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Before Birth and Beyond
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Week 25
(counting from first day of last menstrual period)
Around 23 Weeks After Conception

Please keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. If you have any questions, please check with your care provider.

Fetal Development:
The structures of the spine - 33 rings, 150 joints and 1000 ligaments - begin to form. The blood vessels of the lungs are developing and the nostrils begin to open. Busy week!

Maternal Changes:
You may be feeling like a "Soccer Mom" now that your uterus is the size of a soccer ball. Your growing uterus places pressure on your back and pelvis and may cause periodic shooting pains in your lower back and legs. When you experience this, rest, change your position, take a warm bath or apply ice to the sore area.

Sixth Month
Preterm Labor Warning Signs:
Do you know the warning signs of preterm labor? The March of Dimes advises that you never ignore any of these symptoms:
  • Menstrual-like cramps (constant or occasional)
  • Low, dull backache (constant or occasional)
  • Pelvic pressure (feels like the baby is pushing down)
  • Abdominal cramping (with or without diarrhea)
  • Increase or change in mucous vaginal discharge
  • Uterine contractions every 10 minutes or more often (may be painless)
Be sure to discuss with your caregiver what you should do in the event you experience these warning signs before the 37th week of pregnancy.

Ideas for Dad:
Now is a good time to start thinking about your work schedule when your baby arrives. If you want to take a leave, check with your employer about your options. Your company may qualify for the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. Most companies still do not pay for maternity/paternity leave, some do but do not announce that information unless you ask, while other companies have a whole range of benefits.

You may have other options available such as telecommuting (working from home), job sharing and/or flexible work schedules. Start your research now and do some soul-searching about how much time off you wish to have.

Inspirational Thoughts:
When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments: tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become. ~Louis Pasteur

Reading:

Blessed Expectations: Nine Months of Wonder, Reflection, & Sweet Anticipation by Judy Ford, published by Conari Press, 1997

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