Saturday, January 30, 2010

31 wks pregnant - info from

Your pregnancy: 31 weeks (this is probably about the point I was born to my birth mom, incidentally since I was a 3 lb baby and a preemie)

How your baby's growing:

This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt.

He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up.

Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

How your life's changing:

Have you noticed the muscles in your uterus tightening now and then? Many women feel these random contractions — called Braxton Hicks contractions — in the second half of pregnancy. Often lasting about 30 seconds, they're irregular, and at this point, they should be infrequent and painless.

Frequent contractions, on the other hand — even those that don't hurt — may be a sign of preterm labor.

Call your practitioner immediately if you have more than four contractions in an hour or any other signs of preterm labor: an increase in vaginal discharge or a change in the type of discharge (if it becomes watery, mucus-like, or bloody — even if it's pink or just tinged with blood); abdominal pain or menstrual-like cramping; an increase in pressure in the pelvic area; or low back pain, especially if you didn't have it before.

You may have noticed some leaking of colostrum, or "premilk," from your breasts lately. If so, try tucking some nursing pads into your bra to protect your clothes. (And if not, it's certainly nothing to worry about; your breasts are making colostrum all the same, even if you don't see any.)

If your current bra is too snug, you might also want to pick up a nursing bra. Choose a nursing bra at least one cup size bigger than you need now. When your milk comes in you'll be grateful for that extra room!

If you're having a boy, you and your partner will want to take some time to think about whether or not to have your baby circumcised. Find out the pros and cons from your doctor, and what the procedure involves.

Choosing a focal point "I'm 31 weeks along, and at my childbirth classes they've been telling us to concentrate on a focal point during labor. Anything from a picture to a crack in the wall or ceiling can work, so long as it helps Mom relax and distracts her from the pain." — Anonymous

Decision Guide: Do you want pain medication during labor?

There's no one right way to have a baby. Every woman's experience with pain is different and every labor is different.

Some women know in advance that they want pain medication. Some are committed to a natural, unmedicated approach to pain management. And some want to try for a drug-free birth with the option of pain medication if the going gets too rough. Learn all you can about the pros and cons of the various options so that you can make an informed choice.

Here are some things to consider as you make your decision:

• If you haven't done so already, sign up for a childbirth education class with your partner. Instructors generally cover all labor pain relief options, including epidurals, spinals, and systemic medication as well as drug-free approaches like breathing and relaxation techniques.

• Most women opt for some kind of pain medication during childbirth. The most popular form of labor pain relief, an epidural, delivers continuous pain relief to the lower part of your body while allowing you to remain fully conscious.

• Some women choose a natural, drug-free approach to controlling labor pain. If you want to remain in control of your body to the greatest extent possible, be an active participant throughout labor, and have minimal routine interventions in the birth process, then natural approaches will suit you best. If you choose to go this route, you accept the potential for pain and discomfort as part of giving birth, but with the right preparation and support, you may find it works well for you.

• Whether you've decided to use pain medication during labor or are committed to natural childbirth, remember that you have the right to change your mind once you're in labor.

• Take our poll: Have you decided to use drugs during childbirth?

This Week's Activity:

You don't need to pack your bag yet, but start making a list of items to bring to the hospital.

Besides a change of clothes and a toothbrush, some items to include:

• A photograph or object to focus on during labor
• Snacks to keep your energy up and gum or mints for bad breath
• Cozy socks and slippers
• Your favorite pillow
• Some light reading material
• A nursing nightie and nursing bra
• A going-home outfit for your baby
• A camera or camcorder, fresh batteries, and film, if necessary

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Big T finally felt his baby move!

Cuddling on the couch today T. *FINALLY* felt the baby move... twice as a matter of fact.

He missed the first 2, and I was feeling frustrated and I told the baby to give him a good one.

Then boom, boom -- he felt two in a row :>


Saturday, January 23, 2010

30 wks pregnant - info from

Your pregnancy: 30 weeks

How your baby's growing:

Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage).

A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

How your life's changing:

You may be feeling a little tired these days, especially if you're having trouble sleeping. You might also feel clumsier than normal, which is perfectly understandable.

