© The Anatomical Travelogue
Your normally energetic baby has started to chill out a bit. Her movements feel more like squirms and rolls rather than hyperactive kickboxing sessions. That's because this week, when she's three pounds and 15 inches long, she has begun to run out of room (or should we say womb?). Beneath her skin is a nice layer of fat, and although she still relies on the umbilical cord for nourishment, her digestive tract is almost fully developed. Fetal brain scans show that babies this age actually have rapid eye movements, which means they're dreaming. Who knows what dreams now fill your baby's slumber.
Your uterus rises five inches higher than your belly button. The mid-pregnancy honeymoon period, when discomforts subsided, is over, and you may be bothered by a list of old and new complaints: shortness of breath, heartburn, fatigue, varicose veins, and constipation.
Do's and Don'ts
Don't just put up with the pain of hemorrhoids, which are common for women in the third trimester. Apply cold compresses (crushed ice in a clean sock will do) or cotton balls soaked in witch hazel to the area for quick relief. Your doctor may also recommend a nonprescription ointment or suppository to relieve some of the discomfort.
During pregnancy, you need 60 grams of protein each day to help your baby grow (the amino acids found in protein are integral to fetal development). That's the equivalent of a two to three-ounce serving-- about the size of a deck of cards--of cooked, lean poultry, beef, pork, or fish. If you'd rather not eat meat, there are plenty of other sources, including skim milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, and peanut butter.