At the beginning of your second trimester, your baby is three and one half inches in length (about as long as the palm of your hand) and weighs about one and one half ounces. The torso is growing quickly at this point, and the arms have also gotten longer. The hands and feet, now one half inch long, are more flexible and active. The reflexes have developed, so the baby can respond to stimulus. A light covering of hair (called lanugo) has started to grow all over the baby’s body. The intestines continue to move from the umbilical cord to the body. The lung formation is continuing, and inhaling and exhaling movements can be detected.
You baby has been moving in your uterus for some time, and you may be wondering when you will start to feel all the movement. Typically, women first feel fetal movement between fifteen and twenty weeks of pregnancy. As the baby grows, his or her movements become stronger and easier to feel. Another reason it takes so long to feel movement is because the womb doesn’t transmit the sensation of the baby’s movement to you. You have to wait until the womb has grown enough to touch the wall of the abdomen—then you will feel the movements through nerves in the wall of your abdomen. Feeling the baby’s first movements is called “quickening,” and it is a light, fluttering sensation. It can also feel like bubbles moving around in your lower abdomen and could be confused with gas or hunger pains.
You may be feeling pressure or pain in your back by now; backaches are common during pregnancy. Be sure you have good posture; sit with your back straight and no slouching. Work on strengthening your abdominal muscles, and this will help your back pain as your uterus gets bigger. Ask your doctor or a trainer about safe abdominal exercises during pregnancy, since lying on your back after the first trimester is not recommended. (If you lie on your back, your uterus is on top of major blood vessels, which can decrease circulation to your baby.) You should also get used to sleeping on your side. As the baby grows, lying on your stomach will put too much pressure on the uterus. Many women use a long “body pillow” for support when lying on their side. (For more tips, see: “Pregnancy and Your Poor Back” and “Exercises to Strengthen the Lower Back.”)
A Mom’s Suggestion: Journaling
You may be thinking about what life will be like after your baby is born; this is a topic you may want to write about in your journal. You’re probably excited about being a mom, yet you may also be anxious about what to do in certain situations. Writing down your concerns, as well as your plans for the future may help you to deal with your feelings. How do you see your life changing after you have your baby? You probably expect certain things, or maybe you don’t know what to expect. What was your own childhood like? Would you like your child’s experience to be the same or different? What concerns do you have about yours and your partner’s potential parenting styles?
Fast Fact: Although weight gain in pregnancy varies by individual, you have probably gained between two and five pounds by this time, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
Eating For Two: Sandwiches
Sandwiches are quick to make and can be very healthy for you and your growing baby. Packing a lunch can provide healthier alternatives than restaurant fare as well. Keep your favorite sandwich fillings on hand so you will be prepared for any cravings you might have. Try this panini recipe. The vegetable tapenade can be made well in advance and kept in refrigerator, and it is also wonderful tossed with pasta.
Deb’s Grilled Vegetable Panini
For vegetable tapenade:
· One eggplant, peeled, in one-inch slices
· Two zucchini, cut in half
· Two summer squash, cut in half
· One eggplant, peeled , in one-inch slices
· One red onion , cut in half
· Roasted garlic
· Red pepper, stem removed , cut in half
· Fresh basil
· 1/4 cup olive oil
· One cup tapenade
· One loaf bread (good quality, preferably country style artisan, sliced thin)
· Shaved Parmesan cheese
1. Brush vegetables with olive oil, season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Grill over high heat until tender. Remove from heat and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
2. Place all vegetables and basil in food processor. Process until coarsely chopped. Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add extra olive oil and small amount balsamic vinegar to make a thick, chunky tapenade.
3. Heat skillet or griddle. Brush one side of bread with olive oil. Place oiled side to skillet. Spread small amount vegetable tapenade on bread. Layer with cheese and arugula. Top with another slice of bread and brush with oil.
4. Press down with small iron skillet until sandwich is toasted on bottom. Flip and cook until toasted on bottom. This sandwich can also be cooked on the grill.
<< Read Week 13
Read Week 15 >>