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Pregnancy At Week 25

Pregnancy At Week 25

Pregnancy at week 25 is an exciting week! Your baby is so much bigger and stronger than ever before and as your head toward that due date the momentum just keeps gathering.

What’s happening with Baby

At 25 weeks pregnant, your baby is about 13 1/2 inches long and weighs roughly a 1 1/2 pounds. That’s about the size of your average acorn squash! That sounds so tiny, but that little baby is definitely viable and only has a few more months to bake before they are ready for the world! Your little baby is starting to fill out. She’ll lose that loose, wrinkled baby skin look and start to plump up and her skin will smooth out. She’s also growing more and more hair. At this point, if you could see your baby’s hair you would be able to tell whether or not they will be curly headed, blonde or ginger!

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    Your baby’s skin is getting pinker this week as capillaries are forming under the skin and filling with blood. Your baby at week 25 is looking more like a newborn and less like a squishy alien! In the second half of the week, your baby’s lungs will begin to develop capillaries as well, which will put them just one step closer to taking that first big breath of fresh air.

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    Another important breathing development that can start happening in week 25 of pregnancy is when your baby’s nostrils start to open. Up until this point in the pregnancy your baby’s nostrils have been stopped up, but now they are unclogging and your baby is starting to take some practice breaths.

    What’s happening with your body?

    During pregnancy at week 25 your miraculous, ever-expanding uterus has reached the size of a soccer ball. Congrats on already becoming a soccer mom! While that might seem huge, just wait until you’re 9 months (or more!) along. You will be yearning for that cute “little” bump you’re rocking these days. With the extra size might come some extra discomfort. Unless your doctor has instructed you otherwise, it’s still okay to continue to exercise and move around as much as you feel comfortable. Just remember to drink plenty of water, stay off of your back and stop exercising if you feel any pain, dizziness or discomfort. Keeping yourself active through all of the changes will help prepare your body for labor and help you stay healthy and happy for your baby.

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    Some common symptoms that might be cropping up around this time include: heart burn, varicose veins, carpal tunnel, and snoring. If you’re experiencing any burning in your chest and throat keep some Tums or Rolaids close at hand. Popping a few Tums a day might become a habit through the rest of your pregnancy. Varicose veins are never fun, but are totally normal. The extra blood volume during pregnancy puts strain of your veins which causes them to bulge and protrude. Avoid the development of varicose veins by wearing loose fitting clothing to aid the flow of blood. The increased blood flow during pregnancy can also put pressure of the nerves in your wrist, which can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are experiencing tingly or painful hands talk to your doctor about wearing a wrist brace. Snoring is also an unfortunate side affect of pregnancy and the increased blood supply. The increased blood flow to your mucus membranes can cause you to become congested which will cause snoring. If your snoring is truly affecting your sleep then talk to your doctor. Snoring can also be a sign of sleep apnea which can be a more serious problem.

    Suggestions for this week

    If your feeling pretty uncomfortable at this point because of any of the symptoms I mentioned above or any other discomfort, then start addressing it now. There is only more baby to grow and more bodily change ahead so it’s smart to get ahead of the curve.

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    If indigestion and heart burn are really bothering you then considering adjusting your diet. Try eating five smaller meals a day instead of three big ones. The less food there is in your tummy to digest the easier it will be and the less pain you are likely to experience. Avoid carbonated or fatty foods because they take longer to break down. If your heart burn is the worst at night try to stop eating several hours before bed in order to give your stomach the time it needs to digest before bed.

    If other physical pains are bothering you trying different stretches, routines, or habits to begin alleviating the pain. Maybe you need more rest at this point? Maybe you actually need to go on shorter and more frequent walks? Getting to know your body and listening to it is an important part of pregnancy at week 25, labor and motherhood in general. Start now and you will thank yourself later!

    Featured photo credit: Phalinn Ooi via flickr.com

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    Emily Myrin

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    Published on May 7, 2021

    20 Energizing Brain Breaks For Kids

    20 Energizing Brain Breaks For Kids

    From coaching martial arts to children as young as four years old, I very quickly came to the understanding that if I wanted to help kids progress their skills, I needed to find a way to help them focus more consistently in my class.

