Your baby measures about 10.6 inches (27 cm) from head to foot and weighs about 16.4 ounces (465 gm) at the start of the week—and about 19.4 ounces (550 gm) at the end of the week.
The skeleton and organs can still be discerned through the baby’s skin. Your baby’s hearing is improving, and she can now differentiate various sounds from both inside and outside the mother-to-be’s body. Your baby will recognize both the tone and rhythm of your voices when she is born.
Your digestion is affected by the baby growing inside your uterus. Simply put, there is less and less room for your stomach and intestines. You could have issues with constipation or heartburn. By eating several small meals instead of a few big ones, you can relieve heartburn. An after-dinner walk can also help alleviate both heartburn and constipation. This may be a brand-new symptom with this pregnancy, or an unwelcome guest from when you were pregnant last time.
Physical activity is good for you and your baby. When your belly grows it’s a good idea to modify your exercise routine to the changes in your body. Aqua exercise classes or pregnancy yoga are gentle forms of exercise. It can be more difficult to make time to exercise when you already have a child. Can you find a form of exercise that allows your older children to join in? Or find 10 minutes to increase your heart rate while they are at their own activities? The more children you have, the more inventive you need to be to find time to exercise. Is there something fun you can do together outside? Resistance exercise bands are practical and fit into a jacket pocket. Maybe a few bicep curls while you watch all the quick turns down the slide?
As your tummy and breasts grow, the skin stretches resulting in dry skin and itching. Rub pregnancy oil or some other moisturizing, pleasant lotion on your belly and breasts. This might be something you can allow your partner (if you have one) to do in order to feel close to your baby. Or your older child might enjoy rubbing mommy’s tummy with lotion.
It’s possible that you leak a tiny amount of urine when you laugh or cough. This is because your pelvic floor muscles are starting to stretch due to the weight of your growing uterus. We highly recommend that you do your Kegel exercises every day. Maybe not the most exciting exercises, but particularly important. They will help you to tighten your muscles, both during and after your pregnancy. The pelvic floor muscles are the muscles that support all your inner organs and are part of our inner deep stomach muscles—our core muscles.
This is also where women’s orgasm muscles are located, so Kegel exercises are a good investment in more ways than one. The more times you are pregnant, the greater the strain on these muscles—muscles that are actually essential to our well-being. This applies even if you had a cesarean section. It’s the pregnancy itself that puts a strain on the pelvic floor muscles, not just how you gave birth.
As important as it is to be able to ”squeeze” correctly, it is also important to know how to relax the muscles in the pelvic floor. If you have many problems with urine leakage during physical exertion, talk to your midwife or doctor. Maybe you need to see a physiotherapist who specialises in womens health and the pelvic floor in order to get help training the muscles in the right way.