Heartburn or indigestion: Is your heartburn getting worse this week? That’s because your growing baby is taking over your abdominal real estate and pushing your stomach up. Avoid eating while you’re reclining — or lying down after a big meal (no matter how tempted you are to get off your feet).
Occasional headaches: If your head is pounding it could be for a number of reasons, including being overheated or stuck in a stuffy room. Take a break and go out for some air or open the window. Also ask your practitioner which pain reliever is safe (in moderation) during pregnancy. Most doctors will okay acetaminophen, as long as you don’t overdo.
Varicose veins: Have the varicose veins in your legs begun to ache (or itch)? Though support hose probably isn’t the hot-mama look you were trying to cultivate, it can help by giving the veins in your legs a little extra upward push to counteract the downward push your belly is giving them.
Hemorrhoids: Varicose veins can pop up anywhere — and those that appear in your rectum are called hemorrhoids. To soothe them, wipe yourself with warm water and toilet paper. If toilet paper is too harsh, switch to wipes.
Bleeding gums: Your gums may still be bleeding or tender now. To boost gum strength, get plenty of vitamin C. Drink an extra glass of OJ, sprinkle berries on your oatmeal or cereal, and toss tomatoes in your salad.
Skin changes: If you’ve suddenly got an itchy, bumpy rash on your belly, you could have PUPPP, which stands for “pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy.” The rashes are benign and cause no risk to your baby or to you, but they’re annoying. To soothe the itch, try applying aloe-vera gel after a shower or bath.
Increasing clumsiness: Balancing your body gets harder this week as you waddle toward the finish line (just a few more weeks to go!). Continue to play it safe — if you need to reach for something on a high shelf, ask your partner instead of climbing on a chair to get it.
Forgetfulness: You’re probably getting more absentminded as you count down the weeks. Your brain-cell volume really is shrinking and your bouts of sleeplessness don’t help, either. Expect the fog to lift a few months after your baby is born.
Braxton Hicks contractions: You may be experiencing some contractions as your body gets ready for the real thing during labor. Haven’t felt one yet? First-time moms-to-be may not notice the flexing of their uterine muscles (which feels like your abdomen is tightening).
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