The baby has grown to almost fourteen and a half inches long and two pounds! As more brain tissue develops, your baby’s brainwave activity can be detected. Your baby’s bones continue to harden, but the parts of the skull will remain flexible (so the trip through the birth canal will be easier). Layers of fat continue to accumulate under the skin and around the baby’s organs—this fat will help the baby regulate body temperature after birth.
You may be having a baby shower soon, and even if you are not, people will ask you what you need for the baby. If you don’t like the idea of asking for specific gifts or if you just want to be better organized, consider preparing a gift registry at one or more stores. In addition to making it easier for the gift-giver, a registry helps you to get what you need and avoid duplicates. Don’t be afraid to register for big or expensive items; many people like to go in on a big gift together. Another tip: you don’t need to register for clothing for the baby. People love to buy those little outfits, and they usually choose what they think is adorable. (To aid in making registry decisions, visit: “Reviews: Baby Gear” and “A Mom’s Suggestion: Baby Gear.”)
Hot Topic: Leg Cramps
You may be experiencing aching or cramping legs, which is caused by the extra pressure on them from your expanding uterus. Leg cramps are more common at night, but they can also happen during the day. To help your legs to feel better, try the following:
- Massaging your legs (either yourself—or even better—have someone else to do it)
- Flex your foot (pull your toes up toward your shin and push your heel down)
- Walk for a few minutes
- Don’t stand in one position for long periods of time
- Rest on your left side several times a day
- Use a warm compress or heating pad
- Put on support hose first thing in the morning
Q&A: Sarah Maddison, MD, an experienced obstetrician in Raleigh, North Carolina, answers our readers’ questions.
Q: Should pregnant women be concerned when renovating? For instance, scraping paint in old houses, tile, etc. Can lead cross the placenta?
A: Yes, but only about the lead. This could lead to behavioral and learning difficulties in the baby years down the road. Plus, the chips could be a source of poisoning to a toddler down the road. Paint, cleaners, and tile haven’t been studied, but I think they are okay if you keep the room well ventilated.
Editor’s Note: Lead can be released into the air in the form of invisible dust that is released when old cabinets or old window frames are ripped out. All houses built before the mid 1970s will have at least one layer of original paint that contains lead. Invisible lead dust can also be leached when removing tiles in bathrooms or kitchen floors. When conducting a major renovation, consider hiring a certified lead abatement professional, who can keep the lead contained. You may also want to leave when a renovation is being conducted and not scrape paint yourself, as you may breathe in lead dust. ~ LRS
(For more information about lead and its effects, visit: “The Toxic Truth Behind Lead Poisoning.”)
Eating for Two: Healthy Snacks
This recipe uses slightly less olive oil and tahini to be lower in fat. You can spice it up by adding 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper, and using cilantro for garnish. Serve with whole-wheat pita or bite-size fresh veggies (carrots, celery, red pepper, and cucumber work well).
Lisa’s Easy Hummus
- Two twelve-ounce cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- 1/4 cup tahini paste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice of one large lemon (about 1/4 cup)
- Two cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
1. Drain garbanzo beans, saving about 1/2 cup of the liquid.
2. In a food processor or blender, puree the beans, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic until smooth, adding a little of the reserved liquid if the mixture seems too thick.
3. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a shallow bowl or plate. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.
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