Now that we’re in your third trimester, I’ll be packing on the pounds like crazy – right now I’m about three pounds, but I’ll be adding about a half-pound a week until the day I’m born. For the time being, I’m roughly the size of a cabbage. As my brain gets more developed, so do some of my other senses. My eyesight is improving, although even after I’m born I’ll still spend a good deal of the time with my eyes shut as my vision gets better and better. I’m able to actually regulate my own temperature now, meaning I can shed that soft, downy ‘fur’ I sprouted way back in week 14.
Because I’m gaining weight, you’ll be gaining weight as well – expect to gain a pound a week at this point. Don’t stress! A lot of that weight is all of the gushy stuff that’s keeping me (who’s also adding to those numbers on the scale) safe and sound in your belly, like amniotic fluid and the placenta. As you get bigger and bigger in these final months, you’ll probably also feel more and more cumbersome. With a rounded mid-section throwing off your center of gravity, loose ligaments thanks to pregnancy hormones, and newly spread out feet, you may be a little clumsier and slower than usual. Just take it easy and remember, no one is expecting you to be at your most graceful right about now.
As we sprint (or slowly walk) toward the home stretch, here’s a question for you: have you thought about breastfeeding? Some studies have shown that breastfeeding your little ones can reduce the need for orthodontic work in the future. In fact, breast milk is loaded with beneficial nutrients to help me develop in my earliest days outside of your body. Children that are breastfed have a lower risk of disease and infection both at birth and as a child, as well as lower rates of sudden infant death syndrome. It can even lead to higher IQ scores! Oh, and did I mention it helps new moms burn off tons of calories (and those pesky baby pounds)? If you’re nervous about breastfeeding, don’t worry – your medical team will guide you through it when I’m born. You can also talk to friends or your prenatal classmates to see how they’re planning to tackle feeding their babies.
As I get bigger, I’m feeling closer to you than ever mom. Let’s count down the weeks together! “Pregnancy is getting company inside one’s skin.” – Maggie Scarf (Author)