I’m Not Sweating, I’m *Perspiring* WEEK 17

Approved by the What’s Up Moms Medical Advisory Board

Baby is over 5 inches long and 5+ ounces. Glands in the skin are starting to produce vernix – a greasy substance that acts as a waterproof barrier to protect baby’s skin from the drying effects of amniotic fluid – you’ll see your little one covered with the stuff when s/he is born. In other news, the skeleton is turning from soft cartilage to bone, the umbilical cord is growing stronger and thicker, and sweat glands are developing.

Speaking of sweat…you are, in a word, MOIST. That increased blood flow isn’t causing just vaginal discharge, but all manner of increased bodily fluids like sweat (hi, #boobsweat) and mucous. Yum! Weirdly, though, not your eyes, which might be dry and irritated due to your decreased androgen.

Something that will make you feel oh so textbook-ly pregnant is seeing those stretch marks crop up on your belly – which they may do right around now. Don’t despair, they usually make their way out postpartum. Eventually. For now just stay lubed up with a good lotion to keep your skin supple – and this should also help with any belly-n-boobs itchiness. Plus it just feels good to be doing something proactive to tend to those ugly bastards. And BTW not everyone gets these. If you don’t, thank your lucky stars and your mama for those genes.

If your shoes are feeling snug, yep, your feet are indeed expanding, and they’re not done yet. All those extra fluids you’re retaining causes edema (swelling) – and there’s plain ol’ weight gain to thank. Plus, remember relaxin – the hormone that loosens the joints around your pelvis to allow babe to shimmy on down the birth canal? It relaxes ligaments all over your body, including in your feet. So forego heels for awhile – for comfort and safety.

You may finally be busting out of your clothes and getting ready to take the plunge into maternity gear. And get ready because when you first put it on — soft, cool jersey cotton, elastic bands that gently and lovingly swaddle your belly — you are going to be flooded with such joy and sweet relief that you might tear up.

A few shopping tips: 1) Don’t lose your mind just because you’re pregs. If you don’t normally wear busy floral patterns, why would you do so in maternity gear? Stick to basics in solid colors so you can mix and match. 2) Your instinct might be to “buy big” but don’t do it! Go for body-skimming tops and dresses that highlight your bump. 3) Invest in a couple nice pairs of jeans and jeggings – it’s worth it. You’ll wear these even after you give birth. 4) Borrow or rent! Save $$! And of course… remember that you don’t need to invest in a whole new wardrobe. A bunch of the things in your closet are still wearable like stretchy tops, long cardigans, leggings – and accessories. Now go and #werk.