Your baby takes up more and more space in your belly and isn’t able to move as much due to space limitations (good thing there’s a change of habitation due in the not too distant future!). Her eyes are open, but her retinas are still virtually inactive. PS she already has long eyelashes! Baby’s vision will mature enough in a few weeks to notice changes in light through the lining of your stomach. And at birth, she will have imperfect vision but will still see well enough to distinguish your face and see objects placed 50 cm from her eyes.
Kicks and heartbeats let you know that your child is very much present. He is also, unfortunately, making his presence known by pressing on your lungs and making your feet and hands swell. Perhaps your favourite shoes don’t fit right now. And you can hardly get the ring you wanted to wear over your fingertip. Ahh, the joys of water retention. Because there are so many more fluids circulating in your body, it all collects in your hands and legs by the end of the day. Especially true if you’ve been on your feet all day and not had much opportunity to put your feet up. Normally the swelling disappears again overnight. If the swelling remains or increases suddenly, please inform your doctor so the possibility of pre-eclampsia can be ruled out.
From the beginning of your pregnancy to now, your blood volume has increased by about 1½ litres. This ensures proper blood flow to the placenta. However, while plasma volume increases by about half, red blood cells only increase by around 30%. You might develop a form of anaemia known as “dilutional anaemia.” It is quite normal during pregnancy and nothing to worry about. Drink plenty of water to replenish your total blood volume, and eat foods rich in iron to promote red blood cell production of red blood cells. Everything should even itself right out by the time the baby is born.
If you find your legs feel sore or you think you might be developing varicose veins, don’t be alarmed. It's a possibility, especially if either of these things run in your family. Varicose veins can be caused by the natural increase in blood volume during pregnancy thanks to hormonal changes and growth of the uterus. Wearing compression stockings can help ease the pain. So can putting your feet up as often as possible. Finally, try and go for a brisk walk every day. If the pain gets worse, talk to your doctor.
Get full access to expert-backed nutrition support
Curated content based on your preferences
Learn about various feeding options and what each means for you and your baby
Tailored Practical Tools
Try our tailored practical tools to guide you through the parenting journey.
My First 1000 Days club
Customised notifications, reminders and newsletters
Still haven't found what you are looking for?
Try our new smart question engine. We'll always have something for you.