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: What are some creative ways to deal with pain during labor?

What are some creative ways to deal with pain during labor?

Re: What are some creative ways to deal with pain during labor?

The Bump Expert

Whether you get the meds or not, you'll want to come armed with some natural pain-relief techniques. We're not saying it will be easy, but it's important to relax. One way? Find your happy place--we're fans of the beach and a campfire under the stars. When a painful contraction comes on, imagine yourself there, picturing every detail from your beach towel to the sound of the waves, while deeply breathing. You might also want to try music therapy with calming tunes like Enya or some other spa-like sounds, but hey, you might want to mix in some Kanye or Beyonce--or whatever else floats your boat! Appeal to your sense of smell too: We don't mean candles; we mean stuff that smells like home, like a pillow, blanket or cozy sweatshirt. Essential oils are nice as well.

When you're in labor, nothing beats a massage. Have your partner apply pressure to your lower back with his knuckles. Also helpful: some motivation. Keep baby's first outfit in plain sight to help you stay goal-oriented. The bottom line? Do what works for you. You'll learn more ideas at your birth class. Or try a HypnoBirthing class to learn additional relaxation techniques.

Ashley S. Roman, MD, ob-gyn and clinical assistant professor at New York University School of Medicine

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