YOUR CHANGING LIFE
Gaining weight and losing breath
Welcome to week 15 of your pregnancy – the first week of your second trimester. By now, you're probably getting used to the sensation of pregnancy and all of its side effects, and hey, maybe you're even starting to enjoy it! While you still have two trimesters to go, the time may seem to go by faster now that you're likely free of the lethargy and morning sickness that often plague women during the first several weeks. So what's new with you this week?
Now that your baby has all of his or her vital organs and bodily structures in place, the next few months are going to be all about growing bigger – and that goes for you, too. At this point during a pregnancy, weight gain of about 5 pounds overall is the average. It's no biggie if you've put on a little more or less, but if you're significantly far off from this number, you should talk to your healthcare provider and develop a game plan.
Pregnancy hormones are still causing chaos in your body, which means you might be noticing some pretty uncomfortable symptoms. For example, nosebleeds are common in pregnant women because of increased blood flow and higher levels of the hormone progesterone. It never hurts to be prepared with a few tissues in your bag.
Swollen, sensitive and bleeding gums are also things to watch out for. Your mouth is more vulnerable to plaque and bacteria during pregnancy, so be sure to take good care of your dental health.
You might also have noticed that you're feeling a little short of breath lately. This is totally normal – your uterus is starting to push up against your diaphragm, giving your lungs less space to expand. It's not going to get any better as your baby continues to grow, but you should be able to make it through unscathed. However, if you do notice that you're having trouble catching your breath, your fingers are turning blue or your heart is beating rapidly, it's definitely time to call the doctor.
YOUR BABY THIS WEEK
From lemon to orange
This week, your baby has grown from the size of a lemon to the size of a small orange – a navel orange, if you want to get specific. While you probably can't feel him or her moving around just yet (although some women swear they can sense faint flutterings), your baby is more or less having a solo dance party in that amniotic sac of yours. Movement is pretty constant, and soon you'll be able to feel those telltale flutters.
Hair is also sprouting all over your little one's body. It's called lanugo and it's shed before birth, so don't bother picturing yourself giving birth to a baby monkey (although you might already be having weird pregnancy dreams like this). Hair is also growing on your baby's head and the eyelashes and eyebrows are starting to fill in.
Your little orange is also starting to practice breathing and swallowing, even though it's just amniotic fluid cycling through there. But now that the movements have begun, he or she might even get a case of the hiccups!
Treat yourself to something you deserve
If you had a first trimester full of trips to the bathroom and 6pm bedtimes, now's probably a good time to celebrate the end of that stressful period. After enduring so many crazy side effects and worrying about what's going to happen next, you deserve to reward yourself with a treat. Feel free to indulge in something that makes you happy.
For example, if you're a regular shopper who loves trips to the mall, now might be a great time to head to those maternity wear stores and pick out some new duds for yourself. Nothing feels better than a legitimate excuse to buy new clothes, right?
Or, if you're into beauty and skincare, how about taking a trip to a spa or salon? A good rubdown can help relieve some of your aches and pains and soothe your mind. Even a manicure or pedicure will feel totally awesome.
You might even want to get your partner involved in this celebration. Now that you might not have to worry about your food coming back up, why not head to your favorite restaurant and indulge in a fancy meal? If this is your first child, you two could even take advantage of the solo time before your baby arrives by taking a mini vacation.
When it comes down to it, growing a baby is hard work. You deserve to enjoy whatever floats your boat!