Not only are you heavier, but the concentration of weight in your pregnant belly causes a shift in your center of gravity. Plus, thanks to hormonal changes, your ligaments are more lax, so your joints are looser, which may also contribute to your balance being a bit off. Also, this relaxation of your ligaments can actually cause your feet to spread permanently, so you may have to invest in some new shoes in a bigger size.

Remember those mood swings you had earlier in pregnancy? The combination of uncomfortable symptoms and hormonal changes can result in a return of those emotional ups and downs.

It's normal to worry about what your labor will be like or whether you'll be a good parent. But if you can't shake the blues or feel increasingly irritable or agitated, talk to your doctor or midwife. You may be among the 1 in 10 expectant women who battle depression during pregnancy. Also let your caregiver know if you're frequently nervous or anxious.

Searching for a pediatrician "I realized that finding a good pediatrician would be at least as important as finding a good doctor or midwife, so I started my search early. I asked my midwife and her assistant, the workers, administrators and mothers at two daycare centers, and my local hospital's referral center for recommendations. The two practitioners whose names came up most often were the ones I interviewed." —Anonymous

Surprising Facts: Common labor fears

Are you nervous about giving birth? You're not alone! Here are some common fears and how to cope with them.

• I won't be able to handle the pain.
One in five expectant moms says this is her top third-trimester fear, according to a BabyCenter poll. Some women know ahead of time that they will want pain-relieving medication during labor and, in fact, most women do end up opting to have an epidural. Others are committed to giving birth without drugs. They accept potential for pain and discomfort and learn techniques to help them manage it. With the right preparation and support, some women find natural childbirth deeply satisfying and empowering.

• I'll need an episiotomy or I'll tear.
An episiotomy is a surgical cut in the muscular area between your vagina and anus (the perineum) which is performed right before delivery to enlarge your vaginal opening. Some women tear spontaneously in this area during delivery — even with an episiotomy — and the tears can range from almost undetectable to severe, requiring a significant number of stitches to repair. Once nearly standard, episiotomies are on the decline and experts now agree that the procedure shouldn't be done routinely. Talk to your practitioner about how often and under what conditions she performs episiotomies and how she might help you avoid one, or tearing. There's some evidence that you'll be less likely to need stitches if you start massaging your perineum about five weeks before your due date.

• I'll have a bowel movement during labor.
In a recent BabyCenter poll, 70 percent of women said they were afraid they'd poop while giving birth, 39 percent said they actually did, and of those, only 22 percent were embarrassed by it. Though it's hard to believe now, if you do have a bowel movement while you're pushing, no one will blink an eye. Your caregivers will clean it up possibly even before you know what's happened.

• I'll be steamrolled into unnecessary medical interventions.
The best way to deal with this fear is to have a frank conversation with your practitioner. If you trust and respect your doctor or midwife, you can rest assured that she'll be doing her best for you and your baby on the day of delivery. If she's aware of your wishes and preferences (consider writing a birth plan), she can do her best to adhere to them. Another way to ease this fear is to hire a doula — a professional labor assistant — to attend your birth. She can be your advocate at the hospital.

• I'll have to have a c-section.
Since one in five women giving birth for the first time ends up having a c-section to deliver her baby, this fear is understandable. If you have your heart set on a vaginal birth, ending up with a c-section can be disappointing. Some moms say they feel cheated out of a vaginal birth, especially if they took childbirth classes and fantasized about the "ideal birth," or if they feel that their c-section wasn't really necessary. Others say they feel as if they're somehow less of a woman because they needed a c-section. If you have these feelings, it may take some time to reconcile the reality of your birth experience with what you'd imagined during your pregnancy. It might help to know that many women find their babies' births, whether vaginal or c-section, very different from what they expected.

• I won't make it to the hospital on time.
Emergency home deliveries are extremely unusual, especially with first babies. But if you can't shake this fear, check out our emergency home birth instructions so you'll have an idea of what it involves.

This Week's Activity:

Assemble any baby gear This is the perfect job for your partner or a friend who wants to help. Cribs, bassinets, and strollers are notoriously tricky to put together, especially when you're sleep deprived, so get started now. Swings, mobiles, and monitors can all require batteries, so make sure you have enough on hand.

