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Month 7

What’s happening with you

You undeniably have the pregnant look with an abdominal measurement in the range of 28 - 33 centimeters.

Your exercise tolerance may be less because the growing uterus makes it harder for your lungs to expand as fully as before pregnancy. This may cause you to feel a little short of breath – so slow down if you need to. Swelling of your legs and feet is common during the last few months of pregnancy, as your uterus constricts the veins leading from the heart to the legs. Gravity pulls the blood down to the legs, but it has a hard time getting back up out of them. It’s important to promote blood flow in your extremities. Use these tips to keep the swelling in your feet to a minimum.

How you may feel

You may start to experience the mini-contractions of the uterus known as Braxton-Hicks contractions. These small muscle tightenings, occur at the top of the uterus, are not painful and only last about 30 seconds. Your pelvis is expanding – again the effects of relaxin are allowing the ligaments supporting the pubic bones to stretch. This may cause some aching, especially as the weight of baby increases.

Practice your Kegels

The muscle, tendons and ligaments of the pelvic floor support the bladder, uterus, and intestines. Sometimes, urinary incontinence is related to weakness in the pelvic floor anatomy. There is something you can do to prevent this from happening to you – and it’s called Kegels, or pelvic floor strengthening exercises. Kegel exercises involve tightening and releasing the muscles in the pelvic and perineal area.

Constipation and hemorrhoids

Experiencing constipation and hemorrhoids while pregnant may become more of a problem as the pressure on the rectal veins continues. Make certain that you are eating lots of fiber – whole grain breads, cereals, and fruits and vegetables. Increasing your fluids will help tremendously to keep the stool moister and easier to pass. Regular exercise will help to keep your bowels moving at a rate closer to pre-pregnancy. Schedule a 20-minute walk in the morning, at lunch or in the evening. For problem, painful hemorrhoids, an old method of relief is to chill a bottle of witch hazel in the refrigerator, get a 4 inch square piece of gauze pad and saturate it with the chilled witch hazel, fold in half, and place it against the anal area. This typically helps with swelling and discomfort.

How baby is growing

Bones begin to harden in the process called ossification during this month. The eyelids are no longer fused together, and they can open and close. The hair, including eyelashes, is becoming thicker and darker. Growth is rapid as the fetus gains more fat – the weight is now about 3 pounds and the length is 15-16 inches.

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