The Mother

Week 13

Your body has been through an incredible transformation, all through which it has supported you and protected your baby. You can congratulate yourself and thank your smart body for knowing how to get through this ordeal on its own. Dur-ing this week, you can feel a slight pulling sensation on your lower stomach, which will be over soon. They are due to your body’s efforts to make room for the uterus to ex-pand.

Week 14

Finally, from this week on, you’ll begin to feel more energetic. You’ll also start showing a little, but of course, that might not be the situation for everyone. Some women don’t start getting their bellies until later on.

Since you have left behind the risk period, you can begin to share the good news with your loved ones and sharing might make you feel better.

Remember to get plenty of fluids, fiber, and protein. That way you’ll be one step ahead of dehydration, resistance, and constipation. Consuming lots of liquids helps prevent many infections that could occur during pregnancy. Therefore, you can incor-porate drinking more water or cucumber water into your daily routine.

Week 15

You might start to experience some issues with sleeping at this time. If you do, you can try rearranging the environment you sleep in and make some quiet time for yourself before bed. A warm shower or a bath, some light and meditative music might calm you down. Refraining from using your smartphone too much and watching TV for hours on end before bed, as well as keeping electronic devices outside of your bed-room might create the perfect environment for better sleep. A light head, shoulder, and feet massage given by your partner before bed might also be quite helpful. In any case, touching one another might do good for you both, because remember that he is in this with you and is experiencing some emotional changes as well. Talking to one another about all the physical and emotional changes, sharing your feelings, trying to come up with mutual precautions, discovering methods that are specific to you two will make both of you happier and prepare you for the moment of birth and your life to follow.

Most mothers-to-be suffer from heartburn at this time. The increase in the pro-gesterone and estrogen hormones tends to relax the soft muscles including the diges-tive tract and digestion slows down. The solution is to eat often and in small portions and to stay away from greasy, fried foods.

Week 16

You might begin to feel a little more enthusiastic about sexual activities. The truth is both you and your partner need it, so you can go easy on yourself and try to ex-plore your changing body with your partner. If you have any concerns on this subject, you can always consult your midwife or your doctor. Also important to mention is that an increase in vaginal discharge and secretions is completely normal during pregnan-cy. The discharge will usually be white or light yellow and quite thick and is not a symptom of infections. Vaginal infections, however, are a common occurrence during pregnancy. It might be a good idea to talk to your doctor about the smell, color, and consistency of discharge.

Week 17

Have you started rubbing and caressing your belly without noticing it? This is a very common gesture among pregnant women. You might experience balancing issues while walking from time to time, so you may want to wait a little bit until you get used to your changing muscles before you put on your high heels. Your breasts are also slowly growing bigger and getting ready to produce the best source of nutrition for your baby.

Week 18

Has your appetite improved? Your baby is growing and it needs more nutri-tion. As you keep to a healthy diet, make sure to give yourself a break now and then and feast on whatever you desire. But still, these breaks should be about 10% of your nutrition. On the other hand, never starve yourself, as low blood sugar can cause bal-ancing issues such as dizziness and you don’t want any of that during this period. Make sure to always have snacks with you whenever you go outside and don’t forget to get enough protein in your diet. If you are feeling a little distracted or like not yourself during these days, that is completely normal.

Week 19

You might notice some changes in your skin, but there is nothing to worry about because those changes are due to the increased estrogen in your system. Dark spots on the skin are quite common during pregnancy. I’ve got one on my forehead in the shape of a heart and I still have it. Even after weaning, it takes about six months for the skin to go back to normal but in case it doesn’t, you can always get rid of any spots with peeling, laser treatments, etc. Your nipples, freckles, scars, armpits, and inner sides of your buttocks might get darker in color during pregnancy. If you get a darkened line extending from your belly to your hips, this is due to the temporary increase in the melanin in your body and is perfectly normal. Melanin is a dark pigment that protects your skin from light, and its main function is preventing skin damage by cooling down the ultraviolet rays coming from the sun.

Week 20

Congratulations, mommies, you are halfway through! You are going through a very special time. There are two hearts beating in your body for the first time and you are home to the tiny little body of a precious soul. It’s both unbelievable and quite natural at the same time! Enjoy this time while you’re feeling good because soon both your baby and your body will get bigger and things might not be so easy.

During pregnancy, your body needs more iron to keep up with your growing ba-by, the placenta, and your increased volume of blood. You should try to consume more foods containing iron, such as dark leafy greens, legumes (especially green lentils), dried fruits, eggs, and meat.

Week 21

The weight gain and the size of your bump depend on genetic factors as well. You can ask your mother how much weight she gained during her pregnancy. If your mother didn’t start showing until the seventh month and she gained 15 kgs in to-tal, you’ll probably have similar progress. If your mother gained 25 kgs during pregnan-cy, you’ll probably put on that amount of weight too, no matter how careful you are about what you eat or do. Instead of getting hung up on your weight and your chang-ing body, you should try to keep those subjects out of your mind and enjoy your accen-tuated curves while also eating as healthy as possible and staying active without straining yourself. Plus, your lips probably have never looked sexier before…

Week 22

Stretch marks might appear on your skin as your belly grows bigger. Nearly half of all pregnant women get stretch marks, which are said to be mostly genetic. You can ask your mother about this too. Personally, I don’t believe that oils help heal stretch marks, but I did use them anyway and they did relieve the sensation caused by my stomach stretching out.

You can also get some superficial and spider-web-like vein formations on your skin. These are also due to the increased estrogen and most of them go away after birth.

Week 23

You can feel some slight swelling on your ankles and feet during pregnan-cy. This condition is more commonly seen at the end of the day and in the summer months. Your body will get rid of the extra fluid inside you after your baby is born, and you might urinate more frequently in the days following the birth and sweat more. I’ve experienced some issues with the need to urinate frequently during my nature hikes and the only solution was to always go to the bathroom before leaving the house.

Week 24

You can feel itchy as the skin around your breasts and your stomach stretches out. If you have dry skin, moisturizing might help. If your shoes begin to feel tighter, that might be partly due to the swelling and partly due to the pregnancy hor-mones. The pregnancy hormones relax all the muscles in your body and might also cause the bones in your feet to spread out towards the sides.

Week 25

Not only will more hair grow on your head, but also any hair loss you usual-ly experience will slow down. You also might notice darker or thicker body hair on yourself. Due to the increase in sex hormones called androgens, it’s totally common to see hair growth on your chin, over your lip, on your cheeks, breasts, and even stom-ach. All this will go back to normal in the weeks following the birth.



Burcu Kutluk


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