You've come a long way, baby. Well, you and baby have both come a long way, as your little one is pretty close to full development, putting on fat and forming more mature lungs by the day. You're in the homestretch of your pregnancy, with just 12 more weeks and the final push ahead of you.
Tip of the week:
Women with sciatica may want to talk to their health care providers about whether acupuncture is safe for them. Acupuncture has been shown to alleviate sciatic pain. Physical therapy, massage or chiropractic treatment may also be beneficial to women who want to avoid taking pain medications for discomfort.
What else is going on inside your belly? Your baby is roughly 2.5 pounds and the length of a briefcase, and is doing all kinds of stuff like a pro, including blinking, coughing, swallowing, breathing and even seeing bright lights. Her brain is also becoming advanced. In fact, she may even be dreaming now that she's able to sleep deeply.
Unfortunately, as your little one positions herself for her entry into the world, she may inadvertently put pressure on your sciatic nerve, potentially leading to pain shooting from the back of the thigh down to the foot. This happens because the sciatic nerve runs under your uterus, putting it right in the danger zone as your baby gets bigger and settles down into your pelvis.
Not sure if the discomfort you're feeling is sciatica? You're right to be skeptical, since changing hormones and added weight can also cause pain in the lower extremities. Sciatica is different from normal discomfort in that the pain you feel in the legs is much worse than what you feel in your back. Additionally, sciatica results in discomfort in the knees, feet and toes, as well as tingling or numbness. A severe case may even cause pain in the groin or genitals. If you suspect you have sciatica, it's a good idea to confirm with your doctor.
You can relieve sciatica pain by lying on the side of your body opposite to where you feel the discomfort. Additionally, if you're diagnosed with the condition, you should avoid heavy lifting, standing for extended periods and rest whenever you feel like you need a break.