Your baby this week
17 weeks pregnant

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Mmmm... cookie dough and cake batter. We licked the beaters and nibbled the dough when we were kids. As adults, we’ve been told to avoid raw batters -- especially during pregnancy.

Unfortunately, if you make your own cookie dough from scratch or use a powdered mix with fresh ingredients -- and then sample the concoction — you may be putting yourself at risk for infection with Salmonella enteritidis (a bacterium found in shell eggs). Baking the dough or cooking any egg-containing food product to at least 140 F (60 C) kills the bacteria, however.

Find out more -- and get some options -- here: Can I eat cookie dough or cake batter during pregnancy?


What's a babymoon?

With months until baby's arrival, you'll have the nursery painted, the crib assembled and the pediatrician chosen. With all your energy focused on the baby, the only thing you're likely forgetting is spending quality time with your significant other. This is where a babymoon comes in.

You may have heard the term "babymoon" before, even if you've never been on one. The trend -- where a couple goes on a last-hurrah vacation before life becomes about all things baby -- first became popular a few years ago, and has ramped up popularity ever since. Click here to check out "When the babymoon beckons"!


Are your feet getting bigger?

There are three reasons why your feet can get larger during pregnancy, so don't buy any new shoes until you finish reading this article.

Feet

The first reason feet expand is from the edema (swelling) of pregnancy caused by the retention of fluid. This swelling can be somewhat relieved by elevating your legs whenever possible and by wearing support hose. However, do not cut down on your fluid intake. By drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, the edema is actually reduced.

In this expert answer, learn the other two reasons reasons why your feet can get larger during pregnancy, and why, in some cases, the changes might be permanent. (Also check out It seems like my rib cage is bigger now. Is that possible?)


message boards Want to talk? Meet other expectant moms on the Pregnancy & Baby message boards!


Science backs you up

Guess what, ladies -- research is proving what we already knew: That pregnancy turns your brain to mush. The expectant moms in one study had significant difficulty with memory issues, specifically for things that required extra effort, like learning new phone numbers or remembering doctor's appointments. The researchers likened the memory deficits to those found in healthy 60-year-olds.

Mary relates her story: "I was working for the international marketing division of our company when I was pregnant with Susan. I suffered severe morning sickness for months. Our associates from Scotland were visiting. For many, it was their first trip to the US. They were anxious to witness first-hand how vocal American businesswomen are vs our European counterparts. Their director had visited many times before and knew me quite well, so he had prepared his coworkers for my "ambitious" behavior in meetings. (I was prone to strong opinions and not afraid to express them.)

baby brain

"Apparently -- and I have no recall of this whatsoever -- some very pointed, controversial issues were directed to me. All eagerly awaited my heated response only to find me staring blankly back at them. I offered no reaction, no response, no discussion of any kind ... it was completely out of character for me," she says. "Just days later, my boss and the HR director suggested I look into FMLA options."

Read more great stories of 'baby brain' here!

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