At a glance:
- Your baby can hear you!
- A downside of relaxin hormone that's kicking in
- It's time for antenatal blood tests
What’s happening to your baby
Whether you’re singing along (badly!) to the radio, gossiping with friends or just chatting away to yourself, your baby will be able to hear it. In fact, the sound of your voice will help to calm him – studies have shown that your baby’s heart rate actually drops when he hears your voice. Bless! Encourage your partner to talk to your bump too – it’s a great way to start fostering a bond between them. Check out more brilliant ways to bond with your bump.
What’s happening to you
Pregnancy hormones such as relaxin are busy loosening up the ligaments in your body for when your baby arrives. Another unfortunate effect is that they also relax the muscles around the intestines, leaving you with sluggish digestion. This can lead to – oh joy! – constipation.
Luckily, there are some simple dietary tweaks you can make to speed things up: include more fibre-rich food in your diet such as wholemeal bread, beans and pulses and porridge oats. Drinking plenty of fluid as will ensure your poo is soft and bulky, making it easier to pass and gentle exercise such as swimming or walking can help to get things moving, too.
What you may consider doing
At around this point in your pregnancy your midwife will check your blood count to make sure you’re not anaemic and prescribe you iron supplements if you are.
You’ll also be checked for gestational diabetes with a glucose tolerance test. You’ll be asked to fast the night before and at your appointment your midwife will take a urine sample to get a fasting baseline level.
You’ll then be given a glucose load – usually a thick, sugary drink – and be tested again – either two hours later or with blood prick tests every half hour. This is to see how your body deals with glucose (the sugar you drank).
In a nutshell, if your body can’t produce insulin, which is needed to help reduce glucose to normal levels, it could be a sign of gestational diabetes.
Image courtesy of Your Pregnancy Day-By-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell, published by Carroll & Brown, £9.99