You are 23 Weeks and 5 Days 114 days to go…

Practicing yoga in pregnancy can be hugely beneficial, both physically and emotionally.

Your baby today

In this color 2D ultrasound scan the baby is lying face upward. it is now increasingly difficult to show the whole baby using this type of ultrasound because it only shows a thin slice at any one time. Here, only the upper part of the baby can be seen.

In addition to strengthening and toning muscles, yoga aims to bring about a greater awareness of your breathing. Learning to control your breathing is a great way to relax during pregnancy and an invaluable way to prepare to breathe through the contractions when you’re in labor.

Standing poses in yoga focus on achieving core stability, thereby strengthening the back and abdominal muscles. This is beneficial during pregnancy when the additional weight you’re carrying can affect your balance and cause unsteadiness. Calm sitting poses that concentrate on aligning your spine help you focus on steadying your breathing and centering yourself. If you feel unsteady doing yoga poses, you can simply lean against a wall.

Pilates is also a good exercise to do in pregnancy because it heightens your bodily awareness, giving you greater control of—and confidence in—your body. Pilates also incorporates Kegel exercises .

Whatever classes you’re doing, it’s important to find an accredited instructor who is experienced in teaching pregnant women. There are now many specialized pregnancy yoga and Pilates classes.

… Doctor
Q: Why are hemorrhoids common in pregnancy?
A: Hemorrhoids are, like varicose veins , dilated veins, but they occur around your anus. The weight of your baby pushes down on your back passage, restricting blood flow and causing the veins to dilate.

Hemorrhoids can be itchy and sore, and may cause a throbbing sensation. The discomfort can be relieved with cold packs and creams containing lubricants to help the passage of stools, and/or local anesthetics to relieve soreness. Hemorrhoids can bleed—you may notice bright red blood on the toilet paper after you pass a stool.

If you have hemorrhoids, it is important to try not to get constipated  since this means you have to strain and push to pass stools, which increases the pressure on the hemorrhoids and makes them worse. Ensure that you drink lots of water and eat sufficient fiber.

If your hemorrhoids are becoming very problematic and uncomfortable, seek your doctor’s advice.

Practicing prenatal yoga under expert supervision can be safe and may reduce the risk of complications.

A recent study found that pregnant women who practiced yoga had a reduced risk of developing pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and of going into premature labor.

Going to pregnancy yoga classes is a great way to exercise gently, while also meeting other pregnant women.

You are 23 Weeks and 6 Days 113 days to go…

Although the lungs are the last of your baby’s organs to be fully functional, they are undergoing rapid development now.

Your baby today

Your baby is now making regular deep breathing movements. These have been present for some weeks, but not in a sustained and coordinated fashion. These breathing movements are critical for the development and expansion of your baby’s lungs.

At this stage, your baby’s lungs are starting to mature, as the barrier between the bloodstream and what will become air-containing sacs gradually starts to thin. The thinner this barrier, the more easily oxygen and carbon dioxide will transfer into and out of the baby’s bloodstream.

The lungs remain filled with fluid during your pregnancy and when your baby practices breathing, the fluid moves out of her lungs into the amniotic fluid.

At 23 weeks, cells begin to line the smallest branches within the lung and start to produce surfactant, a substance that greatly assists lung function. This substance enables the smallest air sacs to remain open when the newborn baby breathes in and out so that gas transfer can continually take place. Without it, the tiny air sacs would collapse after each breath and it would take much more effort to move air in and out of the lungs. The cells that produce surfactant are not, however, fully functional yet.

… Doctor
Q: Is it true that playing music to my unborn baby will enhance her development?
A: Some research into this claim finds that playing music to an unborn baby will lead to a shorter labor and easier birth, and to the newborn baby crying less, being more relaxed, and, overall, being in better health. At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be any significant research to suggest that babies who listen to music in the uterus are more intelligent, or develop at a greater speed.

The jury is still out on these findings, but there is anecdotal evidence from pregnant women that their babies move to the rhythm of music. It makes sense that as you relax to gentle music or are invigorated by livelier music, your baby will respond in kind. Many moms say that music played frequently during pregnancy seems to be familiar to their newborns, and soothes them.

So whether your baby is simply experiencing the benefits of your happy state as you listen, or responding to the rhythm, playing music is a good idea.

There’s no harm in introducing music to your baby at this early stage. If the music helps you to relax, it will benefit you and your baby.

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