Maybe you felt a few flutters in Week 16 but if you didn’t then the next few days could be the start of baby flips and kicks that you can feel.
It can feel a bit weird at first, anything from butterflies to tickling, zaps, gentle taps and or a stuck fart! As your baby grows these ‘quickenings’ will turn into stronger and more frequent movements.
The middle of your pregnancy can make you feel fantastic, hair loss slows down so your crowning glory looks super glossy and full. And if you’ve always suffered from dodgy skin you might find the increase in blood volume and hormones gives you the ‘pregnancy glow’ everyone talks about.
But not everyone feels on top of the world. It’s normal to struggle with your changing body shape and depression in pregnancy is surprisingly common with around one in every ten pregnant women suffering from it.
There’s no shame in sharing your worries, no one will judge you and there is help out there. Talk to your midwife, GP or our mum community. We’ve been there too.
What does my baby look like?
Your baby is now 12cm long. We know people love to compare unborn babies to fruit but just to mix things up that’s about the length of two golf tees.
This week that tiny golfing baby can open and close their mouth and has fingernails. They grow all the way through your pregnancy which is why you might find yourself trimming them just after birth.
Why do I have red streaks on my stomach?
You might have spotted red, purple, pink or brown streaks over your tummy and boobs, bum or thighs.
They’re stretch marks and most women get them. They happen because pregnancy hormones affect your skin so as you gain weight they can appear.
They do tend to fade over time and you can use treatments after pregnancy, such as retinoid creams and laser treatments to improve how they look.
Is there anything I can do to stop them?
Not a great deal and don’t fall for the hype of miracle creams that cost a bomb. One way to think about them is a mark of you bringing a beautiful baby into the world.
What you can do is:
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet so you don’t gain excess weight.
- Use an unscented moisturiser when you feel itchiness or the lines start to appear.
- Take some time to accept your body is doing an amazing thing and will adapt and change.
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