Your baby this week
17 weeks pregnant

In the know

Chest

As early as this week (though perhaps not until your third trimester), you may notice a small amount of clear or cloudy discharge from your nipples. This is colostrum, the baby's first food, rich in nutrients and antibodies. (Don't worry about "wasting" the colostrum -- more will be produced to ensure a fresh supply for your baby.)

And don't worry if you have nothing at all -- the presence, or lack of, colostrum is not an indicator of how easy or difficult breastfeeding will be for you.


The gift of help

Do you have a birthday or a holiday -- or an early baby shower -- coming up and you are unsure what to put on your wish list? Ann Douglas offers this idea:

"A gift certificate for a local maid service is a great idea. It's hard to find the time to brush your teeth and comb your hair during the early weeks postpartum, let alone keeping your house clean. Such a gift will help you to keep the dust bunnies from achieving a coup d'etat during the early weeks of your baby's life."

For more ideas about what to tell people when they ask what kind of a gift you want, click here!


Clean safely

When is comes to household cleaners, reading the safety information on the label is very important for pregnant and nursing moms. Most cleaners can be safely utilized with some basic precautions, says Ob/Gyn David Barrere.

Read the details about household cleaners that are safe to use here, and be sure to check out these articles, too:


Extra!

During pregnancy and childbearing, the enormous influx of hormones combined with weight gain, altered body shape, and the normal biophysical and structural discomforts caused by increased blood volume and a shifting center of gravity, all contribute to many pregnant women feeling downright uncomfortable, emotionally and physically! Find out why massage makes sense during pregnancy -- now more than ever!


Insight & advice

A reader asks: "I get the feeling that my mother doesn't think I will make a very good mom. She keeps making little digs at me. I know I shouldn't care, but I do. How can I get past this?"

mom online

Our expert answers: "It's always annoying when people cast doubts on whether we can do something, but especially when it's as important as caring for a precious child. And if you're already a little nervous about The Big Event -- plus everything that comes after that! -- 'little digs' are even more upsetting.

"First, just to be sure, I suggest you doublecheck whether your mom is actually digging at you. Maybe some of the time it's a dig, and maybe other times she's just concerned about you or trying to tell you that caring for a baby is more challenging than many new moms expect. Sometimes people express caring or suggestions in ways that sound critical, but if you listen below the surface of what they are saying, you will hear the love and the confidence in you."

Please click here to read the rest of this insightful article.

Photo galleries