    There are two key ways I found when it came to improving my students’ level of focus:

    1. Make what we’re doing more interesting. Nothing is off the table here—from having ninja clowns on the rampage in a lesson to including popular games with a martial arts theme, tapping into the student’s love of fun to help them focus.
    2. Introduce brain breaks.

    Brain breaks are small mental breaks that help the kids stay more focused. Think of the brain as a fuel gauge that shows the information you can consciously hold in your mind at any given moment. When the kids are focused and working hard on their tasks, the meter is usually full. They can easily concentrate and pass experiences into their long-term memory.

    But when the needle starts to drop, you may observe that your kids are feeling anxious or looking restless. New information, experiences, and knowledge are not getting processed from the staging area or working memory into the long-term memory.[1]

    It’s here that brain breaks make the most difference, as they allow us to “top-up the tank” or reset the gauge so that we can continue to learn and focus and at a higher level.

    If you’ve been home tutoring, you’ll appreciate that brain breaks can help kids in many ways. They can reduce stress and frustration. Think of those times when you’re helping your kids solve a difficult problem. It’s taxing for you both and when compounded with the energy loss after a day at school or watching TV. The stress effect can be compounded, and it’s here that brain breaks can be a lifesaver.[2]

    The following is a selection of brain break ideas for kids. You’ll see that some are physical activities while others are more relaxing. It’s always great to test them out to see which ones connect the best with your children.

    It’s okay to repeat the same brain breaks. Having a clear name and mission to a break can help keep your child excited, knowing that they’ll have the opportunity to take part in a future round of the activity.

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    Active Brain Breaks

    Here are some active brain breaks for kids that you can try out.

    1. Swapsies

    Have the participants stand behind a chair. Call out a character trait, like “everyone with brown eyes.” You then swap places with someone else who has the same characteristic. If you have nothing that matches, you stay put!

    Examples: “Everyone with trainers on.” “Everyone who is left-handed.” “Everyone who is wearing yellow.”

    2. Dance Party

    Put five or six different types of songs on Spotify, including a classic like “baby shark or the hamster dance.” Dim the lights if possible and have the kids dance to the tunes. Then, change the tunes and change the dance style. It’s silly and fun.

    3. Freeze Dance

    Similar to Dance Party except that when the music stops, students have to stay perfectly still until the music restarts. You can make this even more fun by trying to make the students smile. If they smile, they are out and have to sit down.

    4. Keep It Up

    Students must keep a balloon from touching the floor. You can add multiple balloons. You can make it more competitive by having different balloons of two different colors and split people into teams. Whoever keeps the balloons up the longest or the team with the most balloons in the air with a timer of 60 seconds wins.

    5. Simon Says

    This brain break for kids is an old favorite. You can also mix it up with martial arts moves, Fortnite dances, superhero moves, etc.

    6. Animal Movement

    Move like different animals. It’s fun for younger children. We use Flamingo where you stand on one leg, crawl like a bear, stand like a meerkat, run like a cheetah, and walk like a penguin.

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    7. Find It Fast

    “Find It Fast” is a scavenger hunt variation. Call an item out in the room and kids have to stand by it. For example, find a clock, find something with a face, find something smelly, find some money, find a phone, etc.

    8. The Frog

    Physical Challenges can be excellent fun. We have one in the martial arts class called “The Frog” where you squat like a frog, then lean forward so your head and feet are off the floor. These are all old yoga poses, so have a look through a booklet or website for some safe ideas. Other examples are grabbing your nose with your left hand and touching your knee with your right elbow.

    9. Pizza Delivery Time

    Give the students paper plates and tell them to hold the plates above their head on a flat hand. They then run around the room and try to keep the plate in their hand. You can make it more challenging by having other students try to knock others’ plates off. There’s usually a 3-star jump penalty if your plate touches the floor.

    10. Limbo

    We use martial arts belts and the students take turns going underneath the belts. Fun music creates an awesome atmosphere here.

