Your baby this week
23 weeks pregnant

Your new colors

Linea nigraDue to hormones playing havoc with your bodily systems, along with the simple matter of fitting a new person under your skin, you will probably notice that your skin is not quite the same as it used to be. While not everyone will experience changes, here are a few things of the things you may notice.

  • Linea nigra: A dark line that appears on your abdomen, running from the belly button down to the pubic bone
  • Melasma, also known as the “mask of pregnancy”: brownish or yellowish patches on your face (usually the cheekbones and forehead)
  • Moles and freckles: May get larger and may darken
  • Nipples: May enlarge, darken, and oil glands may become more prominent
  • Labia: May darken
  • Veins close to the skin (especially on the breasts) can become more visible
  • Varicose and spider veins can appear on the legs, particularly on the back of the knee and thigh

Most of these changes will disappear gradually after you deliver. Stretch marks, varicose veins and your new nipple shade are usually here to stay, however, although the stretch marks will fade in time.


Ideas & inspiration

Is it okay to sleep on your tummy? Some experts advise that it is best if you sleep on your left or right side. Once the baby and your uterus gets heavy, the baby may compress one of the major blood vessels going to your heart and decrease blood flow to you and the baby if you lie on your back. A pillow (or a body pillow) placed behind your back may help keep you from rolling onto your back. Want more sleep tips? See the article, Will the sandman ever come?

Sleeping pregnant woman


A little behind?

If it has to do with your rear, we can help you right here. Bottom, booty, butt, derriere: Pregnancy can take its toll on your behind. Get advice here: Getting to the bottom of it.


Pregnancy is not a disease

When Sandra Gensel of Bristol, Connecticut announced she was pregnant, she was stunned by the way everyone treated her.

"All of a sudden, I felt like I had three heads," she says. "Suddenly everyone was treating me like an invalid. I would carry a small load of laundry up the stairs and my mother-in-law would make these 'tsk-tsk'-ing noises." Gensel also says that co-workers criticized her for jogging during her lunch time, although she was barely showing. "I've always jogged, and I felt great doing it. I took it down a notch, and my doctor assured me it wouldn't hurt me or the baby, but I started to wonder if maybe it was too much in my condition."

Read on here about if you should -- or shouldn't -- limit yourself during this time of your life.


Relaxation benefits

Relax

When you calm yourself, your body creates a relaxation response that is the opposite of the body's reaction to stress. Your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing all decrease.

Learning to really relax is like building muscles: The more you do it, the stronger your body will become. The effects of practicing relaxation are cumulative; so are the effects of stress and anxiety. The trick is to provide enough relaxation to balance out the daily hassles and other stress in your life. Regular relaxation practice will change your body's response to stress.

Click here for tips on how to relax during your pregnancy!

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