Pregnancy Week by Week

Get a window on what’s happening in your pregnancy, week by week. From week four to week 42, your baby is experiencing a miraculous transformation from a clump of cells to a fully formed (and totally cute) newborn. Just imagine, as early as five weeks, your baby is already starting to form major organs (heart, stomach, liver, and kidneys) and systems (digestive, circulatory, nervous). By eight weeks, your raspberry-sized womb-mate is moving her arms and legs. At the beginning of your second trimester (week 14), your wee one is sucking his thumb. By week 28, the first week of the third trimester, baby (now as big as an eggplant) is prepping for breathing, developing his eyesight and packing on pounds in anticipation of life outside the womb. Each week is a new miracle. Less miraculous is how a mom-to-be may feel. Pregnancy Week-by-Week charts your baby’s development but also lets mom know what she might be feeling during each week of her pregnancy. Pregnancy week by Week includes everything mom needs to know to feel a sense of control over her pregnancy. Each week offers a complete guide to what you might feel, your must-do’s, your nice-to do’s, and answers and advice on everything pregnancy-related. Plus each week’s guide offers tips on maintaining a healthy and comfortable pregnancy from strategies on coping with pregnancy symptoms (morning sickness anyone?) to ideas for healthy eating, and pointers on talking to your OB. Let us guide you along your pregnancy, week by week.

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Q&A: Breastfeeding benefits?

Am I a bad mommy if I don’t breastfeed? How will it affect my baby?

Re: Am I a bad mommy if I don’t breastfeed? How will it affect my baby?

The Bump Expert

Of course you’re not a bad mommy… but do give nursing a chance. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends breastfeeding for the first year, and exclusively for the first six months. A mother's milk contains the ideal nutrients, enzymes and antibodies for baby. Breastfed babies are less likely to have diarrhea, ear infections, respiratory illness, allergies, stomach bugs and colds. Plus, nursing decreases future risk of obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, childhood leukemia and other forms of cancer. And, it's a great way to bond with baby. Need more? Studies link breastfeeding to higher IQs.

There are perks for you, too. Six months of formula will set you back about $500… breastmilk, not a penny. It’s always available, requires no preparation, and comes out at the perfect temperature. Worried about losing the pregnancy pounds? Yep, breastfeeding will help. It’s also been linked to decreased breast and uterine cancer and osteoporosis rates, helps you heal more quickly down below, and works (not perfectly!) as birth control. At the hospital, a lactation consultant can help you get comfortable with the nursing process. Your local La Leche League also offers support.

That said, if breastfeeding just won't work for you, skip the guilt trip. As long as you take good care of baby, the best fuel you can feed her is love.

Paula Kashtan

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