Week 23: Pregnancy Week by Week

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Week 23: How to prepare for breastfeeding

Pregnancy Image

Increasing both the rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration is a national health objective.

-Ruth Lawrence, MD, Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk



What’s Happening in Your Body?

The skin on your belly may itch as it stretches. Some women notice that their belly buttons pop out around this time. It will stay that way until the baby is born.

What’s Happening with Your Baby?

Your baby’s fingernails are almost fully formed. By now the heartbeat can be detected with a stethoscope.

Preparing for Breastfeeding

Experts today are unanimous in their support of breastfeeding as the hands-down best way to feed a human infant. In 1998, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a landmark statement that babies should be fed breastmilk exclusively until the age of six months and continue to breastfeed, after the introduction of solid foods, until age one and beyond. Find out how to prepare for breastfeeding your new baby.

Nourish Yourself

In last week’s issue we talked about the importance of omega-3 essential fatty acids in the pregnancy diet. This nutrient is important to the development of your baby’s brain. For vegetarians, getting enough omega-3 in the diet can be a challenge. Flax seeds provide lots of this essential fatty acid. Bake some Banana Flax Cookies, and give yourself a very healthy treat.

Body Wise

When you see photos of indigenous women, they are often squatting to cook a meal or to grind grain. As modern women, we’re not as used to squatting, but it increases the mobility of the pelvic joints and strengthens the muscles of the inner thighs and Achilles tendons. Squatting is also a great position in which to give birth, but it can be uncomfortable unless you get some practice Learning to Squat ahead of time.

Natural Soothers

Rescue Remedy is a compilation of several of the Bach Flower Remedies-a gentle plant-based liquid available in most health food stores. All-purpose Rescue Remedy can be used, as its name implies, in all kinds of situations. Keep some Rescue Remedy in your purse to use after a challenging appointment, when the day falls apart on you, or any time you feel off balance. You can also give Rescue Remedy to your child in similar situations.

Put three drops of Rescue Remedy in a six-ounce glass of water and sip slowly. You can also place the drops directly on your tongue, but the taste may be too strong for a child.

Higher Ground

This baby moves inside me now
Sending messages at night-
Morse code
About life on the inside:
It is dark
But warm and quiet
With only muffled echoes softly pleading,
Wake up, little one.
I want to know you’re in there,
Happy and safe.
Answers come again-
A sudden flutter-
Secret lyrics of song with no rhythm.
Played with hands and feet.

Someday I will hear the song again-
A high-pitched, quick and breathy humming.
I will teach her that she’s been singing that old song forever,
And reach out for little splayed hands
That have long since held my heart.

By Yvette Benavides


Image by Durga Yael Bernhard


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