Pregnancy Articles

Week 31: Bottle or Breast: Which is Better?

Your Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy

Your Baby This Week

Weighing in at more than three pounds, baby is about half his birth weight. Now that he measures about 18 inches (45 cm) long, you can tell that bones and muscles are continuing to grow along with his organs and brain.

If you haven't already been talking to your baby, now is the time to start. Until now, he interpreted sounds as vibrations. But this week he can hear actual sounds and will begin to recognize your voice or the music you play.

Your Body This Week

Don't be surprised if you slip off your shoes for just 10 minutes and find that you can't get them back on. Foot and leg swelling are common now, but you can control some of it by not crossing your legs when sitting. Sleeping on your left side will also reduce water retention and help you feel more comfortable. It's also natural to experience a slight rise in blood pressure around the seventh month. But if you experience headaches, blurred vision, or rapid and severe swelling in your hands or feet, call your doctor immediately. These are warning signs of pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy), which requires immediate medical attention for the sake of you and your baby. In less than 10 weeks you're going to be a mom! You may feel excited and happy, apprehensive and scared, or all things combined. Relax! That's normal!

The Best Reading on Breastfeeding

One of the most important decisions that you'll make in the next couple of months is whether to breastfeed or go the formula route. There are benefits and drawbacks to each. And even though your friends and relatives (and maybe even your partner) might have concrete opinions, and even though millions of printed pages have been dedicated to telling you which is best, it's important to gather the facts and make up your own mind about what's best for you, your baby and your family. Even after you make the decision to breastfeed (or bottle feed), there's still a lot to learn about best practices and techniques. Here are more breastfeeding resources and strategies.

When Cramps Are a Pain in the Leg

In the middle of the night, you don't care where the leg cramp came from. You couldn't care less that it's probably linked to a build-up of phosphorous and a lack of calcium and potassium. All you know is that it hurts! Leg cramps are high on the list of pregnancy discomforts, so it's a good thing that you can take specific actions to minimize or prevent them. Check out these tips on avoiding leg cramps.
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