Your health and the benefits for your baby | Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Pregnancy & Birth Talk>Your Growing Bump & Birth

Your health and the benefits for your baby

There is a direct link between maternal (mothers) health and the long term health of her baby. Both mothers who are obese and mothers who are severely underweight increase the risk of complications both during pregnancy as well as post birth. A mother that enters a pregnancy with chronic obesity is at a high risk of developing diabetes as well as having a baby that is extra big for his gestational age. As the study from Pittsburg university points out, the link between infant death and the mother’s weight is correlated to some degree. Other similar studies have called this the 1000 day metabolic set up. This means that in the first 1000 days of a child's life - conception to the end of the toddler years will establish a child's metabolism as well as predisposition for developing lifestyle diseases later on in life like type two diabetes, hypertension and obesity. So here are four golden rules to ensure you give your child the best start in life: 1. Prior to conception aim to reach a healthy body mass index (relationship of weight to height)! Do this by: Choosing real, unprocessed foods, lots of fresh vegetables, raw fresh seasonal fruit and nuts, and seeds. Choose high quality organic protein foods, eggs, chicken, fish and lean red meats are all good options Incorporate healthy fats like avocado, coconut fats and olive oils. Drink fresh water and herbal teas Limit sugar intake and treats to once a week. 2. Relaxation and time out. Life is so busy and fast. Take some planned time out from the rush of life. Switch off cell phones and social media. 3. Get enough sleep - aim at 7-10 hours per night. Everyone is different and has different sleep requirements, whatever yours are you will know you have had enough when you wake up feeling rested. 4. Spend time in nature and being creative. This goes a long way to a healthy and happy mind and soul. Points 3-5 are not directly nutrition related but research shows that people that have these in place tend to choose healthier, more natural foods. When we manage our stress, the body decreases the secretion of adrenalin and thus less insulin is produced which helps lower risk of metabolic syndrome (a leading cause of obesity, diabetes and infertility) To conclude, pregnancy is no longer a license to eat for two but rather an awakening of and desiring to nurture and love one’s body by choosing healthy, natural and unprocessed foods. ' Kath Megaw - paediatric dietician and co-author of Feeding Sense
Week 14 | Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Pregnancy & Birth Talk>Your pregnancy week by week>2nd Trimester

Week 14

Congratulations! You’ve officially entered into the second trimester and this is known to be the most enjoyable stage of your pregnancy. Your nausea should be just about gone, your breasts will hopefully be feeling less tender, and with a bit of luck you should start to feel a lot more energetic. But with all this renewed energy, your appetite may have also dramatically increased. This is only natural as your baby is growing at a rapid rate – be sure to stock your pantry with healthy snacks that’ll benefit both you and your growing bump. Your Baby Your baby is about the size of an apple, and weighs 43 grams (that’s almost doubled in growth from last week) and is about 8.8cm in length from head to bottom. Your little one is starting to develop an ultra fine, downy covering of hair called lanugo, which will help keep them warm until they fatten up near the end. Incredibly, their little kidneys are already making urine, and their liver and spleen are functioning too. If you head for a scan this week, you may even catch your little one sucking its thumb. Your Body You should start feeling almost human again, and your hair might be getting thicker and shinier – one of the few perks to pregnancy so enjoy it! But alas, you may also be feeling some sharp aches and pains in your abdomen as your ligaments begin to soften and stretch to make room for the little guy. Other second trimester symptoms include increased appetite, continued breast growth and an increasingly stuffy nose. Sensible Tips Now would be a great time to plan a Babymoon – one last soiree with you and your partner before the nugget rocks up. It’s a good time to do something together, as now is the time when you’ll have the most energy during your pregnancy.
Week 15 | Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Pregnancy & Birth Talk>Your pregnancy week by week>2nd Trimester

Week 15

With your baby’s rapid growth taking place, your bump will be growing quickly too. At this stage, the scale starts creeping up each week so don’t be alarmed. On average, you should be gaining around 500g a week (or 2kg a month) and should have already gained around 2.5kg (more or less) up until this point. Your Baby Your baby is the size of a lemon, 10cm long and weighs in at 70 grams. Your little one is growing daily and looking much more like a baby. So what’s your little one up to all day? Training … They’re training for the big day when they enter into this world. Training to breathe, swallow, suck and kick those limbs. In other developments, hair may begin to appear on their scalp and eyebrows. Their skin is also developing, but still remains very thin. And although you can’t feel it just yet, your baby is moving and squirming a ton, making full use of the space while it’s available. Your Body This trimester is all about enjoying being pregnant. The first trimester symptoms should hopefully have completely subsided, and your bump is still neat and compact enough for you to be able to move around freely. On another positive note, you may be surprised to find that your libido has picked up a notch or two. Your partner on the other hand may be a bit freaked out that you are with child, which is also completely normal. But rest assured it’s completely safe to have intercourse while pregnant (unless advised otherwise from your obstetrician). Pregnancy symptoms that may be rearing their ugly head include a stuffy nose, bloating, gas and bleeding gums. Heartburn may also be making an appearance. Sensible Tips Start making a list of all the items you may need for the nursery. It would be advisable to go shopping while you’re feeling strong and energetic. Baby items can start getting costly, so ask around to find out what the essentials are before buying too many unnecessary gadgets.
Week 16 | Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Pregnancy & Birth Talk>Your pregnancy week by week>2nd Trimester

