Bump Update: Week 24
Welcome to week 24, where you are still enjoying the benefits of the second trimester and also of an adorable baby bump! If you're not showing yet, you will be soon, and there are many ways to dress a baby bump in style--even on a budget! Here are this week's latest developments.
By now, your belly button may be poking out, which you might consider "cute," or a total nuisance. After all, you already have two nipples, who needs a third?? Just kidding. If your protruding navel embarrasses you, a simple belly band or pregnancy corset can always do the trick of giving a smooth look to your rounding belly. Let's be honest, belly buttons are kind of weird even when we aren't pregnant! It's just part of pregnancy, so don't worry too much about it. As for the rest of your body, some pregnant mothers are prone to pregnancy-induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which is a numbness and tingling in the wrist area. The carpal tunnel is a tunnel or opening made by the bones and ligaments in the wrist, but normal swelling during pregnancy can narrow this tunnel and pinch or put pressure on the median nerve, causing the symptoms. If you are pregnant and also performing repetitive motions with your wrists and hands (such as typing, working at a desk, filing,etc.), you are at a higher risk for pregnancy carpal tunnel. Here are some solutions to keep this condition from worsening:
- Stretch and shake out your hands about every hour as you work to avoid stiffness
- Avoid sleeping on your hands or with them curled up (I find it helps to put one on each side of a pillow to maintain a smooth and relaxed palm)
- Use ergonomic positions as you work, i.e. elbows should be higher than your hands as you type to avoid wrist strain
- Avoid caffeine and tobacco, as these both increase blood flow and pressure on the area
If your carpal tunnel becomes painful, talk to your medical provider about other options such as a wrist brace, anti-inflammatory medications, or even acupuncture treatments. Know that in time, this condition will likely pass after you give birth.
Baby's face has completely formed with everything in its proper place. This means that if you're fortunate to obtain a 3D or 4D ultrasound, you might even be able to spot features that look like you or your partner! It also means that your baby is now finally starting to look like the baby you'll meet in a few month's time. Isn't that exciting? Fetal hearing has also reached an advanced stage of development, meaning that baby can hear and recognize familiar voices as opposed to just distinguishing basic sounds. A timeline of your baby's ability to hear shows just how much they develop in a few short weeks. Also fun to note is this: studies show that baby will ignore strangers' voices while immediately turning towards the voice of their mother--even in a crowded room.
Take a trip that gives you some alone time with your spouse. It may be a weekend getaway, staycation, or full-on vacation. Just make sure you get some time together to enjoy before the baby comes and, well, changes everything!