Week 17: Create a network of other women
To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.
-Mother Theresa, Meditations from a Simple Path
What's Happening in Your Body?
Most women notice that they need to urinate more frequently early on in pregnancy. Now you may also find that you need to get up during the night to use the bathroom.
What's Happening with Your Baby?
The hair on the baby's head and eyebrows is now becoming coarser and is beginning to develop pigment. Fine hair, known as lanugo, begins to grow all over the baby's body, although it will completely disappear before birth. The baby's leg bones are beginning to ossify, but most of the rest of her skeleton is still cartilage.
Creating a Strong Network of Other Women
We all need our friends, it's true, but friends are especially critical for new mothers. Build strong relationships with other women now, so that you have support when your baby is born, as well as while you are pregnant. Get some ideas on connecting with other women.
Zinc helps your body to metabolize the protein that is so important to consume during pregnancy. Zinc also keeps your immune system healthy and aids in the healing of cuts and wounds. During pregnancy your zinc requirement increases and you should get 11 to 15 milligrams per day. You can get enough zinc by eating:
- 1 cup of milk or a bran muffin and
- 1 cup of cereal or 1 cooked crab and
- 1 cup of garbanzo or kidney beans or a handful of pumpkin seeds or almonds and
- 1 serving beef or 1/4 cup wheat germ and
- 1 yogurt or 1 1/2 ounces of cheddar cheese or 1 small handful of walnuts
You can also get more than one day's zinc requirement by eating just three oysters. Lamb and red meat are excellent sources as well. Legumes, soy products, nuts, eggs, whole grains, and wheat germ are nonmeat foods that contain zinc.
Even if you've never done push-ups before, our Modified Push-ups on the Wall can help tone your upper arms and pectoral muscles safely.
Stand about three feet away from a wall. You will find your ideal distance after trying a few of the push-ups. Place your hands flat on the wall in front of you at about shoulder height, but slightly wider apart then your shoulders.
Now bend at the elbows, allowing them to go out to the sides. Keep your legs and entire body straight like a board and allow it to come close to the wall. Don't lean on the wall, though, once you get close to it. Then straighten your arms until you are back to your beginning upright position. Repeat this motion eight times. Slowly build up repetitions over time.
To avoid using nail polish and remover during pregnancy, try this recipe for healthy nails with a natural glow. Mix one tablespoon of olive oil with 1/2 tablespoon of talc or powdered white clay. Rub this mixture into your nails and cuticles. Wipe off any excess and then lightly buff your nails with a tissue or soft cloth until they shine.
A Room of Your Own
In a way, meditation is like having a room of your own. It's a way to focus on your inner world and let the outer world go. The focused calm that you gain through meditation can help you handle the physical changes of pregnancy, the powerful experience of labor and birth, and the demands of your newborn. Try this meditation to increase your overall sense of well-being.
Image by Durga Yael Bernhard