Your baby today
This baby's back is turned and she's facing away from the ultrasound scanner. The skin is much less transparent than before since your baby is constantly laying down fat reserves beneath it. This fat accounts, in part, for much of your baby's weight gain from now on.
Your baby is growing eyebrows and eyelashes-and hair on her head-and making good use of all the space in your uterus.
Your baby's eyes are now open, and both the eyebrows and the eyelashes have grown. The hair on your baby's head continues to get longer.
It's quite likely that your baby is making use of all the space available and may well be in a breech position (bottom down), at least some of the time. This is the case in a third of pregnancies at this stage but your baby's position is unlikely to stabilize until after 36 or 37 weeks. Because the shape of your uterus naturally favors a head-down position, only 3 to 4 percent of babies remain in the breech position after 37 weeks. It may be quite difficult for you (and your doctor) to tell the position of your baby at this stage. For example, just because the feet kick you in one particular place doesn't tell you much about your baby's position. She is very flexible and an ultrasound might show that she is doubled up with her feet on her head.
Focus On... Your health
Pelvic girdle pain
You know you've got pelvic girdle pain-or PGP-when sneezing hurts, you're waddling like an old woman, and turning over in bed is a major task (see Pelvic girdle pain (PGP)). Formerly known as SPD, or symphysis pubis dysfunction, PGP affects one in five pregnant women. It's caused by hormonal changes that change the way the pelvic joint functions and it can be extremely painful. Try the following if you have PGP:
- Keep your legs together when getting in and out of bed or the car (place a plastic bag on the seat to help you swivel).
- Sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Avoid doing tasks that hurt, such as housework or pushing a supermarket cart.
- Relax in warm water.
- Ask your doctor for a support belt to help ease the pain.
- Get some therapy: studies show that physical therapy and acupuncture may help symphysis pubis dysfunction.
Some time between 26 and 30 weeks your blood will be tested to check that you aren't anemic. If you are found to be anemic your doctor may prescribe iron pills for you. Because of an increase in the fluid content of your blood, your hemoglobin count is likely to fall later on in your pregnancy, so it's a good idea to address this issue now. Iron pills can cause digestive problems, such as constipation or diarrhea, so if this happens to you, ask your doctor if your prescription can be changed. The liquid medications available over the counter are kinder on the digestive system than pills, so ask your doctor if one of these is appropriate for you. If a previous blood test has shown that you're Rh negative, you'll receive an injection of Rh immunoglobulin (RhIg) at around 28-34 weeks. You'll get another shot after the baby is born.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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