At 24 weeks, you have probably been feeling your baby move for the last few weeks. How exciting!
How are you feeling? Again, whatever you’re feeling, there’s a 99.9% chance it’s normal.
If you’re struggling, here are some pro tips to feel better:
This is normal: Linea nigra or stretch marks
If you start to notice a dark line that runs up the center of your belly, this is called linea nigra (translated, this literally means “black line”) and related to the changing hormones circulating during pregnancy. While there is nothing you can do to prevent this from happening, the good news is that it fades away shortly after the birth of your baby. Stretch marks are common and may appear as your belly continues to grow. Your second trimester is great time to start using cream on your belly to help potentially prevent stretch marks. Use creams that contain centella, such as Belli Elasticity Belly Oil or a Bio Oil, to help your skin’s elasticity.
This is normal: Leg cramps or and swollen ankles or feet
There are a few easy (and potentially lovely) solutions for leg cramps: stretch, massage your muscles, or apply heat, like a warm washcloth or heating pad. Try a warm bath before bed to relax your muscles. A little swelling in the feet and ankles is to be expected, especially if you are on your feet all day. Be sure to elevate your feet at the end of the day, or when you are sitting for long periods of time. If you notice swelling in your face, hands, or in one leg but not the other, or anything that seems out of the ordinary, you should let your OB know right away.
This is normal: Back pain.
Yes, sorry! This might be getting worse as the baby gets larger inside your growing uterus. Everything is pressing against your spine and pelvis, making your back muscles work extra hard to carry your baby bump around.
Here are a few other tips to make this stretch of your pregnancy easier and more enjoyable:
Pro tip 1: Acupuncture during pregnancy is safe and has many benefits for pregnant women including reduced stress, reduced nausea, and reduced pain and swelling. Acupuncture can even be used to help attempt to turn a baby from the position of feet first, to head first, which is the position needed for a vaginal delivery. Want a great local resource in Boston? Check out Yintuition Wellness.
Pro tip 2: Get involved in prenatal yoga, if you haven’t already. There are many benefits of practicing yoga while pregnant, such as improving balance and flexibility. It also helps you to practice your breath awareness and mindfulness, which can help to manage these common aches and pains that we have been talking about. Tools from your yoga class will also be incredibly useful during your labor and delivery, when it comes to managing contractions and pushing your baby out. We offer prenatal yoga at our South Boston Studio in addition to other prenatal fitness classes.
Pro tip 3: Are you building your registry? Scope out our favorite items to add:
For our bottle feeding mom: Baby Breeza Formula Pro Formula Dispenser
Little Unicorn blankets, burp cloths, and bibs