All About You
That's not a baby in there, it's an amateur boxer pummeling your guts. Her punches, jabs, and kicks are so frequent now that your family and friends can see them (and your internal organs and rib cage are taking a beating). Since there's still room to move, that little guy or gal is using it all!
Somewhere around now, you may have an internal exam to check your cervix for risk of preterm labor. Don't fretthough that's easier said than done. Pregnancy tends to heighten and rollercoaster your emotions: the worry becomes a full-on anxiety attack, the happy feelings become unstoppable elation. And all these ups and downs (plus the sore ribs) have a not-so-good effect on your sleep, which is why you're reading this at 4:30 in the morning.
This Week: Headed for Bed Rest?
Waitwas that a contraction? Roughly seven percent of all pregnant women experience preterm laborsometimes in the second but more often in the third trimester. Any contractions that cause the cervix to open before week 37 are considered preterm labor.
A lot of times managing early contractions is as easy as drinking more water and going to bed early. But if your labor pains are more severeor if you have other complicationsyou might be headed for bed rest. With your feet raised and your body relaxed, there's less pressure on your cervix. Lying down also aids blood flow, making it easier for your heart to do its thing.
When bed rest alone doesn't prevent preterm labor pains, there are drugs. And if drugs don't work, you may be hospitalized so you can be under constant care.
While it might sound sort of nice to lie in bed all day eating bonbons, watching TV, and checking email, the truth is that bed rest gets old pretty quick. If you find yourself headed for bed rest, be sure to keep our bed rest survival guide by your side.