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: Avoiding postpartum depression?

Is there any way I could tell if I’m predisposed to PPD so I can prepare for it or prevent it altogether?

Re: Is there any way I could tell if I’m predisposed to PPD so I can prepare for it or prevent it altogether?

The Bump Expert

Yes. There are predictors, but no one is immune and there really isn’t a type of woman who gets hit with depression after delivery. Still, if you’ve experienced any of the following, you may be more likely to suffer from PPD:

-    A personal or family history of depression
-    A previous postpartum depression
-    Severe PMS
-    Negative mood changes in response to the birth control pill
-    Strong feelings of isolation
-    Poor partner support
-    Previous emotional trauma

Do any of these sound familiar? Even if they don’t, it’s a good idea to put some of these practices in place before baby’s birth to help avoid PPD or prepare for it if it does come:

[  ] Set a nighttime routine. Making sure baby is cared for is just as important as making sure Mommy is cared for. Talk to your partner about how you’ll handle nighttime feedings so you’re getting enough rest at night.

[  ] Make sure you’re staying healthy. Maintaining a good diet is key, so continue the same healthy habits even after birth. Exercise (we know, it’s hard to find time, but walking with baby counts) and consider adding omega-3 fish oil to your vitamin supplements.

[  ] Line up support. It’s incredibly important to have emotional support after baby comes. Stay connected with family and friends so you don’t start to feel isolated.

[  ] Research treatment methods. Look into counseling, medication, or other natural or alternative treatments so you’ll know all of your options if PPD does set in.

Shoshana Bennett, PhD


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