By this week, the baby measures slightly over seventeen inches and weighs over four pounds. The baby’s face starts to look rounder as more fat tissue is added. The lanugo has mostly disappeared, but the hair on the baby’s head continues to grow. Each baby’s hair grows at a different rate; some babies are born with a thick head of hair and others are practically bald.
If you haven’t already, discuss with your doctor or midwife about the signs that indicate that you are actually in labor. Your doctor may have specific criteria about when you should call or go to the hospital. There are some general signs that labor may be coming, although none of these are a guarantee that you will be in labor soon. Some of these signs include an increase in mucus discharge from your vagina (which may be tinged with red) and an upset stomach or diarrhea. You may also be having increased Braxton Hicks contractions, which may be more uncomfortable and last longer. True labor contractions are strong enough that you cannot talk while you are having them, and these contractions are felt in the groin or lower back. True labor contractions will become stronger and closer together at regular intervals. Some women like to labor longer at home before going to the hospital immediately. If your water breaks, go to hospital immediately, even if you aren’t having strong contractions, as you’ll need to be monitored to protect against infection.
Hot Topic: Your Hospital Bag
You should start planning what you are going to pack to take to the hospital; you could even start putting things in a suitcase or overnight bag to get you started. Some suggested items:
- One or two comfortable nightgowns
- Toothbrush/shower items
- Nursing bra
- Picture or item to focus on during labor
- Camera and/or camcorder (extra batteries, film, etc.)
- Snacks and change for vending machines
- Light reading (magazines, books, etc.)
- List of people to call with phone numbers
- Outfit for baby
A Mom’s Suggestion: Have someone with you while you are laboring (whether at home, a midwife center, or in the hospital), who is very supportive and knows your desires. Have them remind you that it will be over soon and then you’ll be holding your baby. Many women suggest to labor at home as long as you can so you’re comfortable in your surroundings and people aren’t constantly bothering you.
Eating for Two: Dinner
The salsa can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Karen’s Chicken with Green Chili Cream Sauce
- Four boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- Eight tomatillos
- Six to ten jalapenos (stems removed)
- 3 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Three to four garlic cloves
- 1 cup cilantro
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Brown chicken in butter and oil. Set aside.
2. Put tomatillos in saucepan with water to cover. Cook on medium-high for five minutes; drain and rinse.
3. Put tomatillos in blender with next six ingredients; puree.
4. Add 1 cup tomatillos mixture and sour cream to chicken; simmer ten minutes.
5. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve over rice.
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