You are 28 Weeks and 5 Days 79 days to go…

Breast-feeding may be natural but it can be tricky to get started, so try to go to a class or two now while you have the time.

Your baby today

Although many babies look similar on 3D ultrasound, particularly strong features, such as those affecting the shape of the ears, lips, or nose, are easy to see. From now on these features will become more and more individualized and recognizable.

There is a lot of pressure on women to breast-feed: breast-feeding has health benefits for both you and your baby and it helps with bonding. People may already be asking you whether you intend to breast-feed or not, and it’s reasonable that you don’t yet know the answer. After all, you haven’t tried!

Most women want to try breast-feeding, but some feel uncomfortable with the thought of doing it, especially in public. There will likely be a lactation consultant in the hospital or you may be able to hire one. In some areas you can go to classes during pregnancy, which will explain the benefits of breast-feeding and aspects such as positioning the baby so that you’re both comfortable and the baby is latched on .

The expectation of breast-feeding is that, because it’s natural, it’s easy. The reality is that until you get the hang of it, it can be a little more difficult. Ask your delivery nurse to show you how to position the baby. Most importantly, keep an open mind and try it. Once breast-feeding is established, it’s beneficial to your baby’s health, great for your figure, and a wonderful way to be close to your baby.

Talk to pregnant friends about breast-feeding now, and you can support each other once you start feeding your babies. Also get your partner involved research shows that partners who are aware of the benefits of breast-feeing are more likely to be supportive.

On leakages

Some pregnant women experience some leakage of breast milk, perhaps when their breasts are massaged or sexually stimulated, and sometimes for no apparent reason. Some discharge in pregnancy does mean that things are working properly, but women who don’t experience this symptom are perfectly able to produce and provide milk for their baby.

… Nutrition
Cultured foods

Probiotics—such as some yogurts, miso (a Japanese paste, often used in soups), and some juices and soy products—contain enzymes and bacteria that help your body digest food, and build up friendly bacteria in the intestines. If your digestion is sluggish and you’re finding constipation a problem, ask your doctor about whether eating more probiotic foods could help.

You are 28 Weeks and 6 Days 78 days to go…

Back pain is not an inevitable part of being pregnant: there are lots of things you can do to help prevent and relieve it.

Your baby today

Your baby’s external appearance is fully formed but inside there is still a great deal of activity as many of the organs are continuing to mature. Even after pregnancy further development occurs, especially of the brain and lungs.

Yoga and other stretching exercises are great during pregnancy, since they strengthen key ligaments while relaxing areas that are tight and painful. Although it may seem easier to rest when you experience pain (especially back pain), and to avoid exercise, gentle stretching and movement often decreases muscle spasm and improves the function of the spine, resulting in less pain. Exercise also boosts energy levels and contributes to an easier labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery. Try stretching and relaxation techniques as a first resort for back pain.

If the pain is severe, ask your partner to massage the area. Ask your doctor if you can safely take any painkillers or if acupuncture might help ease your pain. If the area feels inflamed and painful, try placing a cold pack on the affected area for 5–10 minutes, several times a day.

… Mom
Q: I’m bored of being pregnant! How will I get through the next couple of months?
A: I felt the same at about six months but found the last three months went quite fast just because more was happening. Along with more prenatal visits and classes, there was planning when to start maternity leave, then finishing work, then getting the nursery ready, and buying things for the baby. And I made an effort to see all my girlfriends—it all made the time pass quickly.
… Your body
Minimizing strain on your back

Your growing belly shifts your center of gravity to the front of your body. As the baby strains your abdominal muscles, and pregnancy hormones soften your ligaments, your abdominals give less support to your spine, which can result in back pain. Lifting and bending can exacerbate back pain, so try these strategies to help avoid added strain.

Always bend your knees to lift any weight—to prevent putting strain on your back.

  • To lift something from the floor, stand close to the object with one foot in front of the other. Bend your knees, then straighten them, so that you use your thigh muscles to lift. Avoid locking your knees: always bend from the waist with your knees bent. If you need to pick something up, consider sitting, kneeling, or squatting to reach it to avoid putting your lower back under stress.

  • If you have to move a heavy object (try to avoid this if you possibly can), push it rather than pull it: that way, your legs, not your back, take the strain.

  • To get into and out of a car, or bed, keep your hips, pelvis, and back aligned in the same direction. To get out of bed, roll on to your side, and use your arms to push yourself up.

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