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Pregnancy At Week 14

Pregnancy At Week 14

How the Baby is Growing

You have now entered your second trimester and your baby is making large developments. Your baby can now perform facial expressions such as squinting, frowning and grimacing. Thanks to your baby’s brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting strong as they move from one expression to the next.

Your baby measures about 3 and ½ inches and weighs about an ounce and a half—about the size of a lemon. Your little lemon is mostly growing his muscles and bones. They can likely grasp, which means by this week they will be able to suck their thumbs. Your baby’s hands and feet are more flexible and active, and it is only a matter of time before you start to feel those punches.

lemon-baby

    Your little lemon’s body is growing faster than his head. He is starting to look more proportional. By the end of the week, his arms will have grown a length that is in proportion to the rest of the body, but the legs will still have some growing.

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    During pregnancy week 14, your baby is starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy covering of hair all over his body. The spleen is starting to make red blood cells which carry nutrients and oxygen to the baby. The liver is starting to make bile—a sign that it is doing its job right.

    Mother’s Body Development

    This is the first week of your second trimester. You can rest easier as the risk of a miscarriage drops substantially—75 percent of miscarriages occur in the first trimester. You should start feeling more energetic as your levels of HCG drop; estrogen and progesterone shift again.

    Your breasts should feel less tender and you should start to feel less queasy. If not, do not worry, chances are that it will soon pass. If you are still feeling nausea and fatigue, be aware that unfortunately, some women will continue to experience these symptoms into their 16th or 20th week of pregnancy.

    As your baby and placenta grow, you will continue experiencing a slight weight gain. Now is the time to hit those maternity boutiques you have been dying to go to because you are starting to show more. Your uterus is starting to rise out of the pelvic region and into the lower abdomen giving you the coveted pregnant belly.

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    As your uterus grows, you might start to feel some discomfort—this is known as round ligament pain. The thick bands of ligaments that run from the groin up the side of the abdomen are being stretched and thinned out to accommodate the increasing weight.

    The increasing weight can cause a sharp pain or dull ache in the lower abdomen. The best way to get rid of the pain is to rest in a comfortable position with your feet up.

    As the baby pushes out, you should feel a decreasing need to urinate. You might be able to finally skip some steps to the bathroom, but enjoy it now because bladder pressure increases in the third trimester when the baby drops into the pelvis again.

    Common Symptoms Experienced During Pregnancy Week 14

    Along with the older symptoms of nausea, fatigue, sore breasts and varicose veins, you will experience a stronger appetite and a stuffy nose.

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    As your nausea, morning sickness, and fatigue decrease you will rediscover your appetite and learn that you are trying to feed two. Do your best to eat healthy and regular food. Eating spicy or fatty foods can cause indigestion and heartburn. Try snacking and eating throughout the day to keep your blood and energy stable.

    Your hormones are starting to change again. High levels of estrogen and progesterone increase the blood flow to mucous membranes in the body such as your vagina and nose. You will experience swelling and softening causing heavy amounts of discharge from your nose and your vagina. Try running a warm-mist humidifier while you sleep to make breathing easier.

    Activities This Week

    As your nose runs more and your body suppresses your immune system during pregnancy week 14, now is the time to stay healthy. Engage in germ warfare by washing your hands often, do not share drinks or food with sick people, and avoid sick people like the plague. If you think you have caught a cold, check with your doctor.

    It is also a good idea to consider starting a regular workout routine. Prenatal classes are an excellent way for soon-to-be mothers to bond with and get support from other pregnant women. Some good exercise routines include water exercises, yoga or a walking group.

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    Tips This Week

    This is the week many people find out the sex of their baby. Discuss with your partner if you want to know the sex of your baby. Knowing the sex of the baby can help mothers build a bond with their baby, prepare an older sibling for their arrival, down the list of baby names, and it allows you to pick out gender-specific baby items. Waiting to know the sex of the baby can be a great surprise, the desire to know the sex might motivate you during the toughest parts of labor, and you will be following tradition.

    Featured photo credit: 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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