Tip: Consider getting rechargeable batteries and a battery charger.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Had my 2nd actual dream about the baby

So last night I dreamt that I had been kidnapped and while I was being held prisoner in this dusty house, I suddenly just had the baby in my arms.

The baby was large, and healthy and smiling. Already possessing two teeth (bottom front) and in this dream, the baby was a boy.

Old wives tales say that when you dream about the gender of your baby-to-be that said baby will be the opposite gender.

However; my previous baby dream (from quite awhile ago - Nov. I think) was about me having an ultrasound and the tech telling us it was a boy, but by the end of that dream -- I was having the baby and was told that baby was actually a girl.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

29 wks pregnant - info from

Your pregnancy: 29 weeks

How your baby's growing:

Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel.

His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron.

And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day.

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.
How your life's changing:

Your baby's very active now. Your practitioner may ask you to spend some time each day counting kicks and will give you specific instructions on how to do this. Let her know if you ever notice a decrease in activity. You may need a nonstress test or biophysical profile to check on your baby's condition.

Some old friends — heartburn and constipation — may take center stage now. The pregnancy hormone progesterone relaxes smooth muscle tissue throughout your body, including your gastrointestinal tract. This relaxation, coupled with the crowding in your abdomen, slows digestion, which in turn can cause gas and heartburn — especially after a big meal — and contribute to constipation as well.

Your growing uterus may also be contributing to hemorrhoids. These swollen blood vessels in your rectal area are common during pregnancy and usually clear up in the weeks after giving birth. If they're itchy or painful, try soaking in a sitz bath or applying cold compresses medicated with witch hazel to the affected area.

Also avoid sitting or standing for long stretches. Talk with your practitioner before using any over-the counter remedies during pregnancy, and let her know if you have any rectal bleeding. To prevent constipation, eat a high-fiber diet, drink plenty of water, and get some regular exercise.

Some women get something called "supine hypotensive syndrome" during pregnancy, where laying flat on your back causes a change in heart rate and blood pressure that makes you feel dizzy until you change position. You might note that you feel lightheaded if you stand up too quickly, too. To avoid "the spins" lie on your side rather than your back, and move slowly as you go from lying down to sitting and then standing.

Enjoy your freedom "Shake the pregnancy blahs by enjoying your last weeks of pre-baby freedom. Do all the things you may not have time for — movies, facials, romantic dinners with your mate — once your little one is here." —Bethany B.

3 Questions About Maternity leave
Does my employer have to let me take maternity leave?

Not necessarily. Many employers are required by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to allow their full-time employees (both men and women) 12 weeks of unpaid family leave after the birth or adoption of a child. But there are exceptions: Some part-time workers, newer employees, and employees of companies with fewer than 50 workers aren't covered by the FMLA. But even if you're not eligible for leave under the FMLA, you may be eligible under your state's provisions. To find out, check with your state's department of labor.

Actual paid "maternity leave" is unusual in the United States. Some companies offer new parents paid time off, up to six weeks in some cases. But most likely, you'll use a combination of short-term disability (STD), sick leave, vacation, personal days, and unpaid family leave to cobble together your maternity leave.

How do I decide when to start my leave?

There's no "right time" to stop working. Some women start their leave in the seventh or eighth month while others work right up until delivery. You'll need to monitor your pregnancy to determine the right time to start maternity leave. If your practitioner puts you on bed rest, or complications develop that require you to be out of work before you give birth, you'll most likely be put on short-term disability if your state or company offers it.

Once your maternity leave is up, don't be surprised if it's hard to leave your baby and go back to work. Seventy-eight percent of new moms in a BabyCenter poll said they struggled with the decision to return to work, while only 22 percent said they were ready to go back.

What's the best way to discuss these issues with my boss?

First, do your homework. Review your employee handbook, or contact a human resources representative who can inform you of your employer's formal policies regarding pregnancy and maternity leave. You may also want to question your co-workers who have already traveled this path.

Then, make a plan. Figure out how much time you think you'll want to take. If you're considering unpaid leave, think about how much time without a paycheck you can reasonably afford. Consider whether you'll want to take maternity leave in one block of time or whether you'd rather split it up over the year. Under the FMLA, you can use your 12 weeks anyway you want — all at once, a week at a time, some now, some later, etc. When making these decisions, consider your partner's schedule and benefits too. Some companies offer paid paternity leave, and your partner may qualify for leave under the FMLA as well.

