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Baby’s learning how to breathe, but where did your ankles go??? Plus, the truth about mom-nesia (the struggle is real).
Crown to foot, your Baby Natural is about 13 inches long, and weighs in at 1.5 pounds. Yass!
This week is all about breathing. Baby's lungs are growing stronger by the day, as new blood vessels form that will eventually help baby breathe deeply. His lungs have entered the saccular phase and have started producing a soap-like substance called surfactant, which helps drain the amniotic fluid and replace with air once baby takes those first unassisted breaths outside the womb. (Babies aren't able to breathe unassisted till at least 28 weeks, but many babies do survive at 25 weeks with neonatal care. ??)
Baby's alveolar ducts and air sacs are beginning to develop, too. And he's starting to breathe now through his cute little nostrils... aww! In other words, baby's slowly getting the hang of this breathing thing we do outside the womb. ?
As your belly swells with new life, you may be noticing some other swelling in your body, namely your ankles. Or perhaps they're better called "cankles" at this point, because now your calf goes straight down to your foot without tapering. ?
This pregnancy swelling, usually referred to as edema, is an excess of watery fluid building up in the body, and it can cause bloating in your hands, feet, and ankles. It’s common during this phase of pregnancy, so don’t be surprised if your rings are fitting a little snugly—or not at all. One of my dear friends bought a special “pregnancy” wedding ring to sport during the third trimester.
I had swelling during the final months of my first pregnancy. Going for a walk first thing in the morning seemed to help the swelling by circulating my lymph and circulatory systems. Also, I made sure to kick up my heels at night.
With my second pregnancy, I increased my protein intake per the Brewer’s Diet’s recommendations (to around 90–100 grams per day), and I had NO SWELLING AT ALL. Magic!
Dr. Brewer was a big advocate of ample protein and healthy salt intake to ward off things like swelling, high blood pressure, and toxemia during pregnancy. His recommendations definitely worked for me!
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Baby brain: It’s real, mama.
If you’re asking your husband where your sunglasses are when they’re on top of your head, or if you're frantically getting ready for work on a Sunday, know that what you’re experiencing is perfectly normal. In fact, there are actual studies that prove how pregnancy changes your brain!
Author Anne Lamott wrote that each baby comes out clutching a third of its mother’s brain. And in my experience, that's just about right!
But momnesia isn't all bad. In fact, there may be a biological advantage to baby brain. Click here to see 5 crazy ways pregnancy changes your brain.
And take heart that you’ll regain most if not all of your mental powers—in about 6 years or so. :)