    11. Human Knot

    Split the group of people and have everyone link hands under and over. That’s making knots between everyone in the group. Have the other students try to untangle them and return everyone back into a circle.

    12. Feather Balance

    This brain break for kids works well with gentle music, and you can use a balloon or a straw if you don’t have a feather handy.

    13. Stack them high

    The students should have plastic cups and paper squares. The goal is to make a tower as high as possible, or it could be to make a triangle or even a pyramid.

    Relaxing Brain Breaks

    We talked about brain breaks for kids that are being used to energize the students. But they can also be used to calm and relax them. We’re more familiar with the term mindfulness, but it’s the same idea. These are brain breaks for kids that reduce stress and anxiety.

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    14. Meditation

    Meditation

    is a popular way to reduce anxiety. There are lots of great examples already pre-recorded on YouTube that you can follow along with. Below is a useful classroom meditation example.

    15. Kaleidoscope

    Kaleidoscopes are fun ways to relax. They are mesmerizing and like a peaceful vortex that sucks you into them. Below is a great example of a visual online one you can use.

    16. Reading/Listening to a Story

    When I surveyed the members of our martial arts club about how their kids employ brain breaks at home, there was a clear winner among the families—listening to a story or reading a story. The feedback was that the process of daydreaming a little helps the kids to recharge. But it goes without saying that the story needs to be engaging.

    17. Doodling

    My personal favorite way to brain break as a kid was to doodle. Doodling gives your child a few minutes to draw anything they want. It can be calming for them, and it’s a lot more fun if you have different types of pens or crayons available to use. Add some soft music, and you have a simple way to take some time to relax.

    18. Coloring Sheets

    Coloring sheets are another way to relax the mind. There’s lots of great coloring in pads available, but here are some links to public resources shared on the internet that are great examples.

    19. Deep Breathing

    Deep breathing

    is an epic way to help your child slow down. It is a quick way to relieve anxiety so that they feel more ready for the next task ahead.

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    Try this: put your hands on your tummy, breathe in through the nose, and feel your belly expand like a balloon. Hold it here, then slowly breathe out through the mouth while feeling your stomach get smaller. Repeat this 10 times. Use the following counts: breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and breath out for 4 seconds.

    20. Going Outside

    Go outside was the second most popular response from our parent’s survey about brain breaks for kids at home. Fresh air always feels nice. You can combine this with a treasure hunt, looking for different colored cars, types of birds, or even types of trees, if you’re familiar with these.

    My personal favorite is using a mushroom spotting app on our phones and finding a mushroom or toadstool, then using the app to identify its name. This is surprisingly engaging for children. But a few safety rules about not touching them is important. It gives kids a change of scenery and helps revitalize the senses, providing a welcome break from their homework.

    How Often Should You Introduce Brain Breaks?

    The key to brain breaks is their timing. If you can introduce them before you notice that your kids are entering deep fatigue or their loss of focus has set in. You’ll find a great balance between breaks and effort.

    I’ve observed from my martial arts coaching that younger students have a smaller amount of working memory than older kids. My formula is for five minutes of technical training, we provide five minutes of brain breaks for students under seven years old. Plus, we coach to 15 minutes of training to five minutes of brain breaks for children under 12 years.

    Final Thoughts

    Implementing calming brain breaks for kids is a really efficient way of introducing brain breaks. You have a quick way to allow your students to learn about regulating themselves. Balancing their mind and energy is a useful skill, and you can take this with you everywhere you go.

    Our martial arts center revolutionized our approach to coaching by using brain breaks for kids. We found that although we were teaching less technical skills, there was now consistent progress from the students. Plus, everyone was less anxious, happier, and are having more fun. This is a win overall.

    If you’ve been having challenges with your kids focusing at home, maybe try a mixture of the calming and active breaks to see which types work best for your kids.

    Featured photo credit: Robert Collins via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] SimplyPsychology: Working Memory Model
    [2] BrainFacts.org: Kids Need Brain Breaks — And So Do Adults

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