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Pregnancy at Week 13

Pregnancy at Week 13

How the Baby is Growing

Your baby is starting to look less like an alien and more like a human. Your baby is about the size of a pea pod, and his head is about a third of his overall body size. Your little pea pod weighs approximately one ounce.

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    Babies now have tiny fingerprints on their tiny fingertips. Your baby has sucking muscles in his cheeks, so when you poke your stomach the baby will start rooting. This is an automatic behavior and instinct of searching for your nipple that babies have once they are born.

    Organs are continuing to develop and some are functional. Their organs can still be seen through their thin skin. The urinary tract has started functioning and your little pea pod is starting to urinate out the amniotic fluid that he has been swallowing. If you are having a girl, she now has over 2 million eggs in her ovaries. This number will decrease to a million by the time she is born and will have dropped to about 200,000 by the time she is 17.

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    During pregnancy week 13, your baby is beginning to develop bones in his legs and arms. This gives him the strength to begin jerking his arms around and may allow him to find his thumb. With the sucking muscles developed, it is possible that your baby could begin sucking his thumb as little as week 13.

    Your little pea pod’s vocal chords are growing, which is the first step to him saying, “I love you, Mommy.” Unfortunately sound is unable to travel through the uterus so you will have to wait until the baby is born and wakes you up at 2 a.m. to appreciate his beautiful vocals.

    At this point, fetus growth will vary from fetus to fetus, so do not compare your fetus to the one next door. All babies will grow through the same developmental stages, but some babies will grow at a faster pace while others will grow a slower pace. It is natural and part of the process.

    Mother Body Development

    This is the last week of your first trimester, which means your risk for a miscarriage drops significantly compared to the first few weeks. You should start to feel better as you move into the second trimester, which is considered to be a time of relative comfort.

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    For a majority of women, the feelings of nausea and fatigue are decreasing, but just in time for clumsiness. From tripping to dropping dishes, you will start to feel more clumsy. Your body is secreting hormones that relax your muscles in preparation for the day you need your pelvis to be relaxed.

    If you are still feeling nausea and fatigue, do not worry, some women will continue to experience these symptoms into their 16th or 20th week of pregnancy. Bloating, constipation and headaches may also be first trimester symptoms that stick around for the rest of your pregnancy.

    Your placenta is continuing to grow, along with the baby, so you will notice a slight weight gain during this week. For many women, the baby has recently moved to the north of your uterus, so this week you will continue to develop that rounded, “Yes, I am pregnant!” belly.

    You may also begin to experience increased amounts of vaginal discharge, which serves the purpose of keeping your birth canal from infection and maintaining a natural balance of bacteria. Unfortunately, this can make a mess of your underwear. If it makes you more comfortable, you can use a panty liner, but never anything more. Do not use a tampon or douche will you are pregnant because it can lead to vaginal infections.

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    Common Symptoms Experienced In This Week

    Along with the older symptoms of nausea and fatigue, you may feel breast tenderness, heartburn and have visible veins.

    Your breasts have started making colostrum, the nutrient-rich fluid that feeds your baby for the first few days before your milk starts to flow. The increased blood flow in your body can make your breasts more sensitive. Be sure to pick a bra with plenty of support to ease your discomfort.

    As the baby pushes north, the muscles at the top of the stomach relax to allow room for the baby. Unfortunately, this allows digestive acids to rise up into the esophagus, causing a burning in the chest. To reduce your heartburn and indigestion, avoid trigger foods and drinks. Reduce or eliminate your consumption of caffeinated drinks, mint, citrus, chocolate, spicy foods and fatty foods.

    Your blood circulation has increased as the placenta grows, supplying more nutrients to your little pea pod. These veins might be an unwelcomed site, but they are a good sign as the baby is getting the nutrients they need.

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    Activities During Pregnancy Week 13

    Along with all of the vaginal discharge and other symptoms, you might experience an increase in sex drive. When it comes to sex in pregnancy week 13, try going with the flow. Your partner may be captivated by your ripening breasts and belly, but you might not want him to feel your body at the moment. You might feel hotter than ever, but your husband is turned off. This is all normal and will likely change throughout the pregnancy.

