YOUR CHANGING LIFE
Feeling backed up?
Welcome to week 10 of your pregnancy! If you've been having a pretty difficult time getting through your first trimester and all of its crazy changes (many moms-to-be do), cheer up! You're only a couple weeks away from the relief that the second trimester brings. But what's going on this week?
By now, your womb is likely the size of a grapefruit, which might be part of why your clothes feel a bit more snug than usual. Your baby bump probably isn't showing much yet, but your belly may look a bit bigger because of weight gain and bloating. This is kind of an awkward time as far as pregnancy clothes are concerned – you're not quite ready for maternity wear but your regular wardrobe just doesn't feel comfortable. Try wearing clothes made from stretchy material and stick to low-rise pants or skirts that sit low on your hips.
Another issue you might be facing this week is constipation. Unfortunately, those pesky pregnancy hormones are at it again, making your bowels a bit more sluggish than usual. Drinking plenty of water, eating foods rich in fiber and engaging in healthy exercise can help with the problem. Of course, steer clear of foods that could make the issue worse, like refined carbohydrates in white rice, cereals, white bread and pasta.
As if constipation weren't bad enough, many pregnant women also report feeling gassier than normal. Yet again, your hormones are to blame, relaxing the muscles of your gastrointestinal tract. Avoid foods that typically cause gas, like beans, fried foods and vegetables. If it gets really bad, ask your healthcare provider if there are any over-the-counter remedies that are safe to use.
YOUR BABY THIS WEEK
From grape to prune
Last week your baby was the size of a grape, and now he or she is the size of a prune! At this point, the critical stages of development have been completed, which means that from now on it's mostly just going to be growth happening in your uterus. This upcoming period is known as the fetal stage, during which the tissues and organs in your little one's body grow and mature.
Believe it or not, your baby is now swallowing fluid and moving around quite a bit, but you likely can't feel any flutters yet. The vital organs have all started to function, and they'll keep developing as the weeks go on. Another big development is that your baby no longer has webbed fingers and toes, and his or her limbs can actually bend.
The inner ear structures are also complete at this point, which means your baby can hear you and your partner. Feel free to start talking to your belly – your baby will get to know the sound of your voice!
If you were able to look at your baby, you'd notice a couple small details being formed, like tiny nails on his or her fingers and toes and even peach fuzz starting to appear on the delicate skin. Over the next couple of weeks, your baby will double in size and his or her features will become more distinct.
Develop an exercise regimen
Now that you're feeling a little bigger than usual, you might want to start thinking about ways to stay in shape and keep your weight in control during your pregnancy. What kind of exercise you should be doing depends largely on your body type and your health in general, so it's always a good idea to have a chat with your doctor to get the go-ahead for the activities you have planned.
If fatigue has been overwhelming lately, you might need a little motivation to get yourself up off the couch and moving. Well, luckily there are plenty of reasons why exercise is a good thing – not just for your physical shape, but for your mental shape!
For starters, regular exercise is a great way to reduce some of that stress you may be feeling. Whether you're worried about your parenting skills, the decor of the nursery or how labor is going to feel, going for a quick walk, taking a prenatal yoga class or playing a game of tennis with your girlfriend can help you feel better.
If you've been feeling a little down lately, working out can help that too! Exercise releases endorphins that can lift your mood and have you feeling in better spirits in no time. Sure, it might take some serious motivation, but once you get moving you'll start noticing that you're not feeling as sluggish or sad.
Finally, regular exercise can strengthen your body and prepare you for handling the aches and pains of pregnancy – even the ones associated with delivery! Toning and strengthening your muscles can help you prevent the backaches and foot pain that many pregnant women experience, and it can make labor a less painful experience. What's not to love about that?