To increase your chances of getting what you want, plan to offer your boss solutions rather than problems by having some ideas for how your work can be handled while you're away.

If you're not sure where to start, read about how seven new moms negotiated their maternity leaves and transitioned back to work. Seeing how other women made it work can be inspiring.

Find out exactly which questions you should ask your coworkers and human resources department with our maternity leave checklist, and get the full lowdown on maternity leave.

This Week's Activity:

Run some vital errands now. Here are some things you'll need in the first few weeks when it's almost impossible to go shopping:
• Diapers and wipes.
• Baby care items such as nail clippers, a thermometer, a bulb syringe, and a pacifier.
• Baby-friendly laundry detergent.
• Sanitary pads for you. (You'll bleed for a few weeks after delivery.)
• Thank-you cards and stamps.
• Paper towels and paper plates for easy cleanup after meals.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Glucose test - earlier today

So I had to fast from 7 p.m. last night. Only water and nothing else.

Got to the lab at 8:30 a.m. and they took a vial of my blood and then I had to drink the gross orange drink (not sure what the measurement was but it said 75 on the bottle).

What I want to know is why can one ONLY have the orange one around here when there are other flavours available elsewhere? Seriously!

Anyway, so I drank the grody orange stuff and then an hour after that, they took another vial of my blood.

Then an hour after THAT they took another vial of my blood.

So according to this site:

My first test (the one hr) was this:

Gestational Diabetes Screening: Glucose Challenge Test
Sample drawn 1 hour after a 50-gram glucose drink.
Glucose Level Indication
Less than 140* mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) Normal screen
140* mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) and over Abnormal, needs OGTT*

* Some use a cutoff of 130 mg/dL (7.2 mmol/L) because that identifies 90% of women with gestational diabetes, compared to 80% identified using the threshold of 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L).

And the one today consisted of the following:

Fasting Blood Glucose
Glucose Level Indication
From 70 to 99 mg/dL (3.9 to 5.5 mmol/L) Normal fasting glucose
From 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) Impaired fasting glucose (pre-diabetes)
126 mg/dL (7.0 mmol/L) and above Diabetes


Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)

Levels applicable except (???) during pregnancy. Sample drawn 2 hours after a 75-gram glucose drink.

Glucose Level Indication
Less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) Normal glucose tolerance
140 to 200 mg/dL (7.8 to 11.1 mmol/L) Impaired glucose tolerance (pre-diabetes)
Over 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) Diabetes


I *almost* threw up (twice) at the lab - but I managed to contain myself.

After it was all done, I came home and THEN I puked... also, my arm is sore, I feel extra tired and just a lil loopy.


Send good vibes because I don't want to have GD.

belly pics

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

OBGYN short appt

Dr. C seemed kind of rushed today.

Heard baby's heartbeat with doppler -- 132 bpm (think baby was at rest since I hadn't been kicked much yet)

He measured my stomach but didn't tell me what I was measuring at.

My BP was 122 over 78.

My weight (arrgh!) - 288 lbs

The hospital had not sent my glucose results to the office yet (even though I had the test Dec 30th) so they are following up on that.

EDITED TO ADD: Apparently my glucose test came out at 8.0 and they like it to be no higher than 7.8 so I have to do the freakin' 3 hr test on Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. at the lab across the hall from Dr. C's office.

Still no date set for the repeat C-section (from now on to be known as RCS) but he's still thinking March 23rd or March 24th.

He seemed a bit confused about why he would have proposed a date more than a week before my due date and I reminded him that it was because of my emerg. C-section that I had with Little Man.

Should I be nervous that he needed to be reminded?

While in the waiting room, one of the Moms-to-be there turned out to be the sister of one of the teachers at Little Man's school (Mme H.'s sister).

My next appt is Feb 10th at 9:15 a.m. and, apparently, I will be getting one more U/S sometime in March. Though by then, my baby should be pretty big so who knows if we'll actually get to move from "Team Green" to team Blue or Pink???

