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Second Trimester 1stTrimester     3rd Trimester

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24 WEEKS EXACTLY

112 days to go...

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Your baby today

As your pregnancy advances your baby's skeleton starts to harden, reflecting more of the ultrasound beam and casting black shadows. In this scan, the forehead casts a shadow, and it is no longer allowing the brain beneath to be easily seen.

Even though you're well settled into your pregnancy, ensure you maintain all those healthy lifestyle habits you've established.

You've been pregnant for almost six months and are, hopefully, feeling great in yourself. Don't, however, let this make you complacent. Even though your baby is well developed by this stage, it's important to maximize her health, and your own, by continuing to eat well and taking care of yourself. Changes, such as not smoking or drinking alcohol, will probably be part of your normal lifestyle now as opposed to something that you have to think about and work hard at. If you have not managed to change your lifestyle to become more healthy, then it is never too late to start. Any changes you make now will benefit both you and your baby.

While you'll need to adapt your exercise routine, if you have one, in these later stages, ensure you continue to be active and, ideally, do something physical every day, even if it's just a 20-minute stroll. Also keep up your daily Kegel exercises (see Try these simple steps to tone your pelvic floor:)-once the baby is born, you'll be thankful you did.

How to wear a seat belt

It may feel cumbersome to wear a seat belt while you're pregnant, but it is essential, and a legal requirement. The good news is it's possible to buckle up comfortably.

  • Fasten the belt over your shoulder, as normal, and between your breasts.
  • Position the lower part of the belt below your belly, and flat over your hips.
If an emergency stop is necessary, be reassured that your baby is very safely cushioned by the amniotic fluid that surrounds her and your strong uterine muscles.

For maximum safety and comfort, wear the seat belt positioned between your breasts and under your belly.

Focus On... Dads

Hello, it's Daddy

Don't be afraid to talk to your baby. To begin with, she will recognize lower-pitched sounds, such as deep male voices, more than higher-pitched sounds, like your partner's voice. This is good for you since it means that there is plenty of time for your baby to get to know your voice before she is born. After birth, your baby will recognize your voice and this will have a calming effect when she is distressed. So tell her about your day and even read to her-it helps create a bond.

As A Matter Of Fact

A correctly worn seat belt reduces the risk of injury to the unborn baby by 70 percent.

In recent research, over half of pregnant women did not wear their seat belt correctly, positioning it too high across the abdomen and putting the torso strap behind them rather than over the shoulder.

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