Pregnancy Articles

Week 17: Pro-Active about Protein

Your Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy

Your Baby This Week

If you hold out the palm of your hand, your baby could sit in the center! Weighing in at over 3 ounces (.08 kg), your baby is growing a little more every day.

This week, your baby begins to develop fat cells (also known as adipose tissue). As your baby grows, these fat cells are essential to maintaining heat production and body temperature. Right now, water makes up most of your baby's body, but by the end of your pregnancy, more than three-quarters of his or her birth weight will be fat.

Your Body This Week

Your uterus is really growing. Its shape is changing from round to more oval and it is starting to fill your pelvis. At the top, your uterus will begin pressing against your abdomen, and you'll feel this pressure more when standing up than lying down. You may also feel some pelvic pain, caused by a stretching of the round ligaments that run between the top of your uterus and the wall of your pelvis. You may have pain on one or both of your sides, but it's normal and nothing to worry about. If, however, this pain is severe-and especially if you experience vaginal bleeding or water loss-call your doctor right away. Most often you will be fine, but it's important to let your health care provider make that determination.

Be Pro Protein

Some nutrients are just plain more important than others. Protein is one of those powerhouses that you should pay extra attention to. In general, you should try to get about 10-20% of your calories from protein, or about 70 grams. Where can it come from? The usual suspects such as beef, chicken, nuts and beans come immediately to mind. But these options often arrive accompanied by fat. There's another surprising source of protein that can help you eat healthy without getting a lot of fat calories: Soy. Soy can come in the form of nuts, milk, meat substitutes and, of course, tofu. Learn how to take advantage of the versatility of soy foods.

Worried About Worrying?

There's so much to think about, so much to do! What if I forget something? What if I can't finish the nursery on time? What if? Ironically, one of the biggest concerns many pregnant women have is whether or not their stress and worry will affect their babies. Load finances, work and relationships on top of that, and you have the recipe for a full-blown stress event. Don't worry - there are some simple actions you can take right now to lower your stress and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. Ranging from vigorous gym exercises to calming mental exercises, these strategies are sure to ease your mind and soothe your soul. Read more about these simple stress busters.
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