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Pregnancy At Week 20

Pregnancy At Week 20

What to Expect at 20 Weeks Pregnant

This article is going to cover how big your baby currently is, what symptoms you may be experiencing, as well as what preparations may be smart to make during this week of your pregnancy

Week 20 pregnancy

The 20th week of pregnancy is such an exciting milestone; you’re halfway there! There are probably 4 million things going through your head this week. Is my baby healthy? Is everything progressing as it should? Am I doing everything I can do for him/her? More than likely, if you’re attending regular doctor’s appointments, you know the answer to those questions. In addition to that, you may already know your baby’s sex! Continue reading for some additional information on the exciting changes happening within your body, as well as your little one’s.

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Your baby is a banana!

Your baby is about the size of a banana. Crazy, right? That’s INSIDE you! Weighing in at about 10 ounces and 6.5 inches long- your teeny tiny bundle of joy is doing some major growing, in there!  Your baby has been doing a lot more swallowing of your amniotic fluid to help with his digestive system. Your baby is also producing merconium, which is a sticky substance that he or she will expel in their first few diapers after birth. So don’t be alarmed when the first soiled baby diaper is very tar-like.

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banana

    Feeling any of those Symptoms yet?

    Symptoms this week can vary, but generally include heartburn and indigestion, leg cramps, and trouble sleeping.  Most mom’s have shed the morning sickness by this point, but you may not be so lucky. It’s okay if you’re still feeling it- relax and eat what doesn’t hurt your tummy, as well as things that won’t flare up any heartburn. Also make sure to eat several hours before you go to sleep, that way your stomach has plenty of time to digest.  For the leg cramps, you can always get up and walk around; however doing so isn’t as easy as it used to be (are you doing more rolling out of bed, yet?). Try flexing your toe so that it is perpendicular to your leg. If you are experiencing trouble sleeping utilize any pillows you have to make yourself more comfortable (try one between your legs, and even under your belly if you need to.)  You can also always look into a maternity pillow, such as the “snoogle” that contours perfectly to your changing body.  Your trouble sleeping could also be attributed to the change in your bodies core temperature due to hormones, metabolism, and that extra weight.  If so, keep your room cooler than normal, as well as only wear what you absolutely need to sleep in.  Weight gain varies greatly depending on whether you were underweight or overweight before getting pregnant. More than likely you have gained around 10 pounds, so far, and you can expect to gain about a pound a week for the duration of your pregnancy.

    Preparation

    Have you had a chance to take any birthing or parenting classes? If not, no worries, you still have time! While the doctors and midwives will be able to help you every step of the way, it definitely does not hurt to have some practice, especially if you are a first time mom. If you haven’t already, you’re probably getting ready to talk to your work about your exciting news.  Make sure you talk to your company about anything you need to do prepare for maternity leave; whatever can be done to to make the last half of your pregnancy easier is always a good idea!

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    Take care of your body (and theirs)

    Your body is working overtime to make sure you, and your baby, make it through this process in the healthiest way possible. You can discuss with your doctor any special dietary measurements you need to be taking, but iron is definitely an element that is important for you and baby during your pregnancy.  Eating red meat is a good way to build up the iron that your baby needs, as well poultry (especially the dark meat), legumes, iron fortified cereal, products that are soy-based, spinach, raisins, and prune juice.

    Taking some time for yourself

    Whether your a first time mom or not, your life is about to change in a big way. Make sure you are taking plenty of time to de-stress everyday, as well as treat yourself a little. Read a book, exercise, watch a movie, cuddle with your significant other: whatever it is that helps you be YOU at the end of your day. One great idea is to get some professional maternity pictures taken (although I’m sure you’ve been taking some bump pictures every step of the way!) Some suggestions for a little indulgence: get a pedicure/manicure, on your own or with some friends. Loosen up with a prenatal massage, buy some cute clothes to relax around the house, or an outfit that makes you feel beautiful for a night out on the town with your honey. Growing a human being is hard work, and you definitely deserve it, mama-to-be!

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    Featured photo credit: Baby Learns How To Grab 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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