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Your baby's nervous system and muscular coordination are now much more developed. He has a grasping reflex-when his palm is touched his fingers will close-and he is able to suck his thumb purposefully, rather than through random movements.

When clumsiness strikes, something as simple as walking in a straight line may prove difficult!

If you find that you're often bumping into things and tripping over, it sounds as though you've been hit by clumsiness, a common side effect of being pregnant.

Clumsiness in pregnancy has physical causes: the hormone relaxin causes your joints to loosen, your center of gravity changes as your abdomen expands, and your extra weight shifts you off balance. There are, however, also emotional reasons: if you're preoccupied by being pregnant, your concentration is bound to slip now and then, making you less likely to notice potential hazards in your path.

The good news is that your usual grace will return once you're no longer pregnant, but until that time it's important to avoid situations that might put you at risk of injury. So wear flat shoes rather than heels, avoid wet or slippery surfaces, and be careful on steep staircases. Tape down the edges of loose rugs, and keep the stairs and hallways clear of things that might trip you up. Be particularly careful when you're lifting something because it's very easy to lose your balance if you're leaning forward. Be careful also, getting into and out of the bath or shower, since these are notorious hotspots for pregnancy-related injuries.

It's worth noting that normal clumsiness in pregnancy is not accompanied by visual disturbances, headaches, or dizziness, so if you have any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor.

Time To Think About

Preparing your home

If your partner's nesting instinct has kicked in, make the most of it by figuring out what needs to be done around your home.

  • Decorate the room your baby will eventually sleep in once you move him out of your bedroom.
  • Take the opportunity to have a look around and take any unwanted clutter to the dump or charity shop.
  • Make storage space by putting up some extra shelves and cupboards where you can. Figure out where you'll store large items, such as the carriage.

pregnant couple painting nursery

Let your partner do the majority of the decorating and don't attempt to climb a step ladder yourself. Be aware of which paints are safe to use during pregnancy.

excerpted from:

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Buy this book now!

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