At this stage, the fetus's forearms, wrists, hands, and fingers are all well differentiated. The eyes, which are visible as dark areas behind the sealed eyelids, have migrated inward from the sides of the head,.
You may not feel as though you are pregnant at the moment. The beginning of the second trimester is an interesting transition period: you know you're expecting a baby-you've seen the ultrasound scan-but you may not look or feel that pregnant, and you won't feel the baby move for several weeks yet (see You are 19 Weeks and 3 Days).
The physical reminders that were common in the first trimester-such as nausea and fatigue-may have greatly lessened or passed entirely.
Many women say they feel completely ordinary and find this strange because they think that they "should" be feeling something. Try to enjoy this time and keep looking at that scan picture if you need a reminder that your baby is there. You may long to feel normal once you hit the third trimester and some of that fatigue returns.
Make the effort to set aside time for you and your partner to be alone together while she's pregnant. Whether it's an evening out once a week, or that weekend away you've been promising yourselves for ages, do it now! Remember, the second trimester is also a good time to go on vacation.
It's common for there to be fundamental changes to a relationship when a baby arrives; some new fathers feel a bit pushed out, especially in the early weeks. By spending time together now, you will build a greater bond for when the baby is born and feel satisfied that you enjoyed lots of pleasurable time together during the pregnancy.
It's a fact that what you eat could make your baby's brain and nervous system work better. Recent studies suggest that women who eat a diet enriched in omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and breast-feeding may enhance their baby's language development, IQ, and cognitive development. These essential fatty acids may also decrease allergies in children of mothers who eat them during pregnancy and breast-feeding, and decrease postpartum depression although more research is needed.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish. In fact, only seafood contains two essential omega-3 fatty acids; essential because the body can't manufacture them. Although fish is a main source of omega 3, you need to ensure you don't consume varieties that are high in mercury (see Know your fish). Salmon and anchovies are two oily fish that are low in mercury yet rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Wild salmon is a particularly rich, and delicious, source of these healthy fatty acids.
Other nonseafood sources of omega-3 fatty acids are canola oil, walnuts, flaxseed, and omega-3 enriched eggs. These sources contain only one essential omega-3 fatty acid, but it is still worth eating them. Note that flaxseed, which is also a great source of fiber, must be ground for the body to absorb it. Sprinkle it on cereal or yogurt.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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