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Week #33 of Pregnancy

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Your Pregnancy: Week 33

By Erin Horner, edHelperBaby

  Your Baby
           This week your little baby weighs in at approximately 4 1/2 pounds and is nearly 19 1/2 inches long.  He is now practicing how to breathe by inhaling amniotic fluid.  Research has shown that the type of music that your baby hears can actually alter her mood.  Sounds that are most soothing to your little one are choral and classical music pieces because they seem to most closely mimic the natural rhythms of the human voice.  If you listen to the same music frequently, researchers also believe that by this week your baby may be able to recognize a piece of music and even jump in time to it!


Your Body
           By this week you are more than of the way through this miraculous journey.  As your body continues to change and grow with baby you may begin to notice some numbness, tingling, or pain in your wrists and fingers.  These symptoms are the signs of pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome.  If your job requires you to spend a lot of time typing at a computer, you may be noticing these annoying symptoms more prominently than a fellow mommy-to-be.  The tissues in your arm that are supporting your hands and wrists have begun to swell and are therefore, pinching the nerves in your wrists.  While this condition will unfortunately not be relieved until after you have delivered, you can help to alleviate some of the discomfort by taking frequent rest breaks from typing, or possibly wearing a wrist brace.  As with all symptoms, if the pain is severe, speak with your doctor and see what he or she suggests.


  You're Wondering. . .
           Help! I am experiencing horrible heartburn!  Any tips to ease this awful discomfort?

       If you are starting to feel like your chest is on fire, or you are belching more often than ever before, welcome to the wonderful world of heartburn.  Heartburn is another one of those silly pregnancy side-effects that we can thank our hormones for.  Your increased hormones have caused the valve at the entrance of your stomach to relax, therefore allowing some acid into places that it wasn't designed to go.  Try some of these tips to help alleviate your symptoms:
  • Try eating smaller meals throughout the day.  By eating five or six smaller meals throughout the day, rather than three larger ones, your stomach will have more room to digest your food.
  • Don't rush through your meals.  Enjoy your food and take the time to thoroughly chew-up every bite.  This too, will aid with digestion.
  • Avoid heartburn inducing foods.  Try and steer clear of the following, as they may only increase your heartburn: chocolate (I know, I am so sorry!), citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes and tomato based products, caffeine, spicy or overly seasoned food, fried or fatty food.
  • Sleep with extra pillows.  By propping yourself up with some extra pillows, you will allow gravity to work in your favor and encourage the acid to stay down in your belly where it belongs.
  • Try anti-acids.  Tums, Rolaids, and Mylanta are generally viewed as safe to take during pregnancy to ease your discomfort, but ALWAYS check with your doctor before taking any medication while pregnant.


  Your "To-Do" List
           This is a great week to begin creating a birth plan.  Writing out a birth plan gives you an opportunity to think through the aspects of labor that you will have some control over, and decide how you want to handle those situations.  This is not, however, a "to-do list" for your doctor nor should it be "set in stone."  Remember, your doctor, the trusted professional that you have chosen, is still the expert and there may be situations that arise during your labor and delivery experience in which you need to trust his or her medical expertise.  Take some time this week and answer the following questions then take the plan with you to your next doctor's appointment and discuss your desires with your health care provider.

  1. Do you want to be able to walk around during labor?
  2. Do you want to be offered an epidural or other pain relieving medication during labor?
  3. Do you want your labor to be induced if the process becomes too drawn out?

  1. Which family members or friends do you want to have present in the delivery room?
  2. Do you want a natural childbirth experience?
  3. If you would like pain medication for the delivery, what type of anesthesia do you want? (Be sure to discuss this with your doctor, as different pain medications can cross through the placenta and affect your baby.  The different side effects of these medications may impact your final decision)
  4. Do you want to film or photograph the delivery?

       After Baby's Birth
  1. Do you want the opportunity to hold your baby immediately or wait until he has been cleaned off and weighed?
  2. Do you want to breast-feed immediately after he is born?
  3. Do you want a private or semi-private hospital room for your stay? (You may want to check to see what your insurance company will pay for before making this decision.)
  4. Do you want the baby to "room-in" with you?  This is where the baby stays with you the entire time and the hospital staff comes to you to check and monitor baby's vital signs rather than taking him to the nursery for necessary procedures.


Your Homework: Preparing For Parenthood
           This week pick a favorite nursery rhyme and read it to your baby everyday.  Recent research studies have shown that babies who are read the same nursery rhyme everyday during weeks 33-37 of pregnancy not only hear it, but seem to remember it as well.  This experience will not only calm your baby and help the two of you bond, but it will continue to prepare you for the great fun that you and your little one will soon have sharing nursery rhymes and other childhood classics together.


My Experience
           This is something that I enjoyed doing during both of my pregnancies.  I found that after reading the rhyme the first few times, I could easily recite it throughout the day from memory.  I would sing it while I cooked, recite it while driving, and hum it while brushing my teeth.  I still enjoy this silly rhyme today, only now, I get to be the audience as the roles are reversed and my children will often sing it to me.


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