That baby bpm guessing site says: BOY

babybpm fetal heart rate gender predictor

But I still keep thinking GIRL...

re: glucose testing...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

28 wks pregnant - info from

Your pregnancy: 28 weeks

How your baby's growing:

By this week, your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can blink her eyes, which now sport lashes. With her eyesight developing, she may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. She's also developing billions of neurons in her brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.
How your life's changing:

You're in the home stretch! The third and final trimester starts this week. If you're like most women, you'll gain about 11 pounds this trimester.

At this point, you'll likely visit your doctor or midwife every two weeks.

Then, at 36 weeks, you'll switch to weekly visits. Depending on your risk factors, your practitioner may recommend repeating blood tests for HIV and syphilis now, as well as doing cultures for chlamydia and gonorrhea, to be certain of your status before delivery.

Also, if your glucose screening test result was high and you haven't yet had follow-up testing, you'll soon be given the 3-hour glucose tolerance test. And if the blood work done at your first prenatal visit showed that you're Rh negative, you'll get an injection of Rh immunoglobulin to prevent your body from developing antibodies that could attack your baby's blood. (If your baby is Rh positive, you'll receive another shot of Rh immunoglobulin after you give birth.)

Around this time, some women feel an unpleasant "creepy-crawly" sensation in their lower legs and an irresistible urge to move them while trying to relax or sleep. If this sensation is at least temporarily relieved when you move, you may have what's known as restless legs syndrome (RLS). No one knows for sure what causes RLS, but it's relatively common among expectant mothers. Try stretching or massaging your legs, and cut down on caffeine, which can make the symptoms worse. Ask your caregiver if you should try iron supplements, which can sometimes relieve RLS.

Sleep easier "Now that it's later in my pregnancy, I find that if I sleep on either side with a pillow tucked underneath my stomach, I can make it through the night." –Venece

3 Questions About Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a complex disorder that affects 3 to 8 percent of pregnant women. A woman is diagnosed with preeclampsia if she has high blood pressure and protein in her urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Most women who get preeclampsia develop a mild version near their due date, and they and their babies do fine with proper care. But when preeclampsia is severe, it can affect many organs and cause serious or even life-threatening problems. The only way to get better is to deliver the baby.

What are the symptoms of preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia can come on suddenly, so it's very important to be aware of the symptoms. Call your midwife or doctor right away if you notice any of these warning signs:

Swelling in your face or puffiness around your eyes, more than slight swelling of your hands, or excessive or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles.

• Rapid weight gain — more than 4 pounds in a week.
• Severe or persistent headache
• Vision changes, including double vision, blurred vision, seeing spots or flashing lights, sensitivity to light, or temporary loss of vision
• Intense pain or tenderness in your upper abdomen
• Nausea and vomiting

Preeclampsia can occur without any obvious symptoms, particularly in the early stages, and some symptoms may seem like normal pregnancy complaints. So you might not know you have the condition until it's discovered at a routine prenatal visit. This is one of the reasons it's so important not to miss your appointments.

What puts me at high risk for preeclampsia?

It's more common to get preeclampsia for the first time during a first pregnancy. However, once you've had preeclampsia, you're more likely to develop it again in later pregnancies. Other risk factors include:

• Having chronic hypertension
• Having certain blood clotting disorders, diabetes, kidney disease, or an autoimmune disease like lupus
• Having a close relative (a mother, sister, grandmother, or aunt, for example) who had preeclampsia
• Being obese (having a body mass index of 30 or more)
• Carrying two or more babies
• Being younger than 20 or older than 40

Is there any way I can avoid getting preeclampsia?

No one knows for sure how to prevent preeclampsia, although there's a lot of research going on in this area. A number of studies have looked into whether taking extra calcium, vitamins, or a low dose of aspirin can help, but the results have been mixed.

For now, the best thing you can do is get good prenatal care and keep all your prenatal appointments. At each visit your healthcare provider will check your blood pressure and test your urine for protein. It's also important to be aware of the warning signs of preeclampsia so that you can alert your caregiver and get treated as soon as possible.

For more information on pregnancy complications, see BabyCenter's comprehensive pregnancy complications area.

