WEEK 24 DEVELOPMENT
Mum is laughing – that’s great! Did you know that her unborn child may be more and more aware of how you are feeling? Her perception can be quite well developed in addition to all the other more obvious physical developments. So do try not to overdo things, whether at work, in the house, or during your leisure time. Even if you still feel perfectly fit, try to relax from time to time.
As the child’s brain connections get more adept at receiving signals from its receptor sensory organs, he is gradually storing sensory experiences - tastes of food that you share with him, your scent. He is used to your soundscape - your heartbeat, your breathing, even your stomach gurgling - and can distinguish this muffled interior hubbub from all the new sounds from outside: music, your voice, that of his dad, plus all the other less pleasant noises (you knew he was smart!). So talk to your little darling. Tell him what you’re up to, what you see, what you hear, even what you feel. From birth, he will recognise your voice, his dad’s, maybe even the music you liked to listen to during his sojourn.
This is a good time to double-check you are doing all you can to get enough iron in your diet. Why is it important? If your diet isn’t rich enough in iron, the foetus may still have its needs satisfied – but it will come from your iron reserves, which means you run a high risk of becoming anaemic. And not only during the pregnancy. Anaemia can be exacerbated by childbirth. Iron-rich foods are meat – particularly red meat, poultry, fish, and egg yolks. Dried peas, beans and lentils, spinach, dried fruit, and iron-fortified breakfast cereals are also good providers. Foods rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, tomatoes, and strawberries, will help your body absorb iron from non-animal sources. In some cases, your doctor may want to prescribe an iron supplement but don’t start taking one unless you’ve been directed to. No self-doctoring while pregnant!
By now everyone can see that you are pregnant. Many people can’t resist making predictions on whether you’re having a girl or a boy based on the way you are “carrying.” Although it is common to think where the bump sits on the mother determines its sex – up high means it’s a girl, down low by the hips is a boy for sure (or some variation on those beliefs)! This is a completely unfounded belief. Though all the predictions can be fun, if you really want to know the sex of your child, ask your doctor during an ultrasound.
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