Though he doesn’t need to make use of them in his current home – you’re doing the work for him! - your baby’s senses of taste and smell continue developing this week. They are stimulated ever so slightly by your amniotic fluid. It carries the aromatic molecules from the food you eat and the smell of your environment to him! Thus, at birth, your baby will already be attracted to the smell of your skin, your milk, sweet taste (because the amniotic fluid is slightly sweet), and will even be familiar later on with foods you consumed regularly in late pregnancy. Soon, his brain will be mature enough for him to memorize these sensory experiences. Your eating habits, if you like Mediterranean food with garlic or spices for example, can already introduce your baby to your culture in utero.
Have you been imagining that your collar feels like it is getting too tight for you? Well, a “thick neck” is normal during pregnancy. It is because the thyroid gland swells along with your belly and breasts. That can sometimes mean that you cannot do up the top button on your blouse. But, as with so many things in pregnancy, this also varies from one woman to another. And will come to an end in the not too distant future. About 18 weeks to be exact!
Your well-being might require some tweaks in the things you’re eating. Been feeling some heaviness in the legs? If it is summer, or if your apartment or office is strongly heated, it could contribute to poor circulation in your veins. Start by drinking plenty of water (1.5 to 2 litres per day). Try and fit in a half hour walk each day, wearing a slight heel to maintain muscle tone in your legs. Also try sleeping with your legs elevated and on your left side to relieve the pressure of the baby lying on and compressing your larger blood vessels. You can also try spraying cold water on the backs of your legs from the ankle to the knee when in the shower. Not very pleasant, but quite effective!
Indigestion been getting you down lately? An unpleasant and quite common side effect of pregnancy, hormonal changes make the upper stomach opening slacker. This makes it easier than usual for stomach acid to get into the oesophagus and that causes the uncomfortable feeling you’ve been experiencing. The larger the child, the more it presses on the stomach and increases this effect!
A change in eating habits can often be helpful: eat five small meals a day instead of three large ones. Make sure you chew thoroughly. Another trick if you suffer from indigestion at night is to prop up your head. Then the acid cannot rise up so easily.