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Week #35 of Pregnancy

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Your Pregnancy: Week 35

By Erin Horner, edHelperBaby

Your Baby
           This is an exciting week for your baby!   This week marks the time in your little one's life where her kidneys are fully developed and where her liver can begin processing some waste products.  By now, most all of your baby's physical features are completely formed, so all that's left to do is grow!  Your sweet one is now nearly 20 inches long and weighs approximately 5 pounds.  Her biggest job for the next few weeks is to continue the task of putting more and more fat on her skinny little body.  At this stage in his or her development, fat makes up nearly 15% of his or her body weight.  That's quite a jump from the 2% that she was in week 20 - yet the baby is still a ways away from the 30% she will be at the time of her birth!   Can't you just imagine how cute those chunky little thighs are going to be?


Your Body
           This week you may be feeling swell...or swollen!  Maybe even both.  Remember, no one ever said that pregnancy was for wimps!  If you are noticing some mild swelling in your legs and feet, also known as edema, here are a few things that you can do to help you find your ankles once again!
  • Put your feet up.  Elevate your feet as often as possible, especially when lying down.  This will help increase your circulation and minimize swelling.  Plus, can you think of anyone who deserves the opportunity to put their feet up more than you?
  • Exercise.  This may sound like a cliché, but the more you exercise, the more energy you will have.  Even something as simple as an evening stroll around the block with your partner can work wonders for your swollen legs and the rest of your body as well.
  • Drink more water.  Another oxy moron, but the truth is the more water you drink, the less water you will retain.  This may mean more trips to the restroom, but it also means more hydration for you and baby.
  • Wear great shoes.  Unfortunately, in this context "great" does not necessarily mean "great looking."  Perhaps the best remedy for swollen, achy, feet and legs is a pair of great (aka: sensible) shoes.  Go shoe shopping at the end of the day when your feet are most swollen and look for a pair of cozy shoes that let your feet breathe.  Many pregnant women find that their feet have actually grown by 1/2 to 1 whole size throughout their pregnancy and wearing shoes that are too tight will inhibit blood flow and only make your feet swell more.


  You're Wondering. . .
           "I know that I don't have a cold, but suddenly my nose is constantly stuffy.  Any suggestions on how I can breathe more easily?"

       You can thank your hormones for your newly stuffy nose.  As if your hormones haven't been busy enough playing with your emotions, they've now decided to take over your nasal passages as well.  This frustrating phenomenon, known as rhinitis of pregnancy, is due to the increase in your body's blood production, plus your increased hormones.  Together, these have caused your mucus membranes to swell, dry out, and sometimes bleed.  Here are a few tips to help ease your symptoms:
  • Use saline nose drops.  These non-medicated nose drops can soothe your nasal passages and make breathing a bit easier, without posing any dangerous side-effects to your baby.
  • Run a humidifier.  This handy device will help moisturize the air in your home and therefore make it easier to breathe.
  • Try some steam.  Run some hot water in the sink and then lean over the sink while holding a towel over your head.  This will envelop you in a "steam cloud" that should help to clear your stuffy nasal passages.  You can also enjoy a warm shower, then stay in the bathroom for a few minutes breathing in the steam that the shower created.
  • Avoid irritants.  No, I don't mean the in-laws!  Try and avoid anything that could bother your nasal passage ways.  Be aware of pollution levels outside on warm days; try not to sit near people who are smoking cigarettes, etc.


  Your "To-Do" List
           Take some time this week to talk to your partner about his role during your child's birth.  Every couple is different and every person is unique.  Some partners want to be right in the middle of all of the action.  They not only want to cut the umbilical chord once the baby is born, they want to help "catch" the baby as it makes its glorious entrance into the world.  Others are very content to hold their partner‘s hand and count out each contraction, while keeping their eyes locked with hers and no further south.  One option is no better than the other, they are just different.  Take some time to also discuss what you hope and expect your partner will do while you are in labor.  Do you want your back rubbed or would you prefer not to be touched?  Can he watch the game on TV or are you in charge of the remote?  The best way to help ensure a positive experience for both of you on baby's birthday is to make sure that all expectations are out in the open.  This way, once your labor pains begin, your partner will know exactly what you need and want from him, and you will know what your partner feels comfortable doing.


Your Homework: Preparing For Parenthood
           This week's homework assignment is a field trip!  Pack a picnic, grab your partner and head to a nearby park for a nice afternoon.  As you enjoy your lunch, and some one-on-one time together, watch some of the children and their parents playing.  As you observe the parents and their kids, be aware of the way they interact with one another.  How are the parents speaking to their children?  What kind of tone are they using?  Are their words sweet and kind or demeaning?  How are the children talking to their parents?  Are they respectful?  Be on the lookout for any discipline issues (at the park you're bound to see at least one temper tantrum!)  How are the parents handling their children when they need correction?  As you observe all these interactions, talk with your partner about what you see.  What do you like?  What don't you like?  Use this time together to begin talking about how you want to interact with your children.  What type of tone will you use when disciplining?  How do you expect your children to speak to you?  This exercise will help you begin to identify the positive characteristics in other parents that you will want to mimic as well as some negative attributes that you will want to try and avoid.


  My Experience
           My husband and I did this exercise together and were amazed by some of the things that we saw.  What most caught my eye, however, were the numbers of parents sitting off on the side of the playground, talking on their cell phones, and inadvertently missing out on some precious one-on-one time with their children.  Unfortunately, I know that I have been guilty of the same behavior at times, but seeing my actions in the face of another made me really re-think the way I want to interact with my little ones.  While it is unrealistic to expect that I can spend every waking moment paying undivided attention to my child, this exercise helped to remind me that I can be more diligent in choosing to enjoy the moments that we have together. . . especially our moments at the park!


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