    Tips in This Week

    Continue preparing for the baby’s coming by discussing parenting views and styles with your partner. For a creative exercise, try writing a list of things your parents always did or never did. For example, “My mother always…” Once you are done creating your lists, talk about them with your partner. Talk about what behaviors you value and want to use to raise your child.

    Featured photo credit: Rumpleteaser via flickr.com

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    Published on August 8, 2018

    How Guided Meditation for Kids Can Boost Learning and Social Skills

    How Guided Meditation for Kids Can Boost Learning and Social Skills

    Do you want the best for your kid? Of course you do!

    Boosting your kid’s learning ability and social skills in less than 20 minutes a day? That’s where guided meditation for kids comes in.

    You have probably heard a lot about meditation the last couple years. As there’s more and more research in the area of meditation, a lot of people finally start to see the benefits.

    A subject that’s not talked about too much is that meditation can also help kids grow incredible learning and social skills.

    Meditation for kids is becoming more popular every day as parents want their kids to see the benefits too.

    What is guided meditation for kids?

    First things first, what exactly is the guided meditation for kids that is talked about in this article?

    We can define meditation with the help of Headspace:[1]

    Meditation is about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgment. And eventually, you may start to better understand them as well.

    And according to GuidedMind, guided meditation is:[2]

    Guided meditation is when you are guided, by a narrator, to elicit a specific change in your life. You are first guided to relax your body and mind, to help you reach a deep meditative state before going on a journey, in your mind, to reach a specific goal.

    If you want to get into guided meditation, read this:

    The Guided Morning Meditation for Beginners (That Will Change Your Day)

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    As you may know, there are a lot of variations on meditation. This includes:

    • Mindfulness, focusing on the breath while accepting everything that’s happening (thoughts, sounds, etc.).
    • (Guided) Visualization, visualizing a particular event, environment, feeling, etc.
    • Heart Rhythm Meditation (HRM), focusing on the breath and the heart while feeling at one with everything. A focus on downward energy flow within the body.
    • Transcendental Meditation (TM), this technique is literally about transcending the negative through internal mantras.
    • Qi Gong, this is a form of meditation that is done through specific movement patterns while focusing on the breath.
    • Kundalini focuses on the upward flow of energy within the body. Focusing on that energy with your breath gives you a higher sense of consciousness.
    • Zazen, sitting with a back straight while focusing on deep breaths.

    You can find out more about different forms in this article:

    17 Types of Meditation (Techniques and Basics) to Practice Mindfulness

    All these forms of meditation can be done individually or guided. Guided meditation for kids is the best choice because it will make it easier for them to follow and understand.

    The benefits of meditation for kids

    There are a lot of benefits meditation has to offer, but the most important benefit is that it relieves stress. In this time and age, this becomes more important than ever.

    (Post-)millennials are dealing with a lot of stress due to the amount of work pressure, opportunities (decision making) and student loan debt (which results in wanting early financial success).[3]

    Making sure children are stress resistant is of high importance for the future of their lives.

    Of course, there are way more benefits to meditation. So, to convince you further; here follow more benefits to meditation.

    There are precisely 76 benefits to meditation which are scientifically proved.[4] But the main benefits of meditation are:

    • Improved concentration[5]
    • Increased happiness[6]
    • Slows down the aging process[7]
    • Increased immunity[8] and cardiovascular health[9]
    • Improved mood and brain power

    Here I’m going to look into some of meditation’s benefits that parents care about most:

    Boost learning ability

    The question is: ‘How does meditation for kids improve learning ability?’

    There are, of course, multiple answers but there’s one simple answer; concentration. As you read earlier on in this article, meditation improves the ability to concentrate.

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    If the ability to concentrate increases, it will lead to an increased attention span which is one of the factors that affect learning.

    By implementing guided meditation into your kids’ life; he/she will become a better learner.

