© The Anatomical Travelogue
For months your baby's eyes have been shut, but now they're almost fully developed and will soon be ready to open. Interestingly, whatever her ethnicity her eyes are blue at this time: The irises don't display their final color until a few months after birth. Your baby's brain is maturing rapidly, and she's growing quickly. She's more than a foot long and two pounds this week. She's still quite lean, but by the time you meet her, she'll be cute and chubby.
With two weeks left of the second trimester, you have a little more than a third of your pregnancy to go and, unfortunately, you're starting to feel it--your back hurts, your legs are cramping up, and your pelvic area feels heavy from the load you're carrying. But there's good news: If you're like most pregnant women, your hair is probably at its most luxurious, with extra body enhanced by higher levels of estrogen and progesterone. For a select few, though, your hair just lies flat; but within six months after birth, it will return to normal.
Do's and Don'ts
Your baby is relying on your body's iron stores, so do fill up on iron-rich foods, such as lentils and spinach, especially if you're a vegetarian. Your doctor may suggest supplementing your diet with iron pills to go along with your prenatal vitamins. Keep bottles of vitamins and pills out in the open where you can see them--it may help you to remember to take them.
Have you noticed that other expectant moms seem bigger or smaller than you? Such comparison is natural but can be misleading. The way you carry depends less on the size of the fetus and more on her shape, structure, and position. Overall muscle tone also matters; if you have tight muscles, your belly may not pop out as soon or as much as it would with looser muscles. If your doctor says your baby's growth is on track, then everything's fine.
Mom to Mom
Pregnancy can be overwhelming sometimes. Try singing your stress away. "Even when my daughter isn't with me, I sing tunes from Bear in the Big Blue House. I end up laughing at myself, which always puts me in a much better mood."--Melinda Knopko, New York, NY