women

1. How Big Is Your Baby?

The crown-to-rump length of your growing baby is 5 to 5½ inches (12.5 to 14cm) by this week. Weight of the fetus is about 5¼ ounces (150g).

2. How Big Are You?

If you put your fingers sideways and measure, your uterus is about two finger-widths (1 inch) below your bellybutton. It’s the size of a cantaloupe or a little larger.

Total weight gain to this point should be 10 to 13 pounds (4.5 to 5.8kg), but this can vary. If you’ve gained more weight than this, talk to your healthcare provider. You may need to see a nutritionist. You still have more than half of your pregnancy ahead of you, and you’ll definitely gain more weight.

3. How Your Baby Is Growing and Developing

Baby continues to develop, but the rapid growth rate slows.

Ultrasound can detect some fetal problems. If one is suspected, further ultrasound exams may be ordered to follow baby’s development as pregnancy progresses.

Blood from your baby flows to the placenta through the umbilical cord. In the placenta, oxygen and nutrients are carried from your blood to the fetal blood. At birth, baby must go rapidly from depending on you for oxygen to depending on its own heart and lungs. The foramen ovale closes at birth, and blood goes to the right ventricle, the right atrium and the lungs for oxygenation. It is truly a miraculous conversion.

Image

By this week, baby is about
5 inches (12.5cm) from crown to rump.
It looks much more human now.

4. Changes in You

Does Your Back Ache?

Between 50 and 80% of all pregnant women have back and hip pain at some time. Pain usually occurs during the third trimester as your tummy grows larger. However, pain may begin early in pregnancy and last until well after delivery (up to 5 or 6 months).

It’s more common to have mild backache than severe problems. Some women have severe back pain after excessive exercise, walking, bending, lifting or standing. Some women need to be careful getting out of bed or getting up from a sitting position. In extreme cases, some women find it difficult to walk.

The hormone relaxin may be part of the problem. It’s responsible for relaxing joints that allow your pelvis to expand to deliver your baby. However, when joints relax, it can lead to pain in the lower back and legs. Other factors include your weight gain (another good reason to control your weight), larger breasts and your bigger tummy, which can cause a shift in posture.

Lumbar-spine pain (LSP) is an aching feeling that spreads throughout the center lower back. It often begins in the first or second trimester. If you’ve had lower-back pain before pregnancy, you may experience this discomfort during pregnancy. A prenatal yoga class may offer relief. Staying off your feet is also a good remedy.

A change in joint mobility may cause a change in your posture and may cause discomfort in the lower back, especially during the last part of pregnancy. The growth of the uterus moves your center of gravity forward, over your legs, which can affect the joints around the pelvis. All your joints are looser. Hormone increases are likely causes. Check with your healthcare provider if back pain is a problem for you.

Actions You Can Take to Relieve Back Pain. What can you do to prevent or lessen your pain? Try some or all of the following tips as early in pregnancy as possible. They’ll pay off later in pregnancy.

• Watch your weight gain; avoid gaining too much weight or gaining weight too fast.

• Stay active; continue exercising during pregnancy.

• Lie on your side when you sleep.

• Get off your feet and lie down for 30 minutes on your side.

• Practice good posture.

• If you have other children, take a nap when they take theirs.

• It’s OK to take acetaminophen for back pain.

• Use heat on the painful area.

• If pain becomes constant or more severe, talk to your healthcare provider about it.

When you have lower-back pain, use an ice pack for up to 30 minutes three or four times a day. If pain lasts, switch to a heating pad, sticking with the same regimen. Stretching gently may also help.

Prenatal massage may help relieve pain—ask your healthcare provider about it. He or she may be able to suggest some qualified massage therapists. Or he or she may suggest a lower-back brace or pregnancy support garment.

Exercise may help relieve back pain. Swimming, walking and nonimpact aerobics may be beneficial.

Discomfort may also indicate more serious problems. Bring up any concerns you have with your healthcare provider.

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