    Another reason to increase the attention span of your child beside learning is that our average attention span per person is decreasing exponentially because of all the distractions that we have around us.

    The more we let distractions in, the less easy it becomes to really focus on something. This is because it takes us 23 minutes to get into something after being distracted.[10]

    Improve social skills

    The way meditation for kids improves the social skills of the meditator is through the sense of presence it creates.[11] Being present in a conversation is more important than you may think.

    Do you know those people who are just way up in their head which makes it hard to have an in-depth conversation with?

    They probably don’t meditate.

    By being present in a conversation, you can better understand the person you’re talking to. Not being carried away by your thoughts makes it easier to process the information the other is providing. Including non-verbal signs, you may never have noticed if you weren’t present.

    Meditation for kids also improves charisma because of the loving nature that grows from meditating. Especially the kindness and gratitude focused forms of meditation for kids. By being more kind and grateful; your kid will increase in charisma and feeling of interconnectedness which will improve social skills.

    Last but not least, implementing guided meditation for kids in the form of guided meditation by you (the parent) will likely improve the relationship between you and your child.

    This creates the opportunity to educate your child on specific social skills you’ve picked up and the other way around. Also, a child is very dependent on its environment.

    By increasing social skills yourself, you will improve the social skills of your child.

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    How to get started with guided meditation for kids

    Below follows a step-by-step process on how to implement guided meditation for kids into your kids’ life.

    Step 1: Do it yourself first

    Have you ever tried learning Spanish from someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? No, because it doesn’t make sense!

    This is the same for meditation for kids. If you want to teach your kid how to meditate, you will first have to do it yourself.

    Pick a form of meditation for kids you think would work best and get the hang of it. Follow guided meditation via YouTube or any platform you like.

    Suggestions: Visualization meditation, body scan meditation or simple mindfulness.

    There’s an easy guide on meditation you can do anywhere at any time:

    The 5-Minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

    Step 2: Expose your kid to the practice

    By exposing your kid to the practice without him/her knowing, its intention will raise their curiosity. This makes it easier to convince them afterward.

    Meditate in the presence of them; put your earplugs in and start meditating while they are around. When they talk to you or touch you while you’re meditating, keep meditating until they walk away.

    When you’re done, you can explain what you were doing and why you were doing and ask to do it together. Explain it in a way, so they understand it.

    Here’s an article that will help you explain mindfulness to your kid:

    Mindfulness: What it is and How to Explain it to Kids and Adults

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    Tip: Make it sound like it’s very special (which it is) so that they’ll grow their curiosity and excitement even more.

    Step 3: Do it together

    Now that you have the interest of your child and know the essence of meditation you can finally do it together. Guide them through the meditation or put on the meditation you followed before.

    Make it a fun and enjoyable experience for your child at first while keeping the essence of meditation in mind.

    As you and your child progress you may want to make it more serious.

    Step 4: Let your child express himself/Herself entirely

    You will get a lot of insights about your feelings and thoughts through meditation. Your child will also experience these things and may want to express it.

    Ask your child after the meditation what he/she experienced or felt. Let them get rid of everything that’s bothering them.

    Step 5: Be consistent

    As you do it more frequently; you will build a habit for you and your kid that will benefit you both. Reward them after each meditation.

    Make it a fun experience instead of something they must do. Don’t push it.

    Step 6: Be calm and let it be

    Again, don’t push it and don’t expect anything. You want to get your child into meditation for kids so he/she can benefit from it in the long run. But you can’t decide for your kid if he/she wants it or not.

    You will have to educate yourself first before you can train your child. Read books or articles about meditation for kids and try your best.

    Conclusion

    Here’s a summary of the key points you have learned by reading this article:

    • You now know what (guided) meditation for kids is.
    • You know why it’s so important to include (guided) meditation into your and your kids’ life.
    • You know how (guided) meditation for kids helps improve the learning ability of your kid.
    • You know how (guided) meditation for kids helps improve the social skills of your kid.
    • You have the steps you can follow to implement meditation for kids into your kids’ life.

    Good luck and start meditating with your kids!

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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