40 Weeks to Becoming a Mom – Part 3

Part 3 in the blog series to let you know what is happening to your body during pregnancy

#5 Small Talk 2019

40 weeks of pregnancy

Okay, you
have now reached week 21 of your pregnancy! Let’s see what your body has in
store for you during the next 10 weeks.

Week 21

  • Colostrum
    may begin to leak from your breasts but don’t worry, it shouldn’t be
    enough  to make a pad necessary!
  • At
    this stage you should talk, sing and play a range of music to your baby as he
    or she is very sensitive to sound from this week.
  • If
    you should get varicose veins make sure that you rest with your feet up to
    encourage the blood flow back to your heart.

Week 22

You may
start to get leg cramps at this stage. Usually this will respond to a daily
supplement of magnesium and calcium. This second trimester of pregnancy is
usually a hassle free and happy time. Unless told not to by your doctor, it is
perfectly safe to have sex with your partner. It also feels good to be cuddled
and shown love!

Week 23

Carry on
with whatever exercise program you have chosen as this will help strengthen
your body and mind for the labour and birth. If your partner is willing,
encourage him to massage you for relaxation. If stretch marks appear on your
abdomen and legs, perhaps you could kill 
2 birds with one stone by getting your partner to massage those areas
with a bio-oil!

Week 24

Your blood
pressure may drop a little during this 2nd trimester. Your doctor
will be monitoring this, so no need to worry unless he worries! Take this
hassle free time to read up all you can on breastfeeding or formula feeding so
that you can make an informed choice. You will be hearing lots of stories as
your pregnancy starts to show – focus on the positive stories and try not to
panic unnecessarily when you hear negative ones.

Week 25

Your
metabolic rate actually increases by about 18% during your pregnancy! Placing a
pillow between your legs and under your tummy may make you more comfortable
when sleeping on your side. One of the hormonal effects may be very vivid
dreams which can become quite bizarre. Share them with your partner and have a
good laugh over them! These too, will pass when your baby is born!

Week 26

  • You
    may start to experience nosebleeds due to the nasal congestion and also your
    increased blood volume. If you do, sit leaning forward whilst pinching the
    bridge of your nose to slow the blood flow. Ice on the back of the neck may
    also help stop the flow. Unless your bleed is very heavy and lasts more than 20
    minutes, there is nothing to worry about, just another one of those normal
    things caused by hormones, increased blood volume and vascular changes!
  • If
    you have older children, this may be a good time to prepare them for the next
    baby. They will find it awesome feeling the baby’s movements when they put
    their hands gently on your tummy. Baby’s heartbeat can also be easy to hear if
    they place their ear on your tummy. By taking them along to the antenatal
    checkups you will make them feel part of the event, too.

Week 27

  • Continue
    singing, talking and playing all sorts of music to your baby…he or she may even
    react by kicking or moving their arm or going very quiet and still if calmed by
    the music!
  • Extra
    oxygen is sent to the baby with every Braxton Hicks contraction. These
    contractions also prepare the muscles of the uterus for labour by stretching
    and toning them. You may feel these contractions every 20 minutes or so, but
    many women aren’t even aware of them.
  • Your
    hair may become thicker and increase in volume during pregnancy, but will
    return to normal after the birth of your baby and will be back to its usual
    thickness and volume by the time your little one is 6-12 months old.

Week 28

You and your
partner will probably start attending those antenatal classes around this week.
It is important for the future dad to attend these classes as it will prepare
him for what to expect in the coming weeks. New friends can also be made at
these classes with the added advantage that they will be having a baby at
around the same time as yourselves!

Week 29

  • Each
    week you will be gaining a little more weight as your baby grows. Eat frequent
    small meals to keep your energy levels up and also lessen any heartburn and
    reflux. Drink lots of water and remember to eat lots of fruit and veggies.
  • When
    you laugh, cough or sneeze you may find some leakage of urine occurs – this is
    known as stress incontinence and once again we can blame pregnancy hormones for
    this! Your pelvic muscles and ligaments are softened by the hormones and at the
    same time your baby is growing bigger and puts pressure on your bladder. Find
    out about the Kegel exercises and do them religiously as they will strengthen
    your pelvic floor muscles and help with stress incontinence.

Week 30

  • Your
    uterus has really grown by now and can be felt close to your liver.
  • This
    is a good time to make a list of the items you will need to take with you when
    you go into labour and for after the birth and those chaotic early days of
    feeding and baby care.

Conclusion

Now you know
what to expect between week 21 and 30. Mostly it is a happy time with very few
problems and you can relax and revel in the knowledge that soon you will be a
mom!

Keep well, keep
happy and eat lots of fruit and veggies. I’ll be back next week when we will
see what happens to your body in those last 10 weeks before you go into labour.

Yours in
lifestyle newborn photography

Lydia

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