This Week's Activity:

Choose a doctor for your baby. Get names of pediatricians or family practitioners from friends, co-workers, neighbors, or your pregnancy caregiver. Make sure the doctor accepts your health insurance, keeps hours that work with your schedule, and has an office that's convenient for you. If you can, schedule face-to-face interviews with your top candidates. If it seems too early to be thinking about this, consider that your baby will have his first doctor's visit shortly after birth.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

No belly pic this wk

I was feeling moody, depressed and fat.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

27 wks pregnant - info from

Your pregnancy: 27 weeks

This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended.

She's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if she were to be born now.

Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don't bother her, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.
How your life's changing:

The second trimester is drawing to a close, but as your body gears up for the final lap, you may start noticing some new symptoms. Along with an aching back, for example, you may find that your leg muscles cramp up now and then. They're carrying extra weight, after all, and your expanding uterus is putting pressure on the veins that return blood from your legs to your heart as well as on the nerves leading from your trunk to your legs.

Unfortunately, the cramps may get worse as your pregnancy progresses. Leg cramps are more common at night but can also happen during the day. When a cramp strikes, stretching the calf muscle should give you some relief. Straighten your leg and then gently flex your toes back toward your shin. Walking for a few minutes or massaging your calf sometimes helps, too.

It may be the furthest thing from your mind right now, but it's not too soon to think about family planning. You'll want to have made some decisions about postpartum birth control before your baby arrives.

If you're considering a tubal ligation, be aware that most states require you to sign a consent form at least 30 days beforehand. So if you'd like the option of having the surgery during your postpartum hospital stay, don't wait too much longer to discuss it with your caregiver. (You can still change your mind later.)

Beyond orange juice "Need more vitamin C? Try red bell peppers! They have nearly twice the vitamin C of a navel orange, and a half cup is one of the five servings of fruits and vegetables you need each day." — Kayla B.

Surprising Facts: Symptoms you should never ignore

So many aches, pains, and strange feelings arise during pregnancy that it can be hard to decide what's normal and what warrants a call to your doctor or midwife. To complicate matters further, some symptoms may be more or less urgent depending on your particular situation or health history and on how far along you are in your pregnancy.

Here's a rundown of symptoms that could be a sign of a problem. If you have any of these complaints, call your doctor or midwife immediately:

Before you reach 37 weeks:

• Pelvic pressure (a feeling that your baby is pushing down), lower back pain (especially if it's a new problem for you), menstrual-like cramping or abdominal pain, or more than four contractions in an hour (even if they don't hurt)

• An increase in vaginal discharge or a change in the type of discharge — if it becomes watery, mucus-like, or bloody (even if it's only pink or blood-tinged)

At any time:

• Your baby is moving or kicking less than usual

• Severe or persistent abdominal pain or tenderness

• Vaginal bleeding or spotting, or watery discharge

• Pain or burning when you urinate, or little or no urination

• Severe or persistent vomiting, or any vomiting accompanied by pain or fever

• Chills or a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher

• Blurred or double vision, or seeing spots or "floaters"

• A severe or persistent headache, or any headache accompanied by blurred vision, slurred speech, or numbness

• Any swelling in your face or puffiness around your eyes, anything more than mild swelling in your fingers or hands, or severe or sudden swelling in your legs, feet, or ankles, or a rapid weight gain (more than 4 pounds in a week)

• Severe or persistent leg or calf pain that doesn't ease up when you flex your ankle and point your toes toward your nose, or one leg significantly more swollen than the other

• Trauma to your abdomen

• Fainting, frequent dizziness, rapid heartbeat, or palpitations

• Difficulty breathing, coughing up blood, or chest pain

• Severe constipation accompanied by abdominal pain or severe diarrhea that lasts more than 24 hours

• Persistent intense itching all over

• Any health problem that you'd ordinarily call your practitioner about, even if it's not pregnancy-related (like worsening asthma or a cold that gets worse rather than better)

Even if you don't see your symptom on the list above, trust your instincts and call your caregiver whenever you have a concern about your pregnancy. If there's a problem, you'll get help right away. If nothing's wrong, you'll be reassured.

This Week's Activity:

Sign up for a breastfeeding class. If you are a first-time mom and planning to breastfeed your baby, it's a good idea to take a breastfeeding class. Ask your caregiver or childbirth education teacher where you can take one. Or call La Leche League. It can help you locate breastfeeding resources in your area.