Week 16

With every week that goes by, your tummy becomes less of a bulge and more of a bump. For some moms, you may even begin to feel the tiniest of light flutters or bubbles, which is the first sign of movement! And if not this week, it will be soon. Your Baby Your baby is the size of an avocado and stretches out to 11.5cm and weights around 100 grams. Your little one’s backbone and spine are gaining strength, so they can begin to straighten out their head and neck. And with the new improved facial muscles, your baby is able to frown and squint. Remarkably, your baby is now able to hear your voice, which they’ll recognize instantly when you meet them for the first time. Your Body Your hair may be thicker and shinier, your nails may seem stronger and your skin may be silky smooth – finally you may be getting that gorgeous pregnancy glow that everyone always talks about! Also remember that … what was I saying again? Yes pregnancy brain may have kicked in too, no one knows what causes this exactly, but we think the fact that you growing a human should be enough justification. As you have noticed, your body is changing daily, and this can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Try and embrace the changes, and remember that it’s all going to an amazing cause – you’re creating a little miracle. On the down side, you may be feeling constipated and have more backache. Sensible Tips Schedule your five month fetal assessment as well as your monthly prenatal visit with your gynae. Take a photo of your growing bump so you can compare your growth from just four weeks back. Start writing down baby names that you like – it’s not always that easy to choose a name that both you and your partner agree on so don’t leave it for the last minute.
Week 17 | Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Pregnancy & Birth Talk>Your pregnancy week by week>2nd Trimester

Week 17

With your little one getting bigger and hungrier, don’t be alarmed if you feel constantly ravenous. Gaining weight at this stage is inevitable, and nourishing your little one is a necessity. However, just try to stick with healthy choices where possible (although we’re all for treating yourself occasionally). Your Baby Your baby is the size of a large onion and weighing around 140 grams and is about 13cm long. Your little one is starting to plump up, with body fat beginning to form all around their body. They’re also growing a stronger and thicker umbilical cord to keep up with her hunger demands. What’s more, is that they also perfecting those sucking and swallowing skills in preparation for nursing. Amazingly, your little one has become sensitive to sounds and light, and may react to loud noises or bright lights. Your Body Are you starting to itch all around your tummy and breasts? That’s your skin stretching thinner as your breasts grow larger and your tummy expands. You may also be experiencing odd shooting pains and aches around the sides of the abdomen. This is known as ‘round ligament pain’. Don’t stress though – it’s all rather normal and just your body’s way of encouraging the uterus, and supporting ligaments, to stretch and make room for a growing baby. Another common symptom is increased vaginal discharge. Between week 16 and 20, you can expect to gain around 500g per week. Sensible Tips Now would also be a good time to discuss whether you and your partner would like to join an antenatal class. Depending on where you’re based, they can fill up quite quickly, so it would be wise to get your name down early. Whilst these classes aren’t a necessity, they’re a great platform to find out additional information about birthing options, and allows your partner to feel more involved with the process. After one or two lessons they might start to fully realize their invaluable role on the big day. Chat to your gynae about birthing options and the pro’s and con’s of each so that you can make an informed decision.
Week 18 | Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Pregnancy & Birth Talk>Your pregnancy week by week>2nd Trimester

Week 18

With a growing bump, and the onset of swollen feet and hands, we think it’s time to treat yourself to a few extra pregnancy friendly clothes and shoes that’ll be kind and accommodating to the ever-expanding waistline. If you’re a tummy sleeper, or enjoy sleeping on your back, it may be a good time to start getting used to sleeping on your side. When you lie on your back, your uterus can compress a major vein, leading to decreased blood flow to your heart. Your Baby Your growing sprog is the size of a pear, about 14.2mm long and weighs in at 190 grams. Your baby is taking full advantage of their playground while they still have room to move, doing somersaults, punching and kicking around like crazy. By now you’ll most likely start to feel their little movements. Your Body You may find that your lower back is taking a bit of strain. Your growing uterus (now the size of a melon) shifts your centre of gravity, which makes your lower back pull forward while your abdomen is thrust out. Coupled with the pregnancy hormone called relaxin, which is designed to loosen your joints and relax ligaments, you left with backache and pains. For some moms, stretch marks may be showing across the belly and around the breast area. We know this may depress you, but consider it a parenting tattoo that you should wear with pride. Sensible Tips Chat to our health care professional about keeping track of baby’s movement by using a kick chart count. Start reading up about the different labour and what to expect so that you can be as informed as possible before the big day. Make sure you have booked your 5 month fetal assessment would should be coming up soon.
Week 19 | Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Pregnancy & Birth Talk>Your pregnancy week by week>2nd Trimester

