YOUR CHANGING LIFE
You won't have to wait to become a full-fledged soccer mom
Welcome to week 25 of your pregnancy. In week 24, you duked it out with stretch marks and scheduled a glucose screening test with your healthcare provider. While it's a good idea to keep that cocoa butter handy during week 25 – after all, stretch marks can happen at any time! – there are more than enough things going on during this period of your second trimester to keep you occupied.
You may have noticed that your belly has swelled considerably during the last week – that's because your uterus is about the size of a soccer ball! If you press between your belly button and the bottom of your sternum, you may even be able to feel it for yourself.
That's not all that your body is going through during week 25. Hemorrhoids, or enlarged, itchy veins near the rectum, may develop now. While painful and annoying, hemorrhoids are very common during pregnancy. By eating right and doing pelvic exercises, you may be able to prevent them outright.
On a more attractive note, have you noticed that your hair is extra full and shiny these days? That's because all those hormones kicking around in your body are affecting your locks, and strands that should have fallen out weeks ago are sticking around. Your mane is sure to look great during week 25, so take the opportunity to pamper yourself by wearing it down.
In addition, you should schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to screen for anemia. A test can determine whether you have the condition – if so, you'll likely need to take an iron supplement for the remainder of your pregnancy to ensure that your body remains healthy and strong through the labor and delivery process.
YOUR BABY THIS WEEK
From ear of corn to rutabaga
Last week, you leapt for joy because your baby's kicks became more prominent. Well, this week you're in for a real treat, because your bun in the oven has been busy cooking up some delightful surprises that are sure to leave you and your partner thrilled!
For starters, your baby is no longer the size of an ear of corn – at about 1 ½ pounds and 13 ½ inches, your wee one is similar in weight and length to a rutabaga – pretty neat, right? During week 24, your baby's skin began to thicken. Over the course of this week, that will continue and your unborn little one will start picking up some much-needed baby fat, which, in about 15 or 16 years, may come back to haunt him or her. Your baby's hair is starting to fill out during this time as well.
As your baby's wrinkled skin starts to smooth out, underneath the surface the capillaries are starting to fill with blood. Air sacs that are lined with capillaries in the lungs will develop more during this time as his or her nostrils start to open. By the time you're ready to give birth, your baby will be ready to take his or her first breath as a result.
But the best thing about week 25 is that your baby's gender is becoming apparent. While the sex of your little guy or gal was determined at conception, by this time it's becoming noticeable. An ultrasound or amniocentesis can reveal the gender of your baby, making this a very remarkable time in your pregnancy!
Your baby can also clench a fist and start showing a preference for either the right or left hand, something which will impact him or her outside of the womb.
Plan for travel
While you may be wrapped up in getting ready for baby, you should consider taking the time to plan out trips or other extended travel periods now rather than later on in your pregnancy.
Whether it's visiting relatives for the holidays or going on a pre-baby vacation with your partner, setting aside time to make those journeys now is preferable to waiting until you're further along in your pregnancy. That's because many commercial airlines won't allow women to travel past 35 weeks, and while that may seem like a world away, that deadline is fast approaching!
Before embarking on any kind of extended trip, you should consult with your healthcare provider and have a quick checkup to ensure that you're in good health. If your doctor gives his or her consent to your plans, you can start assembling the items you'll need for your travels.
During week 25, you may experience excessive thirst – on the road, this could lead you to take many pit stops. Be sure to listen to your body and prepare for what may happen. Take advantage of rest stops to move around, boost circulation and use the restroom and change into cozy clothing if you're feeling uncomfortable. Watch out for areas that are difficult to see and tread carefully – you don't want to have an accident while you're outside your comfort zone!