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Your 40-week Journey : What's Happening to My Body? How your body changes (part 2)

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Looking good Making the most of the pregnancy “bloom”

Whether you are ecstatic about your body shape, or feeling like a beached whale, spending time pampering yourself will help you enjoy the new you.

  • Your hair may feel thicker and glossier or become more unmanageable. Treat yourself to a new haircut to make the most of your pregnancy hair.

  • Make an appointment for a massage to relax. Find a therapist experienced in working with pregnant women.

  • If you're feeling low about your size, splurge on some new maternity clothes, nowadays available in fabulous styles.

Safe sleep positions in the third trimester

It can be hard to find sleep positions that are comfortable during the third trimester, and by this stage in your pregnancy, you may have found that no position is comfortable to maintain for an entire night. Most women find the best position is lying on their side with their upper leg bent with pillows supporting the knee, which makes room for their abdomen. As well as accommodating your growing bump, this position also takes the weight off your back and doesn't restrict your circulation. You could place a pillow under your belly for additional support.

Getting comfortable:

Achieving a decent night's sleep at the end of pregnancy can be challenging as your belly limits your options. Lying on one side with supporting pillows is often most comfortable.

Maternity bras

Breast changes are one of the first signs of pregnancy, as from around 3–4 weeks' gestation there is an increased blood flow, which increases tenderness. Some women notice a change in breast size early in pregnancy, while others may not notice any change until they breast-feed. Nevertheless, it's a good idea to get advice from a store that stocks maternity bras with staff trained to measure and advise on what size you need. If your current bra fits well, wait until later in pregnancy to get measured when changes in cup size are more likely. In the early days of feeding, you may experience some engorgement of your breasts, but don't panic and send your partner out for a bigger size since this settles down in a few days.

Choosing a supportive bra

Wearing a properly fitted bra will increase your comfort and offer adequate support to your enlarged breasts during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

NOTE

Stay positive by looking beyond the stretch marks and thinking about how incredible it is that you are carrying a tiny baby

NOTE

Even if you look and feel fabulous on the outside, it's important not to forget to keep looking after yourself on the inside too

NOTE

Although your body is steadily preparing for the labor and birth, try to enjoy the moment and not focus on the labor ahead

Weight gain in pregnancy Monitoring your weight

The recommended weight gain in pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy weight. If your BMI was less than 19.8 you should aim for a gain of between 28–40 lb (12.5–18 kg); between 19.8 and 26 you should aim for 25–35 lb (11.5–16 kg); above 26 you should aim for 15–25 lb (7–11 kg).

Q: What if I gain too much or too little?
A: There is a link between not putting on enough weight in pregnancy and low birth weight babies. If you gain too much weight, you are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, backaches, varicose veins, fatigue, shortness of breath, and to have a large baby.
Q: How do I maintain a healthy weight?
A: Get moderate exercise, eat healthily, and consider talking about it with a registered dietitian. You need only 200–300 calories more per day, so “eating for two” is not a healthy option.
Q: Where does the weight go?
A: It is distributed between your baby and you. About 13 lb (6 kg) is the baby, placenta, and water around the baby. The rest is the fat deposits, extra blood, and fluid that you need. Additional weight is made up of fat.
Weight gain over 40 weeks:

Weight gain is slow in the first trimester, then rises to around 11/2–2 lb (0.7–1 kg) a week, increasing in the final weeks.

Your changing shape

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