Week 19

Your bump is growing, your legs are starting to swell, your lower back may be aching and you may start experiencing shooting pains across your abdomen – so what next? Insert leg cramps! These shooting pains across your calves are very common during your first and second trimester, and occur most often during the night (although can also occur during the day). Your Baby Your baby, now the size of a green pepper and weighs around 240 grams and measures about 15cm from head to rump. Your little one is currently in sensory overdrive as their brain is designating specialised areas for smell, taste, sight, touch and sound. Their limbs are also now in proportion to each other and the rest of her body. At this stage, your baby is also forming a waxy layer all around their body called vemix caseosa. This will form a protective layer around their skin to prevent them from pickling in the amniotic fluid. Your Body Your shift in body shape could be messing with your centre of gravity, so if you find you seem to be bumping into things or tripping over your feet more regularly, it’s time to start slowing down a bit until you get used to the front-loaded bump. Also if you haven’t felt your baby move, look out for gas like bubbles or butterfly kisses, as those may be the first signs of movement from your little one. Sensible Tips Start practicing your Kegel exercises – these are pelvic floor exercises that’ll help strengthen your muscles that are part of the pelvic floor, in anticipation for the increased pressure placed on by baby. Sign up for infant CPR classes. Start your childcare search – it may seem early, but before you know it your baby will be in your arms and you won’t have the time to research as thoroughly as you would have liked. Placing your child in someone else’s care is a huge decision and should be done without the added pressure of time constraints.
Week 20 | Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Pregnancy & Birth Talk>Your pregnancy week by week>2nd Trimester

Week 20

WOO HOO! You’ve reached the halfway mark with just 20 weeks left to go. You probably have a lot more energy and a higher libido. But alas, it’s not all plain sailing and you may be feeling the usual pregnancy aches and pains, which can include dizziness, leg cramps, heartburn and shortness of breath. Your Baby Your little cherub, now the size of a banana, should be weighing a healthy 285 grams and has a height of around 16.5cm (crown to rump). There’s still plenty more growing to be done, but for now your baby will enjoy the space available within the womb to kick and explore their surroundings. At this stage of development, your baby has working taste buds and will be drinking several milliliters of amniotic fluid each day. If you have decided to find out whether you having a girl of boy, an ultrasound would definitely be able to pick this up by now. If you’re carrying a girl, her uterus is fully formed. She also has primitive eggs in her tiny little ovaries, 7 million of them. Your Body Steady weight gain is now part and parcel of being pregnant. At this stage you should have gained around 5kg, and you can expect to gain another 500g every week until delivery date. It’s the one time in life you can actually enjoy watching the scale rise! Sensible Tips If you’ve found out the sex of your baby, you can start buying clothes and decorating the nursery in all the colours you love. Start making a baby shower list of all the things you need and would love to include in the nursery. Take a photo of your growing bump so you can compare your growth from just four weeks back.
Week 21 | Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Pregnancy & Birth Talk>Your pregnancy week by week>2nd Trimester

Week 21

It’s a wonderful stage to be pregnant, your bump is proudly exposed, and you’re not too heavy and tired just yet, making it possible to still go about your daily routine with relative ease. Max out on this period by ticking off as many items on your to-do list as possible – especially ones that require energy. Your Baby Now the size of a pomegranate, your little button is 360 grams and 26.7cm long. Very soon you will begin to feel as if you may be housing the next Karate kid. Your baby is taking full advantage of the space available to practice moving their limbs around. In other developments, your baby’s eyebrows, hair, and lids are now present and their taste buds are formed. Your Body Your little one may be leaving their mark in the form of stretch marks. These marks are unavoidable, and are your body’s reaction to rapidly stretched skin. Only one in two women get them, and you’re a likely candidate if your mom got them while she was pregnant. Stretching skin also results in itchy skin, which can be rather irritating – a bit like Chinese torture. On a happier note, those light-fluttering movements you started feeling a few weeks back are becoming far more distinct, which is just a reminder to let you know that those stretch mark ‘tattoos’ will all be worth it in the end. Sensible Tips Now would be a good time to whip out the baby book you’ve light heartedly been paging through over the past few months. The “name game” is not always as easy as it seems. Some partners really struggle to come up with a name that they both approve, so make sure you brainstorm some options to narrow down the list. If you have decided to go the natural route, familiarize yourself with the pain relief options available. Treat yourself to a pregnancy pamper day.

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