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Second Trimester 1stTrimester     3rd Trimester

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14 WEEKS EXACTLY

182 days to go...

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Your baby today

This 2D ultrasound shows the profile of the baby particularly well. The nasal bone can just be seen at the bridge of the nose, as can bright echoes from the lower and upper jaws; the umbilical cord is rising from the center of the abdomen.

It can be difficult to avoid information overload-everyone, it seems, will have advice to share with you.

One side effect of pregnancy all women have to deal with is conflicting information and advice. One article says to do something, while a friend says the exact opposite. It can be confusing and irritating. While you can choose to stop reading a newspaper or turn to a different television channel, it's more difficult to avoid the unwanted advice of other women. Even more difficult is the advice from close relatives, such as your mother and mother-in-law. You'll need the support of your family and friends, so won't want to alienate them, but don't feel pressured to act in a certain way. Also don't reject everything immediately-some of the advice may in fact be useful and accurate.

If someone is persistently advising you explain that you're overwhelmed by information and would rather not talk about the pregnancy at this time. Or listen to the person's advice, smile politely, and then do what you want. You could subtly hint that you will ask for advice as and when you need it.

Focus On... Your body

Style challenge

Give yourself a hair makeover.

  • There is no evidence that the chemicals in hair dyes are harmful for your baby although only a limited amount of research has been done on pregnant women. If you're cautious, skip the chemicals and get a new cut.
  • If you're worried stick to highlights, which don't expose the whole scalp to dye and make sure the room is well ventilated.
  • When coloring your own hair, do so in a well-ventilated space and always wear the gloves provided.

The second trimester is a great time to pamper yourself with a new haircut and color. Your new hairstyle will complement your glowing skin.

Ask A... Doctor

Why are varicose veins common in pregnancy and what can I do to avoid getting them?

Your blood volume increases up to 30 percent during pregnancy, due to the added needs of your baby and your expanding body. In addition, the hormone relaxin (which is produced to soften ligaments and joints) also softens the walls of your blood vessels. The blood vessels relax and the increased blood and extra weight of the baby make you susceptible to varicose veins.

To reduce the likelihood of getting varicose veins:

  • Avoid sitting or standing in one position for prolonged periods: walk around regularly, moving your arms as you do so to increase the blood flow in your body.
  • Exercise daily: most forms of cardiovascular exercise will help increase blood flow. Water aerobics is a good choice since the pressure of the water helps increase blood circulation.
  • Sleep with your legs slightly elevated by placing a pillow under your bottom sheet at the end of your bed.

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Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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