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Week #10 of Pregnancy

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Your Pregnancy: Week 10

By Erin Horner, edHelperBaby

Your Baby
           This week marks a major milestone for your little one as the most critical stage of his development is now complete.  Most all of his fetal organs, including his kidneys, intestines, brain, heart and liver are now in place and will continue to develop as your pregnancy progresses.  His liver has even begun making red blood cells and his amazing little brain is now developing 250,000 neurons every minute!  An outline of your sweet one's spine can now be seen through his translucent skin and his spinal nerves are beginning to elongate as they form his spinal cord.  This week also brings with it the appearance of your little one's taste and tooth buds as well as the disappearance of his tail.  All of this is taking place within a 11/2 inch and .18 ounce bundle of joy.  Wow!


Your Body
           Pregnancy is one of life's most amazing experiences. It is filled with some of life's highest highs; such as feeling your little miracle move for the first time, as well as some of the lowest of lows; think hugging the porcelain god every morning for three (or more!) months.  With all of the changes that are occurring within you and between you and your partner, you are bound to experience a myriad of emotions as your pregnancy progresses.  If you are starting to feel like an emotional wreck, you are normal!  Commercials that you once easily ignored may now make you cry.  Silly sounds made by your partner that once made you laugh, might now drive you nuts!  This early in your pregnancy you may still be coming to terms with the idea that you will soon be a mother and grappling with all of the changes that this major lifestyle shift may entail.  Some women begin fearing that their relationship with their partner will soon be in jeopardy.  Will he still find you attractive as your body begins to change?  What kind of a father will he be?  You may also be worried about your little one's health.  In today's society, most of us have access to just enough medical information to make us dangerous.  We can spend all day surfing the Internet and watching docu-dramas that spell out all of the things that can go wrong during a pregnancy.  As you deal with all of these emotions and wrestle with all of these worries, one of the best things that you can do for yourself and your growing little one during this time is to get good prenatal care.  Be sure to find a health care provider that you feel confident in and comfortable with.  You will be spending a lot of time over the next several months with this man or woman and you want to make sure that the doctor or midwife that you choose is one that you can talk to about your entire pregnancy experience, including your emotions.  If you have questions or concerns, share them with your doctor and allow their expertise to not only offer you comfort but guidance throughout this most miraculous time.


  You're Wondering. . .
           I think that all of these pregnancy hormones are causing me to break-out!  Can I still use acne medication now that I am pregnant?

       Some women find that pregnancy hormones work to their advantage and actually clear up acne that they may have suffered with pre-pregnancy.  Others, however, find that the increase in progesterone and other hormones trigger a surge in oil production which leads to brand new breakouts.  Unfortunately, acne medications that you may have used before your pregnancy, over-the-counter or prescription, may not be safe to use now. Doctors recommend avoiding salicylic acid as well as benzoyl peroxide, two common ingredients found in many acne fighting products, as their use has been linked to some birth defects.  The best way to treat pregnancy acne is to wash the affected area with a mild cleanser and follow-up the cleansing with a non-comodogenic (non pore-clogging) moisturizer.  Be sure to also drink plenty of water as this may help to flush your system from the inside out and help minimize bacteria that could be adding to your skin's aggravation.  If your acne is particularly bothersome, be sure to contact your health care provider or dermatologist.  They may be able to recommend a more aggressive treatment program that will be effective, yet safe to use during your pregnancy.


  Your "To-Do" List
           Have you noticed that in the past few days you are forgetting things?  Are you starting to forget people's names or leave the grocery store with a cart full of food but without the one item you went to the grocery store to buy?  If so, you are not alone in your new found forgetfulness, and you are not crazy!  You are, instead, beginning to experience "pregnancy brain."  Once dismissed as an old wives tale, recent research now validates this mushy brain phenomenon.  Researchers have found that pregnancy tends to impair memory, especially a woman's ability to recall things and multi-task.  Caused by the increase of hormones and lifestyle changes, your mushy brain won't last forever.  But since things may stay a bit fuzzy for the rest of your pregnancy journey, and up to a year after your sweet one is born, top your to-do list with this: write things down.  Become a list maker, if you aren't one already.  Purchase a small spiral notebook and divide it into several sections.  Use one section to write down your weekly shopping list.  Use another to jot down people that you need to call, appointments that you need to make, or things that you need to do.   Still another section can be used to write down those thoughts that came to you during the day that you really want to tell your partner, but might just forget by the time you see him later in the evening.  You now have a perfect cheat sheet (or book) to use whenever you need it.  Now all you have to do is remember to take it with you!


