Slowly and steadily, your baby is getting bigger, topping 12 ounces this week and growing to 11 inches from crown to rump. She won’t be able to flash a toothy grin until months after birth, but growth is under way now to prepare for that camera-worthy day. Her first canines and molars are developing from hard tissue below the gum line. She has eyes now, although the irises have no pigment. Of the five senses, touch is the first one to develop in the womb; your baby makes sense of her world by feeling her way around and registering the sensations as she rolls, kicks, and stretches. And now that she has a full set of neurons, she can process everything she’s discovering around her.
Can’t seem to satisfy your sweet tooth? Sugary treats and chocolate rank high on a list of things expectant women crave, as well as citrus fruits and juices. But aversions are just as common during pregnancy; those spicy spring rolls you once loved to eat or the pungent perfume you used to wear may turn your stomach now.
Do’s and Don’ts
Don’t toss and turn when you can’t sleep at night. If sleep eludes you due to restlessness or discomfort, toss aside the covers and find something boring to do. Experts say it’s better to park yourself in a dimly lit room and watch TV or find a tedious task. You’ll be nodding off before too long.
Call your doctor or midwife if you notice any bleeding, severe headaches, sudden swelling in your hands and face, or constant abdominal pain, or if you’re persistently vomiting, have diarrhea, or a high fever for more than 24 hours. Any one of these symptoms could signal a potentially serious problem. If you’re not sure what’s happening, check in just to be safe.
Mom to Mom
Assemble the crib in the baby’s room. “The dad-to-be who gave us this advice spent an hour putting the crib together downstairs. When he was all done, he was very proud of himself–until he realized that he couldn’t get the crib through the door into the baby’s room. He had to take it apart and put it together again!”–Bridee Schrier, Mission Viejo, CA
Still haven’t found a way to tell your firstborn about the baby? Get help from Sesame Street’s Baby Bear, who has just become a big brother. To jump-start the conversation, snuggle up with your child and watch “Three Bears and a New Baby,” a special episode from the series.
Time to retire from the stair-steppers and climbers and opt for some low-impact exercise. Water aerobics and swimming make you feel virtually weightless and free your legs and feet from their constant weight-bearing role.
Now that you’re about to become a mother and are beginning to understand what the job entails, your relationship with your own mom is bound to change. Savor this moment with her by inviting her to join you on your next doctor’s appointment.
Accustom your toddler to the idea of a new baby by pointing out babies in the park and in books and simply stating (when the time is near), “We’re going to have one, too.” You could even get him or her a baby doll and show how important it is to be gentle to the doll.
Interview lactation consultants who can help you navigate the tricky job of nursing two babies. Check that the consultants have lots of experience with twins and that they’re open-minded about bottle-feeding. You may have to combine both methods to be able to feed your babies.