Your baby todayYour baby has highly flexible joints, enabling her to raise her arms high. This is because her bones are first made of cartilage, which is soft and flexible. Gradually, the cartilage is being replaced by calcium-containing bone.
You'll be getting advice from all quarters, but there's one person you might want to listen to-your mother.
Whether or not you're already close to your mother, being pregnant is likely to affect your relationship with each other. Many women feel naturally closer to their mothers as they go through this significant life event, turning to them for help and reassurance during the course of pregnancy and wanting them to be there in the days and weeks following the birth of the baby.
It's normal for a mother to respond to her daughter being pregnant by being very protective, so expect a few more phone calls than usual. Your mother is bound to offer lots of advice. Whether or not you take it all in, listen-you may just find some of it useful.
Focus On... Your body
Taking the strain
There are a number of changes in your body during pregnancy that impact how you can exercise and how your body moves:
- The increased weight of your baby, placenta, extra blood, enlarged uterus, and breast tissue can cause stress on your body, and most notably on your skeleton.
- Postural changes due to changes in the center of gravity can increase your chances of developing hip, back, and knee problems.
- Relaxin (see Stretching safely), a pregnancy-related hormone that affects the ligaments, can increase flexibility and result in improper alignment of the spine and pelvis.
Effective and safe exercises are the most efficient way of maintaining and improving your posture and minimizing the stress on your body.
Regular exercise (especially weight bearing exercise such as walking, and using weights-see A Safe Workout) generally improves the bone density of your skeleton.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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