1st trimester

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Worry and                                                                                  What will your
excitement about                                                                           baby be like?
pregnancy is                                                                                 What will the baby look like?
normal.                                                                                      Will she be healthy?

The more you do to get ready for your                                                        Will you love her right away?
baby now, the less overwhelming it will be                                                   Will he love you?
after he is born.                                                                         Share your thoughts and
                                                                                          concerns with people close to
It is common in the second trimester for
                                                                                          you. Future moms and dads who
future moms to feel uncomfortable. The
                                                                                          talk to each other about their
baby has grown so much that there’s not
                                                                                          fears and excitement are better
much room left for mom’s own organs. This
                                                                                          able to support each other when
may cause indigestion, vomiting, cramps, backaches, swollen feet, constipation,           they become parents.
and trouble sleeping. Future dads often feel these sympathetic discomforts, too!

   Partners play a major role in pregnancy.
    It is common for partners to feel nervous or left out during pregnancy. Both
    parents are preparing for a major new life role and added responsibilities — but
    during the pregnancy, the focus is on the mom-to-be. Later on, the focus is on the
    new baby.

    You may feel your partner’s focus on her changing body as a rejection of you.
    Right now, your partner really needs you. Pregnant women may feel insecure and
    vulnerable, making it a perfect time for a partner to be supportive and loving.

    It’s important for couples to share their feelings with each other and for partners
    to involve themselves as much as possible. This will make for greater family
    closeness, even before the baby comes.
Future moms                                          Manage stress by asking for help
can continue                                             and talking to others.
to exercise.                                 Changing hormone levels can
                                             cause future moms to be irrita-
                                             ble, and have mood swings
                                             and crying spells. Women may
                                             feel frustrated because their
                                             growing belly is uncomfort-
                                             able. They may have trouble
                                             concentrating, remembering
                                             events or appointments, and
                                             feel as if they don’t know if
                                             they are coming or going. Here
                                             are some ways to deal with
                                             these feelings:
                                                 Manage stress by cutting
                                                 down on household chores. You might want to ask friends or relatives
                                                 to help around the house, especially with baby chores such as getting
                                                 the nursery together or reorganizing rooms.
                                                 Do something for yourself. Pamper yourself by getting a new haircut
                                                 or sign up for a prenatal yoga class. You need to stay in high spirits
                                                 during your pregnancy, so remember to do something special just for
Do you have to stop exercising after you         yourself.
are pregnant? The answer is “No” for             Talk about it. If you feel overwhelmed or stressed, talk with your part-
most healthy pregnant women.                     ner about your thoughts and feelings. By talking, you will find ways to
Doctors recommend that pregnant                  lessen your stress. Talking with a professional counselor might also help.
women without health problems or
pregnancy complications can exercise
for about 30 minutes on most days of          Avoid any exercise lying on your        fruits, vegetables, and calcium-rich
the week. Check with your doctor to           back after the first trimester          foods, such as milk, yogurt, and
see what exercise (and how much)              because you may put too much            cheese. Cut down on fatty foods,
will be best for you.                         pressure on an important vein that      sugar, and salt. The pregnancy and
                                              takes blood to your uterus and          breastfeeding food guide at
Exercising can ease headaches, help           your brain                     (scroll
sleep, and decrease the risk of high                                                  down and select MyPyramid for
                                              In weight training, avoid lifting
blood pressure. Walking, swimming,                                                    Moms) can help you plan healthy
                                              weights over your head
dancing, and stationary cycling are                                                   meals. Some women find that eating
                                              Always warm up and cool down
good workout ideas for pregnant                                                       more small meals throughout the day
                                              when working out
women. When you are working out:                                                      is more comfortable than trying to
                                              Include stretching and relaxation
    Make sure your workout is                                                         eat 3 regular-sized meals a day.
    Avoid jerking and bouncing
                                           Staying active is important — and so
                                           is eating healthy foods. Each day, eat
    Take breaks and drink plenty of        several servings of whole grains,

