The following information -- and much more -- can also be found in the free weekly email Lamaze Pregnancy Week by Week. Sign up now to receive helpful information for your stage of pregnancy. Subscribers will be given the opportunity to complete a Lamaze Parent Satisfaction Survey after their pregnancy and receive a Lamaze Toys coupon. We want to hear about your birth experience and the impact that childbirth education may have had so that we can continue to make sure parents have the information they need for the safest, healthiest birth possible.
You're in week 19 of your pregnancy!
It’s been a long time since Lamaze was all about breathing. But, relaxation and focusing on breathing continue to be effective ways of decreasing stress and tension. They break the fear-tension-pain cycle, when stress and fear make woman tense her body, which increases pain, which then increases stress and so on. In labor, relaxation and conscious breathing can break this cycle and decrease how much pain you feel. This is especially true if you use them with other comfort measures for labor, like movement, massage and water therapy. Relaxation and conscious breathing can also help in day-to-day stress management before and after baby arrives. This week, we’ll explore ways to relax and reduce tension.
What's New with Baby
The smooth skin of your little one is being covered with lanugo and vernix caseosa. Lanugo is a layer of soft, fine hair that covers your baby’s body while he is in the womb. Most of this hair is shed by birth, but it is common to see some lanugo on your baby’s shoulders and face after birth, particularly if he was born prematurely. This too will be shed in the weeks following birth. Vernix caseosa is a greasy cheese-like covering that protects your baby’s skin while he is surrounded by amniotic fluid. You may seem a whitish substance on your baby’s skin when he is born. This is what is left of the vernix caseosa. Your baby is about the length of a naval orange (15.25 cm or six inches).
What's New with You
Many mamas report that the second trimester is a time of renewed energy and good spirits. If this is true for you, consider planning a small vacation or getaway during the second trimester. You can make the most of your trip by remembering a few helpful hints:
- Do not plan too many activities, and be sure to build periods of rest into your daily routine.
- Ensure you take frequent stretch and bathroom breaks if you will be in a vehicle for several hours.
- Pack snacks and a water bottle for quick refueling on the go.
If you are planning on travelling abroad, consult with your health care provider, consider purchasing travel insurance, and carry a copy of your medications and medical record just in case.
Story from a Mama that has been there
“There were times during my second pregnancy when I felt a sense of anxiety or panic. It was at these moments I would stop what I was doing and focus on my breathing. The simple act of listening to each inhale and exhale had a profoundly calming effect on me. After two or three minutes, I felt refreshed, calm and ready to face my daily routine.”
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