Your Homework: Preparing For Parenthood
           As you continue to prepare yourself for parenthood, one important aspect of your lifestyle to look at and adjust is your budget.  Some analysts estimate that raising a child from birth to age seventeen can cost up to $249,000!  Yikes!  Thankfully, the hospital staff does not require a down payment on that hefty figure before releasing your newborn into your care.  While that startling figure is just an estimate, and each family's financial situation varies greatly one to another, the fact of the matter is that kids are expensive. Now then, is the time to begin looking at your income and adjusting your spending patterns so that you and your finances are able to provide your child with the best possible start in this world.

       This week begin to track your spending.  Commit yourself to writing down every purchase and expenditure you make over the course of the next month.  You can easily do this with the help of any one of several at-home computer software programs designed to help families with their budgets or by simply keeping track of your spending habits in a notebook.  After the month has gone by, sit down and analyze your spending.  Where does all of your money go every month?  Are you setting aside a part of your pay check for savings?  Do you spend a lot more eating out on a weekly basis then you were aware of?  As you peek at your individual figures, remember that in a few short months your income will remain the same (or decrease if you are planning on staying home full or part time ) while the list of expenditures will grow to include diapers, baby supplies, doctor's bills, and possibly formula and day care as well as other baby related expenses.  As you look over your monthly spending, which areas can you save in as you anticipate the need to allocate those funds towards some of baby's upcoming needs?

       As you do all of this, try not to allow yourself to become overwhelmed.  Instead, think small...remember the old saying that reminded us to "take care of your pennies and your dollars will take care of themselves."  The same is true when it comes to a family budget.  If you can spend $25 less each week at the grocery store, by the end of the month you will have saved $100.  Why not try to slightly curb your Starbucks habit?  If you indulge in a latte twice a week instead of every morning on the way to work, by the end of the month you will have saved nearly $50.  Try packing a sack lunch three times a week instead of eating out with the gang every afternoon.  If you save an average of $10 for each lunch that you bring from home rather than buy, you may be able to save $120 each month.  Be creative and continue to prepare yourself for parenthood by getting your finances in order now.  That way, when your sweet one arrives you will not only be emotionally prepared for his arrival, but financially prepared as well.


  My Experience
           When Grant and I were first married we worked really hard and developed a family budget.  We sat down and talked through our spending patterns and set up a monthly plan that would allow us to purchase all of the things that we needed and a few of the things that we wanted while living as young, poor, college students.  After several years of marriage and the long awaited news that we were finally going to be parents, we sat down and re-evaluated our spending plan.  Thankfully, we were both employed full time and had a bit more wiggle room than we once had during our early years of marriage.  We had grown accustomed to eating out, buying things for the house, and taking fun vacations every year.  Because I desired to stay home full time once we had kids, our budget need a major overhaul.  We once again looked at our spending habits and found that there were several small as well as a few large line items where we could cut back and save a significant amount of money every month.  I am so thankful that we were both committed to not only developing a family budget, but committed to sticking to it, which has enabled me to stay home with our beautiful children while they are still young.  What we have both found is that the "sacrifices" that we both agreed to make, aren't really "sacrifices" at all.  The joy of being parents far outweighs any monetary "thing" that we may temporarily go without.  The way I see it, I will have years ahead of me to eat out at fancy restaurants and take exotic vacations, but I will only have a very small window of time to spend at home watching my children wobble as they learn to walk, listen to them as they laugh, and help them when they are hurt.  And in all reality, I wouldn't want to take that fancy vacation now anyways.  Who wants to take two young kids with them on a ten hour flight?  Unless, of course, grandma is offering to babysit for a week...in that case we may just need to look at the family budget one more time!


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