main reason for this is that all of his joints and limbs are fully functional now.
Because your baby is beginning to practice breathing motions, he may get the hiccups. Later on in your pregnancy, you'll be able to feel these hiccups as little rhythmic bumps.
At about 4 inches long (crown to rump) and 2 1/2 ounces, your baby is roughly the size of a naval orange!
Other Developments this Week:
- Baby can sense light (tough eyelids are still shut)
- Taste buds forming
- Moving amniotic fluid through nose and upper respiratory tract
The gender of your baby may even be detectable on an ultrasound this week, though I recommend you read up on the dangers of ultrasound before getting one for non-diagnostic purposes.
How to Prevent Stretch Marks
In our society, we accept stretch marks as a part of life. Some are blessed to have them and some are blessed to skip out on getting them altogether. You may have even heard that whether or not you get stretch marks depends entirely on your genetics.
While it's certainly true that genetics plays a role in your predisposition to stretch marks, that's not all that determines whether or not you actually get them or to what degree.
So, what can you do to prevent stretch marks? To put it simply, you can increase your skin elasticity. How do you do this? Through proper nutrition.
In her book Beautiful Babies, Kristen Michaelis cites three studies that support this theory.
One is a study published in 2010 in the British Journal of Nutrition:
They found that elasticity significantly improved with a diet higher in saturated and monounsaturated fat, fish oil supplementation, and increased antioxidants. These results are similar to the results of a 2008 study that measured a 10% increase in skin elasticity when women took an oral fish oil supplement, and a 2007 study that showed improved elasticity with an increase in antioxidant consumption.
Not only does a diet rich in omega 3 oils and antioxidants help prevent stretch marks, it is also the ideal diet for fertility, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. The two diets that fit this ideal (which are consequently the two nutritional diets I talk about most often) are the Brewer Diet and the Weston A. Price Diet.
Kristen talks about both of these diets in the book Beautiful Babies, along with a wealth of recipes that you can implement today.
Another great book on the subject is The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care by Sally Fallon Morell.
More Info Around the Web:
~ Prenatal Nutrition ~
Nutrition is so important during pregnancy.
I recommend every pregnant mommy get themselves a copy of Beautiful Babies – a nutrition guide for fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and baby’s first foods.
You will learn:
- Why nutrition matters
- What foods you should NOT be eating
- What to eat instead
- Eating for fertility
- and much more…