You are 25 Weeks and 3 Days 102 days to go…
Going to prenatal classes together is a good way for your partner to stay closely involved with your pregnancy.
This baby has her hands held up in front of her face. In the top
right-hand corner, the curved inner lining of the uterus can be seen.
Shadows in the image give the impression of hair but ultrasound is not
detailed enough to show hair—even if there was any to see at this stage.
Your baby today
Not all dads-to-be
are eager to go to prenatal classes. They might not feel the classes
apply to them, and may fear that they will be asked to do exercises that
they find embarrassing.
If your partner is
reluctant, discuss it with him, pointing out what the classes are for
and why you feel that you need his support. You could explain that you
want him to be informed about labor so that he is not anxious in the
delivery room. He might find it useful to talk to male friends who went
to classes when they were expectant dads.
Classes may include
some sessions with men and women together and others where the women go
on their own, for example to practice breathing techniques, while the
men have a separate session where they can share any concerns. If time
off work is an issue for your partner, ask for a list of what topics
will be covered each week and pick those sessions that you think are the
most relevant for him. If your partner is well informed, he’ll feel
more involved in the pregnancy and more confident in helping you during
labor and birth.
What you learn at prenatal classes
may bring you closer. Try to stay in touch with each other at home,
spending time relaxing together and feeling your baby moving.
Thanks to the Family
and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), most companies must give employees (men
and women) up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave after your baby is
born. The rules: If your company has fewer than 50 employees, they don’t
have to offer FMLA. Also, you must have worked for the company for at
least one year. It’s a good idea to ask your human resources department
about your company’s policy about leave and have your partner do the
Anticipating changes in your relationship
It might seem obvious,
but once your baby is born your relationship won’t just be about you
and your partner any more. Suddenly there is a tiny new person around,
who wakes during the night and who has her own needs. By necessity,
after your baby is born you and your partner will pay less attention to
each other. There may also be less physical intimacy between the two of
you, not least because you both will be very tired.
It’s best to talk
about, and acknowledge, these issues before the birth. This way, you and
your partner will better accept that these factors are a normal part of
making the life change from coupledom to being a family.
You are 25 Weeks and 4 Days 101 days to go…
All the nerve cells are now on the surface of your baby’s brain; what they need to do next is make connections with each other.
This 3D image shows the back of the baby, taken using a scanner
setting that enhances the reflections from the skeleton. The back of the
spine, ribs, and shoulder blades are clear: this technique has opened
up many new possibilities for visualizing your baby’s development.
Your baby today
Your baby’s brain
is so complex that it needs the entire length of your pregnancy not
only to grow, but also to mature. It is continually forming new
connections and sensory pathways.
The nerves that make up
the brain’s gray matter started in the center of the brain on the outer
surface of the lateral ventricles (there is one ventricle in each
hemisphere of the brain). The lateral ventricles contain the part of the
brain known as the choroid plexus, a loose, seaweedlike structure that
produces the fluid that bathes your baby’s brain and spinal cord.
Constantly circulating around the brain, this fluid protects and buffers
the brain from the harder structure of the bones of the surrounding
wavelike, outward movement of nerve cells in the gray matter, which
started more than 12 weeks ago, is now complete. Coming to rest close to
the brain’s surface, these cells need to mature, branching out to make
multiple connections, or “synapses,” with other nerve cells.
The surface of your
baby’s brain is very smooth at this stage but as the cortex matures,
beginning to form six clear layers, it takes on its familiar wrinkled
… Your belly
Your belly: to show or not to show?
Whether you want to clothe your belly
in figure-hugging fabrics and proudly show it off, or choose looser
styles that may fit you longer and obscure just how pregnant you are, is
a personal choice.
If you’re fine showing your belly,
you may feel comfortable in stretchy fabrics that can expand as your
belly does. The downside to wearing tight clothing is that your skin may
be sensitive to anything snug-fitting. Tight tops will also bring
attention to your breasts.
If you feel more comfortable
not showing the profile of your belly, choose baggier clothes, such as
tunics, smocks, and overshirts. These may be more comfortable and will
cloak your belly longer.
If you want to bare your belly, do so when the weather is warm enough. One advantage is you may find you can wear some pre-pregnancy tops.
I’m getting quite big—should I adapt my swimming style?
You may find that in these final couple of months, you need to
change your swimming style to one that is more comfortable; many women
opt for breaststroke, which can also help to get the baby in to an
optimum position .
If you don’t feel
up to swimming laps, just relax in the pool instead. Being in the water
will relieve pressure on your abdomen and help to ease lower back pain.