Week 15: All about amniocentesis
Faith is belief in the unseen, the quietly held conviction that even though you can't imagine how, at some time, in some place, in the right way, the thing you desire will indeed come to pass.
-Daphne Rose Kingman
What's Happening in Your Body?
You may find fatigue lessening now. Some women report a surge of energy at the beginning of the second trimester, along with a general sense of well-being.
What's Happening with Your Baby?
Your baby is now beginning to grow his very first hairs. Around this time the baby's eyes close and won't open again until the 7th month. Nail beds are beginning to become visible at the ends of the baby's fingers. The baby's arms are now long enough that she can grasp one hand in the other.
Making a Decision About Amniocentesis
Amniocentesis is a procedure in which some of the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby is removed from the mother's uterus. The amniotic fluid has passed in and out of the baby's body, and therefore contains some of the baby's cells. These cells can be read to see if a disease such as Down syndrome, spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs, sickle cell anemia, or anencephaly is present. The decision on whether or not to have amniocentesis is a personal one - but often women feel pressured to have the procedure by their caregivers. Learn the facts about Amniocentesis.
Getting enough iron in the diet is a challenge for many women. Monthly loss of blood causes many women to be iron-deficient even before they become pregnant. Increased blood volume during pregnancy means that iron is needed now more than ever. Getting enough iron during pregnancy can help keep fatigue at bay and may also help reduce the risk of premature delivery and low birth weight.
Because the body does not as easily absorb non-meat sources of iron, consuming enough iron is even more of a challenge if you are a vegetarian. Taking vitamin C concurrently with iron helps with absorption.
Look for iron in meats, poultry, fish, dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains, seaweed, soy products and fortified cereals.
You need 27 milligrams of iron in your daily diet. You can get this by consuming:
- - 1/2 cup of fortified cream of wheat or two servings of beef, turkey, or clams or 1 cup of lentils or kidney beans AND
- - 1 cup of lima or kidney beans or black-eyed peas or 1/2 cup prune juice AND
- - 1 wedge of watermelon or 12 dried apricot halves or 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses or 2 eggs AND
- - 1 cup of cooked spinach or 2 cups of cooked kale or 4 oysters AND
- - 2 slices of whole wheat bread or 1/2 cup of tofu or 1 chicken leg
Note that it is very important to check with your caregiver before taking any iron supplements because too much iron can be toxic. Also keep in mind that some women become constipated with increased iron supplementation.
Asanas for Mamas by Jo Ann Baldinger
The foyer of Santa Fe's popular Yoga Source studio has a serene fountain, an array of brightly colored mats and practice clothing for sale, and assorted sandals, clogs, and running shoes lined up outside the door to the practice room - just what a visitor would expect to find at yoga centers across the country. Walk through that door, however, and any preconceived notions that visitors might have are instantly swept away. Instead of the flat, toned stomachs of the stereotypically lithe "yoga body," what catches the eye immediately are the round bellies of a group of very pregnant women. Welcome to Linda Spackman's Prenatal Yoga class.
"Yoga is a great practice for preventing or minimizing many of the common discomforts of pregnancy," Spackman says. "It's also a wonderful way to become acquainted with your baby." Read the full article and find out how to incorporate yoga into your pregnancy.
One of the side effects of increased blood volume in pregnancy can be nosebleeds. While very frequent or extremely heavy nosebleeds need to be addressed by your caregiver, there is plenty you can do to soothe occasional ones on your own.
Soak a cotton pad in ice water with a couple drops of lemon essential oil or witch hazel added. Sit down and lean slightly forward. Place the cotton pad firmly across the bridge of the nose, or directly on the bleeding spot if you can see it. The ice water will help to shrink the broken blood vessel and the lemon oil speeds up clotting.
The Fear Mantra
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little death that
brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over
and through me.
And when it has gone past me,
I will turn to see fear's path.
Where fear has gone,
there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
-Frank Herbert, Dune
Image by Durga Yael Bernhard