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Halfway There! This Calls for a Toast (of water)(with or w/o rocks) WEEK 20

Approved by the What’s Up Moms Medical Advisory Board

This week, babe is 10 inches long from head to toe (the size of a water bottle!) and if this sounds gargantuan, that’s because for the first half of pregnancy, baby’s legs were curled up against her body so measurements were taken “crown to rump.” Now, baby is unfolding and unfurling so has “graduated” and will now get measured from head to heel. Big leagues!

Baby’s digestive system is now producing meconium, a greenish-black, sticky “pre-poop” waste that accumulates in the bowels and is the substance of baby’s first poopy diaper post-birth. Sometimes babies even pass meconium in the womb or in delivery. You know you’re a real human when you’re makin’ poop!

As for you, you’re halfway there! Congrats on this milestone – it’s major. You’re halfway to being back to your wine.

Your belly is kicking into high gear and starting to seem truly baby bump-ish; the top of your uterus, the fundus, now lines up with your belly button and will move up your abdomen by about 1 centimeter per week. The doc will measure this at appointments to make sure growth is on track. And your belly isn’t the only thing popping out – you may have noticed that your *belly button* has suddenly been pushed out and become a legit outie! Eventually it will revert to its original innie-ness.

If swollen feet and ankles are dogging you — especially at the end of the day when fluid has accumulated — make sure to avoid standing for too long, learn to sit without crossing your legs (harder than one would think), and prop up your feet when seated. Exercising and staying hydrated help a ton. (The more water, the better – as counterintuitive as it is.) Hot tip: a few times a day, lay down with your legs up against a wall at 90 degrees and make slow circles with your feet. BTW all these tips will also help with varicose veins if you happen to be lucky enough to be blessed with those pesky bastards.

To-do this week: if you’re going to need childcare down the line so you can go back to work, start thinking about it now. Just a tiny bit. Yes, it seems ridiculously early to make these arrangements for a baby you haven’t even met, but if you’ll need to start at, say, three months postpartum, and if daycare is on the table (either home-based or at a center), lay the initial groundwork now by getting your name on a couple waiting lists, set-it-and-forget-it style. (One of our favorite styles)