My Pregnancy this week_31

Picture of your developing baby



Leaking breasts and Braxton-Hicks contractions
 

Coping with breast leaks and growth
Your breasts are gearing up to produce milk for your baby. Here’s how to get through this transitional stage:
• Protect your clothes by wearing cotton nursing pads (available at most maternity boutiques and large drugstores). These small, cup-shaped absorbent pads come in both disposable and washable varieties and can be slipped inconspicuously inside your bra to soak up any liquid.
•  If your current bra is too snug and you plan to breastfeed, consider buying and wearing a nursing bra. You’ll need one in a few months anyway and the fabric is often thicker than that of a regular bra so it can absorb slight or infrequent leaks. Buy a nursing bra at least one cup size bigger than you are now to accommodate the swelling that will take place when your milk comes in.

You may have noticed some leaking of colostrum, or “premilk,” from your breasts lately. Some expectant moms experience this leaking, others don’t. Either way, you can rest assured that your breasts are doing what they need to do to prepare for feeding your baby.Have you noticed the muscles in your uterus tightening now and then? Many women feel these random contractions — called Braxton Hicks contractions — in the second half of pregnancy. Often lasting about 30 seconds, they’re irregular, and at this point, they should be infrequent and painless. Frequent contractions, on the other hand — even those that don’t hurt — may be a sign of preterm labor. Call your practitioner immediately if you have more than four contractions in an hour or any other signs of preterm labor: an increase in vaginal discharge or a change in the type of discharge (if it becomes watery, mucus-like, or bloody — even if it’s pink or just tinged with blood); abdominal pain or menstrual-like cramping; an increase in pressure in the pelvic area; or low back pain, especially if you didn’t have it before.

Why are my breasts leaking?Any fluid leaking from your breasts is a sign that your body is preparing to feed your baby. What you’re seeing is colostrum, a yellowish fat-rich substance that will nourish your baby before your actual milk comes in a few days after birth. Your body starts producing colostrum in the last few months of pregnancy, and any leakage is a sign that things are right on track, says Katy Lebbing, a board-certified lactation consultant with La Leche League International. “If you don’t have leakage, that’s normal too,” she says. “It’s just your body’s natural way of doing things.”

Nutrition Nibbles:

3 perfect pregnancy dinners
 

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Wondering what to eat tonight? These dinner ideas from Nicole Britvan, a dietitian at Kaiser Permanente Outpatient Nutrition Clinic in San Francisco, have the ideal mix of nutrients and flavor for pregnant women.

• Stir Fry Make a large stir-fry with chicken, shrimp, or tofu. To make it super fast, buy bags of frozen precut veggies and heat in a skillet with low-sodium soy sauce or olive, peanut, or sesame oil. Serve over brown rice.

• Chicken Breast Bake or broil a 4- to 5-ounce chicken breast (marinate in lemon juice and oregano for extra zip). Add 1 to 2 cups of your favorite steamed veggies, and a baked sweet potato or regular potato topped with plain yogurt and salsa or low-fat cheese.

• Chicken Quesadilla Fill 1 whole-wheat tortilla with 1 to 2 ounces of reduced fat cheese and 1 to 2 ounces of chicken, shrimp, or tofu. Add salsa or chopped tomatoes, lettuce, and a few tablespoons of fat-free refried beans for extra fiber! Serve with a handful of unsalted tortilla chips.

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