Your baby today
It is surprising how much detail is already present in your baby's body. This closeup of an ear shows that its helical pattern of folds is nearly fully developed, although it is still too soon for your baby to hear anything.
Your waistline will be increasing and your body shape changing but your belly is unlikely to be very prominent for several weeks.
By week 14, if you stand in your underwear in front of the mirror, you will see a change in your body shape, but to the outside world you may not look very different. Women who have previously been pregnant tend to show earlier than those who are pregnant for the first time, because their stomach muscles have already been stretched once and so stretch much more quickly. Women often say that this is the time when they look as though they have put on weight and feel fat, not pregnant! But it won't be long before your belly will be visible for the world to see.
If you're feeling uncomfortable and heavy, make sure you choose the right clothes. See the section Become a clothes cheat! for some tips on how to adapt your wardrobe without having to spend any money yet.
Ask A... Doctor
Check with your doctor before opting for complementary and alternative medicine. This umbrella term covers medical practices and products that are not considered part of conventional medicine, and studies of their effects on pregnancy may not have been done. "Natural" doesn't mean "safe."
Now that you're in the second trimester, you may be sleeping better, since the urge to go to the bathroom frequently may have subsided, allowing you to stay in bed all night long once again. Or maybe not, since sleep-related problems can affect women during the entire pregnancy. Here are some common problems and solutions:
- Heartburn Lying down soon after a big meal can cause acid reflux, known as heartburn, which can make it uncomfortable for you to sleep. To lessen the possibility of disrupted sleep due to heartburn, avoid eating big meals 2-3 hours before bed. If your heartburn is severe, discuss over-the-counter medication options with your doctor.
- Restless leg syndrome This condition, which makes you feel the need to move your legs around to relieve a creepy-crawly feeling while you're lying in bed, is fairly common in pregnancy. It's a good idea to mention it to your doctor, since it can sometimes be caused by a deficiency (like anemia) that can be treated by taking supplements.
- Napping If pregnancy makes you tired, you may want to grab 40 winks in the afternoon. But for some pregnant women, this extra shut-eye makes it more difficult to fall asleep at night. If this happens to you, skip the afternoon nap and go to bed at night a little earlier than you usually do.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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