As your skin expands to accommodate baby, stretch marks aren't always the only side effect. An estimated 20 percent of expectant moms also experience itchy skin. Your doctor may recommend antihistamines or ointments, but a calming lotion can also provide relief. As for those stretch marks? At least half of moms-to-be get them, usually in the sixth and seventh months of pregnancy. And no matter what the fancy-product pushers may have you believe, there's really nothing you can do to prevent them. The good news is that they will fade significantly over time, though they won't disappear completely. There are some prescription creams and in-office laser treatments that may help lighten them, but you're best off waiting until you're at least a few months postpartum (or until you're done nursing, if you want to try certain prescription creams) to weigh these options with a dermatologist.
If you tap on your belly, your baby may kick or poke back at the same spot you touched. So neat—you can play with your baby well before he's born! When he kicks, try rubbing your tummy and talking softly or singing—you might just find that it calms him down.
Over the last couple weeks, we've covered exactly what you should expect from different kinds of births, from the unmedicated vaginal birth to the C-section, but at Week 30, as you start into your last 10 weeks of pregnancy, you might want to know a little more about the most common way to give birth: vaginally, with an epidural. It's no surprise so many women end up delivering this way—childbirth is painful and it is the 21st century after all, so why shouldn't we medicate ourselves? While it's a perfectly acceptable way to do it, of course there are pros and cons, which are worth weighing up before you make your birth plan. While we remind you that you should always expect the unexpected when you're expecting, it's still worth knowing your options.
Despite all of the baby products on the market, your little one won’t actually require a lot of gear. These newborn must-haves will get you through the first few weeks at home.