Saturday, October 18, 2008

Week 31: Take a Breather, If You Can

Movin' on up, your uterus can now be felt four inches above your belly button. This means that your uterus is pushing all the internal organs that used to be there somewhere else. So your stomach feels like it's in your chest and your lungs feel like… hmmm… they don't even feel like they're there anymore — do they? That could explain why you're feeling a little spare on air lately, don't you think?

Indeed, in an effort to provide spacious-enough accommodations for your soon-to-be bouncing baby boy or girl, your growing uterus has compressed your lungs, limiting their ability to fully expand when you take a breath and causing you to feel like you've just run a marathon when you've only climbed a flight of stairs. While this shortness of breath may feel very uncomfortable to you, your baby is blissfully unaware and unaffected. Your fetus gets all the oxygen it needs through the placenta. So relax and take a deep breath (if you can).

That out-of-breath feeling may get better toward the end of your pregnancy, when your baby (and its uterine home) drops down into your pelvis in preparation for delivery. Until then, be sure to stand as straight as you can (given the weight you're carrying around) and sleep propped up or on your side so that your lungs have more space to… well, breathe.