                                                                                 Second Trimester

Baby’s prenatal
development in the
second trimester.
    Prenatal Month 4
    Baby is 4 to 5 inches long
                                                                              Prenatal Month 6
    Weighs 3 to 5 ounces, which is
    about the same as a small
                                              Prenatal Month 5                Baby grows a lot this month and
    banana                                                                    can be anywhere from 9-15
    Baby is covered in soft down-like         Baby is about 8 inches long     inches long
    hair                                      Weighs 1 pound                  Weighs 11/2 to 2 pounds
    Heartbeat is strong                       Baby is strong enough for Mom   Can open his eyes and suck his
    Stomach and rest of digestive             to feel a kick                  thumb
    system are growing                        Heart, lungs, and digestive     Baby can have hiccups
    Eyes, ears, nose, and mouth look          system are growing              Brain is growing fast
    normal                                    Bones are forming and finger-   Eyelashes and sex organs have
    Eyebrows and hair are growing             nails are growing               formed
    Future mom’s average weight               Future mom’s average weight     Future mom’s average weight
    gain is 3-4 pounds                        gain is 3-4 pounds              gain is 3-4 pounds

Pregnant moms can expect
to feel the baby move during
the second trimester.
Around the fifth month, you may be able to feel your baby moving
around in your abdomen. These movements may feel like a butterfly is
fluttering in your stomach. Not all babies are equally active. Some may
kick and turn around often, while others are quieter.

Many pregnant women find that their babies move more after they have
eaten. This is due to the increase in glucose in the mother’s and baby’s
   Emotional responses to stress and tense situations can also trigger
   movement in the baby. Stress causes a surge in adrenaline in your
   Learning some ways to relax will help you and your baby. Deep
   breathing, talking to someone you trust, walking, and listening to
   soothing music are good ways to relax.

Decide whether you will breastfeed or
bottle feed your baby.
Whether you choose breast or bottle, a close bond            Bottle Feeding
between parents and baby can develop if you hold and         Advantages:
cuddle your baby during feeding. Your baby can thrive          Can provide
whichever method you use.                                      adequate
                                                               nutrition in
                                                               proper amounts
Advantages:                                                    if directions are
    Human milk is                                              followed
    made for human                                             Feeding can be
    babies and has the                                         shared with dad and other caregivers
    needed nutrients                                           Can see how much formula baby is actually getting
    in the proper                                              Baby can be left with others for longer periods of time
    amounts                                                    than a breastfed baby
    Protects baby
    against infections,                                      Bottle Feeding Concerns:
    allergies, diarrhea                                        Does not have the protection against infection,
    Easily digested, few digestive upsets                      allergies, diarrhea that breast milk has
    Convenient, always ready with no bottles to fool with      Pressure to finish a bottle may lead to overfeeding
    No storage or special preparation needed                   Not as easily digested; may lead to digestive upsets
    Costs less than bottle feeding                             Bottles and formula must be carefully prepared and
    Babies drink only what they need, no overeating            refrigerated
    Helps mom lose weight                                      Mom and baby may not develop as close a bond if baby
    Feeding can be shared with dad and other caregivers if     is not held as much during feeding
    breast milk is expressed and bottled
Breastfeeding Concerns:                                        La Leche League is a national group that promotes
    Will there be enough milk?                                 breastfeeding and assists women who want to breast-
    Knowing how to nurse — but this can be easily learned      feed their babies.
    Can leave baby for only a short amount of time             Hospitals often offer breastfeeding classes, support
    Partner can’t share in feeding and may feel left out       groups, and consults.
    unless expressed breast milk is put in bottles.            WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) is a supplemental
                                                               food assistance program for pregnant women and
                                                               women with babies and young children.

