Your baby's hand coordination dramatically improves now and she constantly brings her hands up to her face, particularly her mouth. The face, and especially the lips, are extremely sensitive, and this heightened sensitivity provides strong positive feedback as your baby successfully coordinates smooth, purposeful movements between hand (and foot) and mouth. There is still plenty of room in the uterus for all sorts of movements and your baby is extremely flexible. It is quite easy for her to adopt a doubled-up position, with her feet up by her mouth or even on top of her head, and to do full somersaults.
Your baby's bones are hardening from the center out so their outer edges are still formed of soft cartilage.
A woman's weight gain during pregnancy influences her baby's birth weight, which in turn influences the future health of the baby. Birth weights that are too high or too low have been associated with an increased chance of health problems in the baby's future. Thus, pregnancy is a balancing act, in which women need to take in enough, but not too many, calories and gain the right amount of weight (see How much weight will you gain?).
Health experts are increasingly concerned about the fact that fetal over-nutrition is resulting in high birth weight. Being overweight, or putting on excessive amounts of weight during pregnancy, increases the chances of gestational diabetes in the mother , a cesarean delivery, complications during delivery, large newborns, and childhood obesity. If a child is obese, there's an increased risk of a lifetime of being overweight or obese, which increases the chances of diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and heart disease.
During pregnancy, your core body temperature rises due to the effects of the hormone progesterone, your increased weight, and the greater demands on your body. Exercise generates heat and raises your core temperature even further, which is why you're likely to feel extra hot when you exercise during pregnancy.
You'll also sweat more easily while you are pregnant. This is because pregnancy-related hormones cause dilation of blood vessels and thus blood flow to your skin (this explains the rosy "glow" some women get), allowing your body to lose heat through the skin more readily. This means that, although you get hotter while you're exercising, you'll cool down more quickly than usual. When you're exercising, always remember to:
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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