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Pregnancy At Week 12

Pregnancy At Week 12

Welcome to pregnancy week 12! Things are looking brighter this week. You can expect most unpleasant pregnancy side effects of the first trimester to disappear this week or soon after.

How Your Baby Is Growing During Pregnancy Week 12

Your growing baby is now about the size of a lime, or about 2 inches long and weighs half an ounce. He will start to make small movements this week including clenching his fists, flexing his ankles, opening and closing his mouth, and squinting his eyes. These are all reflex actions. If you poke your abdomen lightly, he will wiggle and squirm in response, although you likely won’t be able to feel his tiny movements for a few more weeks.

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    If you haven’t already experienced it, you will likely be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat at your next doctor’s visit. For many expectant mothers, this is a huge highlight of pregnancy.

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    How Your Body Is Changing

    You may begin to show the first signs of a baby bump this week, especially if this isn’t your first pregnancy. Heartburn and acid reflux are common symptoms of pregnancy at this stage. It is generally approved for pregnant women to take an antacid, such as Tums. Make sure you follow the label directions carefully and always check with your doctor before taking any medication, including Tums and Rolaids. Altering your diet can help with this painful symptom as well. Avoid highly acidic foods such as tomato sauce, citrus, and overly salty/seasoned foods to help prevent worsening heartburn.

    Your dizzy spells may be increasing this week. Progesterone in your body has caused your blood vessels to dilate, which might make you feel light headed or dizzy upon standing up quickly. If you feel that you might fall over or have experience a blackout, lower yourself back down to a sitting or lying position with your head between your knees while you take a few slow, deep breaths. Be sure to tell your doctor about any serious dizzy spells. He or she will likely want to keep an eye on your blood pressure. A fall during pregnancy can have serious effects on you and your baby.

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    The good news is that the most uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms of the first trimester will likely start to fade away this week, including the urge to urinate, breast-tenderness, food aversion, nausea and vomiting (although this can last throughout the entire pregnancy for some women), and fatigue.

    If you’ve experienced nausea and vomiting during the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy, it may start to subside around this time. If so, your appetite is likely to return. At this stage, an expectant mother should aim to eat no extra calories each day for the first trimester. Beginning in the second trimester, she should eat around 300 extra calories a day, depending on how active she is. However, if your appetite has returned, be sure you are eating healthful foods, including lots of fruits and vegetables, limiting refined carbohydrates and excess fats. You will feel your best for the remainder of your pregnancy if you keep your body well-nourished.

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    Things to Do During Pregnancy Week 12

    Now is the time to make a decision as to whether or not you and your partner would like to find out the sex of your baby. It is possible for ultrasound technicians to distinguish whether your baby is a boy or a girl by around week 16, though many won’t check until you’ve reached week 20. It can be tempting to schedule a 3D ultrasound of your baby around that same time. Many practitioners discourage this because of the extended time required of 3D ultrasounds. That level of radiation can be harmful to your sensitive baby. Many couples choose to find out the sex of their baby so they feel they can prepare for his or her arrival with a completed nursery and collection of gender-appropriate clothing. But if you enjoy surprises and the suspense doesn’t kill you, you should consider holding off on a gender-reveal.

    In the coming months you will likely be spending a lot of money and time shopping for new things for the baby. Whether you’re spending money on clothes, nursery furniture, doctor’s visits, or anything else, expenses can start to add up quickly. It’s a good idea to set a budget of what you and your partner will spend in preparation for the baby. Don’t forget to register for things that you want and need for the baby. Your friends and family will be happy to help provide for your little one!

    Featured photo credit: Pregnant/Jerry Lai via flickr.com

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    Published on January 30, 2019

    How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

    How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

    In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

    The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

    According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

    This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

    Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

    This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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    The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

    Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

    What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

    Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

    1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

    Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

    Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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    As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

    2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

    I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

    However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

    Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

    When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

    3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

    This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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    I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

    Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

    4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

    No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

    Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

    5. Don’t keep score or track time.

    At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

    In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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    The Bottom Line

    To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

    The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

    But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

    On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

    Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

    Reference

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