                                                                                             Second Trimester

Get things ready for your baby to come home.
Get a safe crib and
your baby’s clothes

Get a crib that meets safety regula-
tions. The Consumer Product Safety
Commission states that cribs should

   A firm, tight-fitting mattress so a
   baby cannot get trapped between
   the mattress and the crib.
   No missing, loose, broken or
   improperly installed screws,
                                           Newborn baby clothes you will              the car until they reach the highest
   brackets or other hardware on the
                                           need:                                      weight or height allowed by their car
   crib or mattress support.
                                             3-4 undershirts with snaps               safety seat’s manufacturer.
   No more than 2 3/8 inches (about
                                             2-3 dozen diapers
   the width of a soda can) between                                                   At a minimum, children should ride
                                             2-3 one piece stretch suits that will
   crib slats — so a baby’s body                                                      facing the rear of the car until they
                                             be warm enough for your baby to
   cannot fit through the slats                                                       are at least 1 year of age and weigh at
                                             sleep in (so you don’t have to use
   No missing or cracked slats                                                        least 20 pounds. There are two types
                                             blankets). It’s important that
   No corner posts over 1/16th inch                                                   of rear-facing car safety seats:
                                             babies don’t get too warm — so
   high (so a baby’s clothing cannot                                                      infant-only seats
                                             the one-piece suits should provide
   catch).                                                                                convertible seats
                                             warmth, but not too much
   No cutouts in the headboard or
                                             Waterproof pants and diaper pins         Car Safety Seat Tips:
   foot board (so a baby’s head
                                             (if using cloth diapers)                    Install the baby’s car seat correctly
   cannot get trapped).
                                                                                         or it will not work in case of an
Babies can get stuck, strangle or suf-
                                           Get a car seat and                            accident. Call the local police or a
focate in cribs that are assembled         take a safe ride home                         childcare resource and referral
wrong, have missing, loose or broken                                                     agency to find out where to take
hardware or broken slats. If you buy a
                                           from the hospital.                            your car to have the car seat
used crib, check to be sure it meets all
the safety standards that new cribs                                                      Babies and children should always
require. You only need 3 things in         All infants should ride in the back seat      sit in the back seat. Many cars
your baby’s crib: your baby, a             facing the rear of the car — starting         have front air bags that can hurt
mattress, and a fitted sheet for the       with their first ride home from the           children if they deploy.
mattress.                                  hospital. They should face the rear of

Find quality child care before your baby is born.
If you will be using childcare for your         costs, hours, location, and quality.                    There should be no more than 9
baby, find a high-quality child care            Stay involved with your childcare                       babies in a group with several
provider. Finding childcare now will            center by visiting often, asking                        caregivers.
be less stressful than trying to decide         questions, and meeting with your                        Does at least one of those care-
after your baby is born. Some                   child’s caregiver.                                      givers stay with this group of
programs have waiting lists. It helps                                                                   babies for at least a year?
to get your name on the list as early       Ask child care providers                                    Do caregivers have a certificate or
as possible.                                questions.                                                  degree in child development, early
                                            Here are questions parents of babies                        childhood education, or infant
A quality childcare center is a safe and    should be asking:                                           care (CDA,AA, BA/BS)?
nurturing place with enough       
qualified staff to care for the children
                                                                                                     Ask about care routines:
in their center. Child Care Aware           Do the caregivers:
provides more information at                                                                            Is the diapering area cleaned and
                                                Greet each parent and baby                              disinfected after each use?
                                                warmly; help baby separate by
                                                                                                        Are different sinks used for food
                                                talking about parent leaving;
To find a quality childcare provider:                                                                   preparation and diapering clean-
                                                encourage parents to spend time
    Ask for recommendations. Ask                                                                        up?
                                                with baby and say good-bye
    friends and family members about            before leaving?                                         Does the feeding area look clean
    childcare providers in homes or                                                                     and sanitary?
                                                Frequently talk with each baby
    day care centers.                                                                                   Do caregivers place babies on
                                                about what the baby is doing and
    Visit each location. Stay at least          listen and respond when babies                          their backs to sleep? How are the
    an hour or more and pay close               “talk” to them?                                         youngest babies, who can’t turn
    attention to what’s going on. Do                                                                    over, placed in their cribs?
                                                Interact warmly with babies
    the children seem happy and                                                                         Are there individual cribs for each
                                                during playtime and play with
    active? Do the teachers pay atten-                                                                  baby present with firm, tight
                                                babies as babies play with toys?
    tion to the children? Is it clean and                                                               fitting mattresses?
    inviting? Bring a friend along if           Hold and pat babies?
                                                                                                                          continued next page
    you want another opinion.                   Use pleasant voices, smile
    Ask questions. How many                     frequently, and help babies who
    children is each adult caring for?          are hurt or upset?
    How many children are in each
    group? Are you able to visit any        Are there enough caregivers
    time you like? What is their policy     present to meet each baby’s needs
    for sick children?                      with little crying or waiting?
    Choose. Consider all the pros and           There should be at least one
    cons of each location. Think about          caregiver for every 3-4 babies.

