This week, the baby is slightly more than fifteen and a half inches long and weighs almost three pounds. Your baby is very active now, as there is still enough room to move. Around one and a half pints of amniotic fluid surrounds the baby, but that amount will slowly decrease as the baby continues to grow bigger and take up more space in your uterus. Layers of the baby’s skin have been developing, so the skin is no longer transparent.
You will need to choose a pediatrician, so he or she can do the initial check-up on your baby in the hospital after the baby is born. Most women pick their pediatrician based upon recommendations from friends or relatives. Ask your friends specifically what they like about their doctors to get a better idea of which doctor would be right for you. You should check the doctor’s background, certification in pediatrics, and membership in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). But most importantly, you want a pediatrician you feel comfortable talking to about your concerns because you will have many questions for them throughout your baby’s childhood. Most pediatricians offer interview appointments before your baby is born, so you can see the office, meet the staff, and ask any questions you have.
This final period in your pregnancy is one typically filled with anxiety as you anticipate life after the baby arrives. Starting to prepare can help. Stock the freezer with casseroles and talk with your partner about the weeks to come. Perhaps go out with another couple with a small child to learn how they coped in the first few months. Finally, it’s important to learn about postpartum depression. (These two articles can help: “Our Postpartum Pact” and “How Common is Postpartum Stress Disorder?”)
Hot Topic: Childcare
It may seem early to decide about childcare, but now is the time to review your options. You can consider family members, child care programs, a nanny or au pair, or childcare in someone’s home. Some daycare centers have waiting lists, so getting your name on them now is a good idea. Even if you don’t need full-time childcare, you will still want to have a list of friends, relatives, or sitters you trust to take care of your baby, if only just to have an evening out. (For more help regarding childcare, see: “Daycare vs. Nanny: Finding the Right Childcare.”)
Eating For Two: Breakfast
This southern favorite is an easy warm breakfast, and the cheese provides lots of calcium.
Lisa’s Baked Cheese Grits
- 2 cups butter
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup quick grits (not instant)
- One egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper
- Two slices American cheese
- 1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with non-stick spray.
2. Combine 1/4 cup butter, water, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. When mixture comes to a simmer, add the grits, stirring until thoroughly combined.
3. Continue to cook the grits at a simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about fifteen minutes.
4. Meanwhile, whisk together egg, cream, and pepper. Stir into cooked grits along with cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish.
5. Bake until set, about forty-five minutes. Remove from the oven, and let stand about five minutes before serving.
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