Your Pregnancy: Week 30
Now is about the time you'll start your childbirth classes. You might be thinking of skipping them (as in, "What I don't know can't hurt me"), but we're here to tell you that what you don't know will hurt anyway ... so you might as well go. Going to Baby University is not unlike cramming for a very important test. And since this particular test is often a "pop quiz," it pays to be prepared early.
Wondering what's up with your body, your baby and your life this week? Read on ...
What You're Thinking:
"Wait a minute. The size of what
is going to come out something that's the size of what?!
Are you kidding me?"
As much as you're enjoying gaining weight like a sumo wrestler and being swollen from head to toe (We jest, we jest!), there are reasons to pay close attention to both your weight gain and any swelling you're experiencing. Preeclampsia
, or toxemia, is a serious, potentially fatal condition that occurs in a small percentage of pregnancies. It's extremely important that pregnant women recognize the signs and contact their health-care provider immediately if one or more of the symptoms are present.
While preeclampsia is potentially very dangerous, when properly treated it can be managed. Watch your body carefully for signs of preeclampsia, which can include extreme swelling, headaches and/or sudden weight gain. At your appointments, your doctor will keep an eye on your blood pressure, which can also be a tip-off. While it's worth it to pay close attention to your symptoms, you probably shouldn't lose sleep worrying about preeclampsia. Just focus on taking good care of yourself and your baby.
Another mortifying but significantly less serious side effect of pregnancy is the sudden budding of hemorrhoids on your tush. Don't be embarrassed. Swollen blood vessels "down there" are common during pregnancy. If they're itchy or painful, try soaking in a sitz bath or soothe yourself with witch hazel pads (you'll want to load up on those for after baby is born as well). Talk to your doc before using any medication.
Big news for baby's brain this week: It's starting to wrinkle and fold and looks like something that grew in the back of your fridge. This is due to the rapid growth of your little genius's brain cells. Other highlights this week:
Fingernails and toenails are finally finished—causing his or her parents great fear and anguish the first time they try to cut those little daggers (it gets easier, we promise)! Plus, the bone marrow is completely in charge of red-blood-cell production now. Trust us, this is a good thing.
Baby is starting to shed his lanugo—the downy hair that was covering his skin. Now that he's chubbier and better able to regulate his body temp, he doesn't need to sport a fur coat 24/7.
"I spy an umbilical cord and the inside of my mom's uterus!" When your baby is awake, his eyes are now wide open and he's whittling away the hours looking around, checking out his rather dark, limited environs.
Your baby hasn't gained much weight or height this week, as most of his energy's been channeled to the brain. He weighs about 3 pounds and is approximately 15.5 inches long, about the size of London, not the city, Britney Spears' Yorkie terrier. Of course your baby is less hairy and way cuter!
If you plan on heading back to work after you come out of the haze of giving birth (or even if you haven't come out of the haze), now's the time to research your different child-care
options: day-care centers, home providers or nannies.
It may seem crazy to think about this now, but some highly desirable day-care centers may have waiting lists and it could take several weeks to find the right nanny.
Check out what your employer may offer: some (generous) companies have on-site day care for employees and it may even be subsidized, so you don't have to pay full price. Also, some companies offer flex-spending accounts so you can pay for child care with your pretax dollars.
This is a tough decision for many families as you weigh financial and professional realities against your family's personal needs.
All these decisions are heavy duty and what works for one mom may not work for another. Because all major decisions in life are better made over food, why not share a mega hot-fudge sundae with your partner to discuss? Extra whipped cream will probably help you make a more informed decision.
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