                                                                                             Second Trimester

Child care continued from page 6
Ask about the setting:
                                              Prepare brothers and sisters for
   Does the center support breast-            the new baby.
                                              If you have other children, prepare      When the baby arrives:
   Are there some soft rugs and               them for the new baby. A new baby          Tell your children often that you
   other soft areas where children            may be a big change for other              love them.
   can play with supervision?                 children in your family. To deal with
                                                                                         Allow them to help with the
   Do babies who are not crawling or          this change:
                                                                                         baby’s care — such as bathing,
   walking have a variety of safe                Talk to your children about what it     dressing, and feeding.
   places to play — including open               will be like once the new baby
                                                                                         Make special one-on-one time
   floor space?                                  arrives.
                                                                                         with your older children when
   Are there toys and equipment to               Tell your children about your           each of them can express their
   encourage safe crawling, walking,             pregnancy by using books and            feelings and thoughts to you.
   climbing, pushing, pulling, and ball          pictures about how babies grow.         Your older children still need
   play? Will furniture and toys not             You can also show them pictures         time for themselves and
   tip over when babies are trying to            and videos from when they were          attention from you.
   pull themselves up?                           first born and tell them what they
                                                                                         Have some big brother or big
   Are there low, open shelves where             were like as new babies.
                                                                                         sister gifts for your older children
   babies can get safe toys?                     If you have friends with new            to make them feel special and
   Are toys and equipment in good                babies, it might be a good idea to      needed.
   repair with no sharp edges,                   visit them.
   splinters, or loose small parts?              Have your children practice
   Are there many kinds of toys and              holding a baby using a doll.
   activities for babies — like books,           Think of
   dolls, blocks, rattles, tubs to fill and      something
   pour out, and toys to push or pull?           fun your
   Are vinyl or hard page books avail-           children
   able for babies to get on their               can help
   own?                                          you
   Are there comfortable places
                                                 for — like
   where adults — including nursing
   mothers — can sit and hold
                                                 out a
   Are detergents, cleansers, medi-              home
   cines or other dangerous items                outfit
   locked up?                                    for the
   Are parents asked to evaluate the             baby.
   program at least once a year?

Couples keep relationships strong                                 Want to Learn More?
by making time for one another.                                   For more parenting info and updated links, visit
Even though you and your partner are busy getting ready for
                                                                  If you have questions, contact your local Extension office.
the baby, make time to be together. Setting aside some time
— even small amounts — throughout the day and the week,           Every woman and every pregnancy is different. You might
                                                                  feel many of the physical signs of pregnancy — or you
can be very nourishing for a relationship strained by the         might not feel any of them. Pay attention to your body
changes you are both feeling. If you pay attention to this now,   and if you have any reason to believe things are not right,
                                                                  call your doctor right away.
it will be easier to do once the baby comes.
                                                                  Credits: This newsletter is adapted from Extension Just In
Plan some little dates throughout the day. They can be as short   Time Parenting newsletters in California, Delaware, Georgia,
as 5 minutes:                                                     Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Tennessee, Nevada, New Hampshire,
                                                                  New Mexico and Wisconsin.
      a morning snuggle
      giving each other a foot rub
        a sincere, “How was your day?”
Finding ways to have fun and nurture your friendship is impor-
tant. A healthy relationship is the best gift you can give your
child. Parents’ relationship with one another is the child’s
blueprint for her future relationships. Invest in keeping your
relationship strong before and after your baby is born.

                                                                              Second Trimester

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