Photo: Mandy Milks, Erik Putz, Anthony Swaneveld. Felt: thefeltstore.com
At 25 weeks pregnant, your baby is now as big as a carton of milk, or an average of 35 centimetres (13.6 inches) long and nearly 680 grams (1.5 pounds). Her skin is still getting pinker as blood vessels develop underneath the surface, and she is beginning to plump up a little, too. Her lungs are still growing, but they’re maturing quickly, and her nose is now functioning, allowing her to take practice “breaths” of amniotic fluid in utero.xmocb / Getty Images
Perhaps you’ve escaped this particular pregnancy symptom until now. At this stage of pregnancy, late-night takeout from your favourite Indian restaurant may officially be off the menu. You can thank the hormone relaxin (the one that loosens up the muscles and ligaments throughout your body) for this lovely symptom. The muscle at the top of your stomach, which is supposed to keep stomach acids from splashing into the esophagus, may be flapping open now, causing painful heartburn after you eat and when you lie down. That bigger-than-ever baby is also squishing your digestive tract, which can feel like your stomach is being pushed up into your throat. This will pass soon after your baby arrives, but until then there are a few things you can do to manage pregnancy-induced indigestion: Skip big meals in favour of smaller, more frequent ones; avoid greasy and spicy foods; stop nibbling several hours before bedtime; prop yourself up to sleep; and pop calcium-based chewable antacids as needed (brands like Tums and Rolaids are both safe choices). If you’re still suffering, talk to your practitioner.Eakkarat Thiemubol / Getty Images
More than half of moms-to-be have to deal with the horror of hemorrhoids during pregnancy (a form of varicose veins in the rectum caused by increased blood flow and the weight of your uterus). If you’re constipated (another common symptom at this stage), getting things moving will help you avoid straining and added pain down there. To do that, increase your fibre intake with more fruits, veggies and whole grains and drink lots of water. For immediate relief, ice packs and witch hazel pads will help soothe your sore bottom. Make your own by dampening a maxipad with water, adding a few drops of witch hazel (available at most health food stores and at well.ca) and placing it in the freezer. These “padsicles” are great to stock up on now anyway because you may want to use them after delivery to relieve pain and swelling in the vaginal area (unless your baby arrives by C-section, of course).globalmoments / Getty Images
Some fluctuations in weight gain during mid-pregnancy are totally normal. It’s unrealistic to expect to see the same increase at each weigh-in, so some spikes and plateaus are nothing to worry about. Weight gain is only one measure of a healthy pregnancy; your practitioner will also be keeping track of your fundal height: the distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus measured in centimetres. (Fun fact: After week 20, it should roughly correspond to your week of pregnancy—for example, 25 centimetres/10 inches at 25 weeks.) Your midwife or OB-GYN will check the baby’s heartbeat regularly and ask about fetal movement, although you may not have any more ultrasounds until your due date. (Can you believe it? If your pregnancy is low-risk and you don’t encounter any complications or concerns, such as a breech baby or an amniotic fluid check, you may not get another glimpse at your “wombmate” until the birth!)
If you’re concerned that you’re gaining too much weight, just keep exercising and eating healthy foods. Remember that, although you are now eating for two, you probably won’t need as much extra fuel as you think. If you had a healthy pre-pregnancy weight, you only need about 300 to 350 additional calories during the second trimester (and 500 during the third trimester). That’s equivalent to a banana and 30 to 45 milligrams (two or three tablespoons) of peanut butter. A pint of Ben & Jerry’s, on the other hand, packs about 500 calories per cup.) If you’re concerned about gaining too much weight, talk to your practitioner about a referral to a dietitian or nutritionist, and read more about pregnancy weight gain here.Liudmila Chernetska / Getty Images
Have you (and your bump) felt judged for waiting in line at Starbucks while you’re clearly expecting? Even though strangers don’t even know what you’re ordering, they may sometimes assume the worst. (What they may not know is that pregnant women can safely have 300 milligrams of caffeine a day.) You’re not alone: When Pink was pregnant with her second child, she was Internet-mom-shamed for posting a pic of herself microwaving a cup of decaf!bernardbodo / Getty Images
Hopefully by now, you and your partner have crafted a shortlist of favourite baby names. If you know whether you’re having a boy or girl, that will certainly help narrow things down even further. But have you put your faves to the test? Have you thought about how it sounds? Does it roll off the tongue or come out as a tongue twister after you shout it 10 times on the playground? Does it lend itself to nicknames you like? Does it pass the Supreme Court justice test? Are you happy with the initials? (Ahem, you may want to make sure that you don’t end up needing to monogram the initials of Ava Sophia Smith on everything!) If you have your perfect name picked out, seriously consider whether you want to share the name with friends and family now or save it until your little one arrives. Be warned: Everyone will have an opinion, and you don’t want someone’s random comment (that is, they went to high school with a terrible bully with the same name) to ruin one of your top picks.FG Trade / Getty Images
The second trimester is the best time to get down to business on your baby’s room, putting your Pinterest picks and all those sites you bookmarked into action. You’ll still have lots of time until your little one arrives and hopefully enough energy to tackle a big project, such as assembling a crib or reorganizing a closet. Begin with the basics, including a crib, a change table (or a pad secured to a dresser top), a diaper pail and place to put stuff, such as diapers, swaddle blankets, burp cloths and clothes. If you’re not ready to do a nursery, that’s OK. You don’t really need a separate room for the baby for the first few months—just plan on making room for the crib or bassinet in your bedroom for that time. (Room sharing, but not bed sharing, is one way to reduce the risk of SIDS.)
