Your baby this week
29 weeks pregnant

Shamrock

Lucky Irish

Whether your baby is due in March or you simply love Irish names and want to honor your Irish heritage, the following baby names are inspired by St Patrick’s Day and all things Irish. Imbue your strapping young lad or little lass with good fortune from day one with a lucky charm of a name!

See a collection of Irish Baby names right here -- including girl names Aislin and Keira, and boy names Brayden and Shane.


Advice & support

Don't forget your Kegels! These exercises are done in order to strengthen the pelvic floor during delivery (to help you push more efficiently) and to assist your body in recovering from childbirth (and to avoid stress incontinence). They are most simply done by contracting and holding the muscles used to stop the flow of urine.

For each Kegel, tighten for three seconds, then relax for three seconds. Start with 10 reps a day, and work up to 30 repetitions. Read more about how and why you should keep up with your kegels here!


Breastfeeding & daddy

Moms: You know all about how great breastfeeding is, right? That it's free, that it never runs out, and that breastfed babies' diapers don't stink are major advantages.

Breastfeeding

But there's a lot more. It gives you and your child a great opportunity to bond. It's also the perfect blend of nutrients for the baby. Breastfed kids have a much lower chance than formula-fed kids of developing food allergies, respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses, or of becoming obese as adults. It may also transmit your immunity to certain diseases on to the baby. Pretty much everyone agrees that you should breastfeed for at least a year if you can.

Breastfeeding "perpetuates the exclusive relationship the mother and infant experienced during pregnancy," says Dr Pamela Jordan, one of the few researchers ever to explore the effects of breastfeeding on men. As a result, your breastfeeding-spectator husband might be feeling some or all of the following: Click here for the list, and what you can do to help your partner feel more involved!


Food for thought

If you're looking for a healthy way to gain weight, try a high-protein milkshake. In a blender, mix 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup powdered milk, 1 egg substitute, 3/4 cup fruit (fresh is best, but canned or frozen fruit -- or even fruit juice -- will work, too), and 1/3 cup wheat germ. (Vanilla extract optional.) Mix in the blender with several ice cubes.

Get more great ideas in this ChefMom.com article: Smoothies: Healthy, high-energy drinks.


In real life

From Valerie's 27 week pregnancy diary:

I have been having these dreams during this pregnancy which include wild animals in them. It was baffling to me at first. Why was I having these dreams about bears and wolves? They weren't frightening dreams, I wasn't being pursued by ravenous animals or anything like that. In fact, they were rather peaceful dreams, but nonetheless ones leaving me with questions. What on earth could these animals be symbolic of?

After my most recent bear dream this week, I finally decided to look up the dream symbolism. "Bear" with me as I recount the dreams and explain the significance of the animals and locations. This is yet another spiritual/emotional exercise for healing during this pregnancy. According to one website: "To see animals in your dream, represents your own physical characteristics, primitive desires, and sexual nature, depending on the qualities of the particular animal. Animals symbolize the untamed and uncivilized aspects of yourself."

Hmmm... interesting, especially the primitive desires. Could this have anything to do with the way in which I would like to birth, that is unhindered?

Read the rest of this entry here!

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