This profile view shows that the bridge of the nose is shallow and the eyes are still dominating the face. The jaw is lengthening and the chin held away from the chest. The hands (with outstretched fingers) are in a common position – close to the face.
It’s worthwhile finding comfortable sleeping positions now; these will stand you in good stead throughout pregnancy.
Your bump will be getting bigger by the day and, as a result, you may find it increasingly difficult to get comfortable when you’re lying down, especially during the night.
You should avoid sleeping on your back in the second half of your pregnancy, so start practising some new positions now. This is because the weight of your uterus will press on the major veins that return blood to your heart, which may result in dizziness, low blood pressure, and possibly a reduction in blood flow to the uterus.
Ideally, lie on your left side (although it will do you or your baby no harm to lie on your right side) as this is actually good for you and the baby. It improves blood flow to the placenta and helps your kidneys eliminate fluids and waste products. Don’t worry if you wake to find you’re lying on your back: just roll onto your side and support yourself with pillows if necessary.
It’s fine to lie on your front if you prefer (your baby is safely cushioned in the amniotic fluid), but the bigger you get, the more difficult this will become.
Times when you can focus quietly on your baby are precious bonding opportunities and a great way to relax. You may like to visualize your baby floating in the amniotic fluid.
Try this “butterfly” pose with the soles of your feet joined. Place your hands on your abdomen and massage your baby using different strokes. Think of your baby and shed your pre-occupations with each out-breath.
My midwife is lovely but she’s always in a hurry. How can I get her to answer my questions?
This is a common problem. Antenatal clinics are often very busy, with lots of women for the midwife to see. As a result, most clinics allow only a 10- to-15-minute appointment for each woman – barely enough time to go through the basic physical checks. However, it is important that your questions are addressed and it may be helpful to write them down so that you remember what you want to ask. If your midwife doesn’t have time to discuss the issues during your appointment, ask her to arrange to talk to you at a mutually convenient time. This could be in the form of a phone call, or another appointment at the clinic. Or she may be able to direct you to other sources of information such as books, leaflets, websites, or other healthcare professionals.
It’s a crucial part of your antenatal care that you feel comfortable with your caregivers and are given the opportunity to discuss any questions you have or issues that arise, and this is recognized by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) in their guidelines for antenatal care.
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