This week is all about opening up! Namely, my nostrils have started clearing out and my vocal chords are forming nicely in preparation for when I take my first breath (and cry) outside of your belly. By the end of this week, the air sacs in my lungs will finish forming, but my lungs themselves aren’t quite functioning. They’re actually building up a layer of something called surfactant that will help them to expand once I’ve been born. My wrinkled skin is evening out, my hair is getting just a hint of pigmentation, and I’m now roughly the size of a head of cauliflower.
One of the latest and not-so-greatest developments you may be grappling with this week is the appearance of hemorrhoids. These swollen, itchy veins that appear around your rear end are a result your expanding uterus which is putting pressure on the area. Gobble down some fiber to keep yourself regular – studies have shown constipation can contribute to hemorrhoid development – and drink plenty of water to help kick these pesky symptoms to the curb. Like most ailments during your pregnancy, they should recede after I’m born.
If you’re feeling a little less graceful than usual, now might be the time to schedule in some activities to prepare for my arrival. All of that baby furniture isn’t going to assemble itself, and you definitely don’t want to leave it to a point when your belly is taking over your life! Recruit some family members or close friends and make an afternoon out of it. While you’re at it, consider baby-proofing the house by keeping sharp or unsafe objects out of reach, and sealing up any doors, cabinets, windows, or electrical sockets where I can potentially hurt myself.
Remember mom, you’re going through a lot right now – it’s okay to ask for help every now and again. “In the pregnancy process, I have come to realize how much of the burden is on the female partner. She’s got a construction zone going on in her belly.” – Al Roker