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Week #29 of Pregnancy

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Your Pregnancy: Week 29

By Erin Horner, edHelperBaby

  Your Baby
           This week your baby weighs approximately 2 1/2 pounds and is about 15 inches long.  His fingernails are starting to bud and his spleen has begun the process of hematopoiesis.  This big word means that your baby's spleen now has a big job!  From here on out, his spleen will be busy building up important blood components.


Your Body
           This week you may begin to notice that your appetite has returned with a vengeance.  This may be due to the fact that from here on out in your pregnancy, your little one needs more nutrition than ever before.  While your stomach may not have the capacity to handle large meals, be sure to eat frequently and make sure that every bite counts.  While a package of chocolate goodies that "melt-in-your-mouth and not-in your-hand" may sound really tempting, remember that your baby's growing body is depending on you to provide him or her with the necessary vitamins and minerals for his continued development.  If you feel as though you simply can't live without a bit of chocolate, try pairing a small cookie with a large glass of milk instead.  This way you and your little one will both get what you "need."


  You're Wondering. . .
           While pregnant, feeding my baby has been easy!  As long as I am eating well I know that she is too.  As I think about her health and nutrition after her birth, however, I'm wondering should I breastfeed or use formula instead?

       This is a big decision that every mommy-to-be must make at some point during her pregnancy.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding (or bottle feeding your infant breast milk) for the first six months of life.  This is due to the amazing attributes of breast milk and the benefits that it can have for your little one.  Here are some of the pros when it comes to breastfeeding.

       Breast milk . . .
  • is packed full of antibodies which will help to boost your baby's immune system.
  • is easily digested which may in turn reduce colic and spitting up.
  • adjusts to the changing needs of your baby.
  • may reduce food allergies.
  • reduces your baby's chance of developing eczema and asthma.
  • is convenient.  There's no need to warm up bottles in the middle of the night or wash and sterilize them during the day.
  • is free!

       Not only is breastfeeding beneficial for your little one, but it also has many great side effects for you as well.  Breastfeeding causes your uterus to contract which can help in shrinking your post-baby belly.  It is also a great "workout" as it helps you burn approximately 500 calories each day.  Doctors have also found that women who breastfeed lower their risk of developing osteoporosis, as well as cervical and breast cancer.       

       With all that being said, there are instances where women find breastfeeding difficult or impossible.  If, for whatever reason you have chosen to bottle feed your infant, there are several manufacturers who produce wonderful formulas designed to mimic the benefits found in breast milk.  Research the different kinds available, and choose one that you believe will best meet the needs of your baby.


  Your "To-Do" List
           Take advantage of the energy that you still have and while running errands this week be sure to stock up on some important things that you and your little one will need during her first few weeks at home.
  • Newborn diapers and wipes (you'll need plenty!)
  • Baby care items: baby wash, lotion, nail clippers, thermometer, bulb syringe, and pacifier
  • Baby detergent (you'll need plenty!)

       Having all of these goodies on hand will help to insure that your baby's basic needs are met and will make your life a bit simpler during those first few sleep-deprived days after you bring your bundle of joy home.


Your Homework: Preparing For Parenthood
           Most libraries and bookstores host a weekly story time for children and their families.  Call your local library or bookstore this week to find out when their story hour is and then plan to attend.  When you arrive, enjoy the energy of the children and then relax and listen to the way that the book is read aloud to them.  Many librarians or guest readers will use different voices for the different characters in the book.  This can really help the story come to life for little ones and help them to differentiate between the different characters as they speak.  Once you've enjoyed some time in the audience, head home and make yourself the star of the show.  Read a children's book aloud to your partner and baby and as you do, practice using fun voices for each of the different characters.  Then have your partner read one to you and your belly.  Finally, read one together with each of you playing the part of a different character.


  My Experience
           As far as I am concerned, the most joyous sound in the entire world is that of a laughing child.  There is something contagious about their joy, and I find it physically impossible to not smile when I hear one of my kids come down with a major case of the giggles.  In our home, we have found that reading silly books, with silly voices automatically results in a couch full of smiling, giggling, happy people.  I am so thankful that my husband and I practiced reading aloud to one another while I was still pregnant, as it made it so much easier to do so with our kiddos once they arrived.  While I believe that this reading time together is great fun for us as a family, it also serves as an unofficial nightly bonding ritual.  I also love that we are helping to instill a love of reading in our children during these formative years.  They are learning to read, with great enthusiasm and expression, simply because we have learned how to make story time fun.


     Preparing for the First Week Home with your Baby
Activity - Swaddling Your Baby

     How Should I Prepare For Breastfeeding?
How Do I Choose Between Cloth And Disposable Diapers?

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