We HIGHLY recommend that you buy these genius baby products—you can thank us later.FotoDuets / Getty Images
“I was too exhausted to pump but didn’t need to because the “milk savers” caught all the milk I leaked while nursing and I was able to save up enough for so, so many bottles…lifesaver!” (If you want to catch that extra liquid gold while breastfeeding—and you’re looking for some suction and stimulation—also check out the Haakaa and NatureBond silicone breast pumps and milk savers.) – Naureen M.A.
“It’s not as strong as a thick cream but for day to day, it’s great. (And no mess!)” – Vanessa M.
“Especially useful with my first when I was in a small condo. Puj turns any sink into a bathtub, and cradles the baby as if she was being held. It’s mildew resistant and so easy to clean. Plus stores completely flat and takes up almost no space. When not in use we kept it against our shower wall with suction hooks. There’s a reason Ellen featured it on her show!” – Linda S.
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“The [Kiinde] bags screw right on to almost all breast pumps. You can pump directly into the bag, put a cap on, store in fridge/freezer, pop the lid off and stick a nipple on top and feed directly from the bag! It eliminates washing extra parts and transferring from a bottle to storage bag, limiting chances of spilling precious milk.” – Karen P.
“I was given a Peapod Mat when I was pregnant and it was the most useful gift I never knew I needed. So great for the messy days immediately postpartum (I slept on a rotation of two for weeks), protecting your sheets when baby’s in bed with you, naked baby time anywhere in the house, protecting furniture if you don’t want to buy a change table (we have one permanently on a futon in the baby’s room), and it will be great for potty-training. So worth the investment.” – Yvonne H.
“How about those forehead stickers that tell you if your kid has a fever? So you can check them without waking them up. So easy!” – Tanya S.
“I have all of the snot suckers which are great, but when there’s a crusty boogie beyond your reach in a tiny nostril… This has like a tiny lasso to grab and pull it out, and a little scoop to catch wax out of their ear canal. It has a bear shaped ball on each end to keep you from cramming either end too far into baby’s ear or nose.” – Amy V.
“Make the formula bottle now but mix it later. Keeps powder and water separate until you ‘explode’ the bottle as my partner says.” – Joanne E
“It’s a scarf-style nursing cover that doubles as a carseat/stroller cover. Ideal to shelter baby from wind/dust and noise: instant cocoon. I loved it!” – Sonja R.
“A leather bib! It’s amazing—wipes clean and immediately dry, magnets snap it shut for putting it on and taking it off easily AND it hangs on the fridge! ONE bib forever! And they have the cutest and customizable designs! ” – Jen L.
“I really liked the silicone baby food trays for freezer storage while introducing baby food. It makes it easy to just pop out one section at a time.” – Rebecca C.N.
“After someone gifted me one, I now give one to every new mom. Babies love them and they are lightweight and easy to carry as a toy on the go. Plus it gets babies into books at such an early age. Love them!” – Janis P.G.
“These are the best for when baby is cutting molars.” – Teri S.J.
“It’s a (smooth, chewy) top that goes on food pouches so that baby has to bite to get food out. Prevents spills and lets them eat on their own.” – Tanya S.
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“So necessary for getting out with the little ones on cold winter days.” – Kristina M.
“Single mom + twins. ‘Nuff said.” – Beth F.
“Helps to lull baby to sleep with nice gentle background noise, mimicking the noise in utero. And it’s very portable.” – Jennifer M
“Washing my daughter’s hair used to be horrible. We now love bath time. It’s the easiest thing. You put it on and it goes over their head so you can still access their hair. Then you pour the water over their head and it looks like it’s raining. No water ever gets in my daughter’s eyes.” – Richelle S.
“I HAVE TO rave about the BabyBum brush. It’s a silicone brush made specifically for putting on diaper cream. The cream goes on so smoothly, it has a suction-cup bottom so that when it’s dirty it doesn’t fall over and make a mess everywhere and it can be cleaned with a baby wipe and sterilized in the dishwasher. This product was a lifesaver for me. I have five—one for every place that I change diapers. I have long nails and there is nothing worse than getting pasty diaper cream under my nails! Only downside is this product is very difficult to find in Canada…had to get it from the U.S. when I was on vacation.” – Adina E.
“It’s like a winter coat that goes on over the carrier but can also be used on a car seat or stroller. I haven’t used my stroller once all winter. I put it over the Ergo (baby carrier) and go.” – Jenna M.W.
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