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Newsletter - Week 24

Welcome To Week 24

24 Week Old Fetus

Your Baby: Body Heat

Your baby weighs 1 pound, 2 ounces (530 g) and is 8.4 inches (21cm) tall. She can hear everything now, and also has a sense of equilibrium. She can tell the difference of what would feel upside down as opposed to right side up, even in such a small amount of space to move around! Now that she's almost completely formed, your baby will build up body fat to help her retain heat.

Your Body: The Highs And Lows Of Pregnancy Lovemaking

Every expectant couple's sexual appetite, amusement, and attitude differ. For some, pregnancy is wracked by emotional and physical upheavals, which can put a damper on desire. For others, pregnancy is a time to rejoice and revel in the recreational act -- a welcome break after years spent worrying about birth control and months trying to conceive.

Despite these differences, however, there is a predictable pattern of sexual interest during the three trimesters. During the FIRST trimester many women experience extreme breast tenderness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and an increased need to urinate that might decrease their sexual drive. Some couples have a feeling of increased closeness that may influence their sexual desires.

Many women find that during the SECOND trimester the initial symptoms have gone away and they have an increased desire for sex. One theory for the increased desire is the increased blood supply in the pelvic region. Some women find freedom from birth control appealing and this adds to the continued sense of special closeness with their partner.

The desire for sex may change again in the THIRD trimester. Your abdomen is enlarged and it may make it awkward to have sex. Some women feel unattractive physically, while others may feel the essence of femininity and this may increase their sexual desire or the desire of their partner.

If you question what's normal in the realm of sex during pregnancy, here's your answer -- whatever feels right to you. The key is to understand the many physical and emotional factors that can affect your libido and being open-minded and flexible.

The key to dealing with changes in sexual desire is to communicate with your partner and share feelings with each other. Even with the changing desires for sex during pregnancy, some women have an increased desire for closeness like physical affection, gentle touching, and cuddling.

NOTE: If your pregnancy is considered high-risk, talk to your doctor about which types of sexual expression are safe for you.

On a Different Note: Cool Cervix Tool

As your due date draws nearer, thoughts, fears, and questions about labor and delivery will increasingly occupy your thoughts. Check out the Cervical changes during labor tool to find out about the birth process and to see how the cervix dilates during labor.

Weekly Tip

Now that you've passed the halfway point, it's time to start studying up on childbirth. The best way to learn about the whole process -- birth education, epidurals, episiotomies, etc. -- is to talk to your health care provider, get information from the hospital or birthing center where you plan to deliver, and quiz friends and relatives who have recently had babies.

Updated: 12/9/2012

Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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