You are 24 Weeks and 4 Days 108 days to go…

A natural temperature-regulating mechanism within the uterus means your baby never gets cold.

Your baby today

This 3D scan shows the baby thumb sucking. The 3D technique uses several routine 2D images, linked together to give the 3D effect. In a 4D scan, a series of 3D images are shown in quick succession to give almost real-time movements: the 4th dimension is time.

The temperature inside the uterus is between a third and half a degree higher than yours. Because your body temperature is so closely controlled, your baby never becomes cold so never needs to shiver. He has started to lay down a special form of brown fat, particularly around the neck, chest, and back. After birth, metabolism of this fat produces both energy and heat. In the uterus, however, the baby cannot use this fat to raise his temperature. Some temperature control occurs as heat is lost from the baby’s skin into the amniotic fluid through the uterine wall and then into your body tissues. However, the regulation of temperature is predominantly achieved by means of the blood flow to the placenta. The large surface area of the placenta allows it to act as a heat exchange, keeping the temperature of the blood leaving the baby in the umbilical arteries constant with that of the oxygenated blood returning to the baby through the umbilical vein.

After birth, babies lose heat quickly. They are still unable to shiver and cannot maintain their temperature, cooling rapidly if they’re not wrapped up warmly or held skin-to-skin shortly after the birth.

Sensible snacking

In addition to eating three meals a day, you may find you need to snack throughout the day, too. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you’re choosing the right foods, and not reaching for the cookies and chips all the time. These tempting foods might satisfy a hunger pang, but the lack of nutrients and empty calories won’t serve you any real purpose. Healthy snacking can be accomplished with a bit of planning before you go shopping:

  • Dried fruits should be a mainstay of your snacking, since they can easily be stored and carried. Enjoy a wide variety of dried fruits, since the more variety you consume, the more likely you are to obtain the nutrients you need. Try dried apricots, raisins, cranberries, cherries, and peaches.

  • Lightly salted mixed nuts will satisfy any salt craving you may have in a healthy way.

  • Opt for pretzels, oatcakes, or crackers, rather than potato chips.

  • Fresh fruit is a convenient and nutrient-rich snack; always carry one or two pieces with you when you’re out and about, and make fruit salads that you can keep in the fridge. Keep frozen fruit on hand, and along with some vanilla yogurt, you can whip up a smoothie in no time at all.

  • Frozen yogurt and low-fat ice cream both make good snacks and desserts. Stock up on a variety of low-fat yogurt brands.

Always take a healthy snack with you when you leave the house.

You are 24 Weeks and 5 Days 107 days to go…

Some meals may be followed by an uncomfortable bout of indigestion, but you can take steps to prevent and relieve this.

Your baby today

Here the skin looks almost loose around the neck as the baby has turned his head slightly. This is normal at this stage: the lack of fat beneath the skin and the need to grow rapidly can make your baby appear as if he needs time to “grow into” his own skin.

While you may be enjoying your food, you could be paying the price with indigestion. The pregnancy hormone progesterone relaxes the muscles in the entire digestive tract. This slows digestion and the sphincters, or rings of muscles, at each end of the stomach become less effective. This can cause heartburn and indigestion as acidic juices from the stomach leak back into the esophagus. In addition, as your pregnancy progresses, your growing baby is squashing your stomach so that you have a smaller space to digest food.

To relieve indigestion, eat little and often, eat slowly, don’t eat late at night, and cut down on fatty or spicy foods. Make sure to talk to your doctor about any natural remedies, including peppermint teaπ. Rather than lie flat, prop yourself up with pillows. Check with your pharmacist before taking over-the-counter medicine.

Natural remedies might seem harmless, but taking any herbal preparation, even peppermint tea, should be discussed with your doctor.

Think about gas
Q: I seem to be gassier than usual lately. Is the pregnancy to blame?
A: Yes, pregnancy slows down your digestive tract, which can lead to unpleasant burping, bloating, passing gas, and an uncomfortable feeling in the stomach. Symptoms can be worse after you eat a large meal. To minimize problems:
  • Steer clear of foods that make you gassy. For many women, this may include cabbage, beans, and other foods rich in fiber. Some women have trouble with large amounts of dairy products.

  • Eat smaller meals more frequently rather than a couple of large meals.

  • Avoid swallowing air. This means you shouldn’t hurry when you eat, you should chew every mouthful thoroughly, and you should avoid drinking through straws. Also, skip carbonated beverages and chewing gum.

  • Reduce your intake of fatty, fried foods which can contribute to bloating and discomfort.

  • Don’t take any OTC indigestion remedies without first checking with your doctor.

… Dads
Arranging paternity leave

Although it’s much less common than paid maternity leave, you may be entitled to paternity leave and pay . Speak to your human resources department now to find out your rights and whether your company offers additional perks. To maximize the time you can take off once the baby is born, figure out how much vacation you have left and consider saving up days. You may also qualify for FMLA leave, but this is unpaid.

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