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Week 14
(counting from first day of last menstrual period)
Around 12 Weeks After Conception

Please keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. If you have any questions, please check with your care provider.

Fetal Development:
Four MonthsOur baby is a whopping 3 1/2 inches long and is 1 to 2 ounces. S/he begins to practice inhaling and exhaling movements. The eyes and ears continue to move and develop, the neck is still getting longer, and the baby's chin no longer rests on his/her chest. The hands are becoming functional, and the baby is beginning to learn to move/use them (probably more reflex than anything). At this point, our little one is receiving all of his/her nourishment from the placenta.

If you haven't already, you should be able to hear the baby's heartbeat with a doppler. Don't panic if you can't (I know, easier said than done.) ~ an ultrasound can confirm a beating heart if it isn't heard through a doppler.

Maternal Changes:
By now, pregnancy hormones are leveling off. This means less nausea, less frequent urination and less exhaustion. What a relief! However, you may be experiencing some constipation since those darned hormones have relaxed your bowel muscles causing them to work slower and less efficiently. Your uterus is also pressing on your bowel. Be sure to increase the fiber in your diet if constipation becomes a problem.

You may notice the veins on your chest and breasts are dilated and more noticeable. The areolas of your breasts may be darkening and growing in diameter. Your body has been preparing for breastfeeding since you became pregnant!

Ideas for Partners:
How are you? Are you totally stressed out worrying about finances, working overtime and fretting about expenses? If so, stop and take a deep breath and then try to rationally assess your situation. Are your worries out of proportion to your family's real needs? Many times, partners are expected to handle family finances which becomes the focus while actually hiding other worries - fear of parenthood.

Think about what your REAL worries are. Often putting your finger on them is enough to make them smaller.

Inspirational Thoughts:
Each child is an adventure into a better life, an opportunity to change the old pattern and make it new. ~Hubert H. Humphrey

Reading:
Understanding Your Moods When You're Expecting: Emotions, Mental Health, and Happiness -- Before, During, and After Pregnancy by Lucy J. Puryear MD, published by Houghton Mifflin, 2008.

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