Week 12 guide – healthy pregnancy for healthy baby

Weeks 4-12

Your Body

changes in the body
What to expect
You are in your first trimester, you are keen for a healthy pregnancy. Changes are taking place in your body, in preparation for your baby to be! You could experience rapid mood changes. You suffer bloating and stomach cramps At week 5 you will have your fisrt missed period.

Baby size

Pregnancy week 12 guide - baby size
What to expect
Your baby will grow from the size of a tiny, Sesame seed (about 2 mm long) to the size of a Plum (about 5 cm long) at week 12 (and is roughly as heavy as 3 grapes).

Your Baby

Pregnancy weekly guide - baby size
What to expect
Your baby-to-be is only two layers of cells has found a home in your uterus! It has made a physical connection to your body for the next eight months. The amniotic sac or bag of waters has also, formed around it. Your baby-to-be is only two layers of cells , has found a home in your uterus!

Taking care

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Tips
  • Make sure you have enough Vitamin D supplies.
  • Have Iron tablet supplements.
  • Find out your due date
  • Avoid spending time near somebody who smokes.
  • Do some light low-impact exercises
  • Have a wholesome diet – oily fish, eggs, nuts and flak seeds. If you are not enjoying eggs substitute with soy, dal, beans and grain. Milk with youghurt or vegetables with fruit.
  • Schedule an antenatal appointment

Ask your doctor

Pregnancy weekly guide - ask your doctor
Questions
  1. What medications can I take or should not take now?
  2. When do I have my first Scan?
  3. Does my family history or any issue make pregnancy high -risk for me?
  4. I get constipated when I take Iron tablets. What can I do?
  5. Do I need to change my eating habits?
  6. What medications can i take or should not take?

Your to do list

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Action points
  1. Take Folic acid and Iron supplement tablets.
  2. Find out about maternity benefits and employment rights at workplace.
  3. Inquire about government programmes for pregnant women and maternal health.
  4. Check blood pressure.
  5. Check weight.
  6. Schedule antenatal appointment with GP.

Questions you may have

“You may have gained a few pounds. Know from your doctor how much weight to gained in a healthy pregnancy. You could experience belly cramps. Cramping is normal during the first trimester. You could also have skin issues – too much oiliness or too dry. Fruits give you essential vitamins and nutrients.

 

“It’s totally up to you! If you feel comfortable telling people now then go for it.”

“Having a healthy baby is what is most important. At this stage you cannot find out. By law it is illegal to have a sex determination test during pregnancy.”

For prenatal consultations either an OB-GYNae doctor or trained and certified midwife.What kind of person are you – do you believe that you should have a say about your body and your health and are entitled to ask questions and your doctor respects this? Or do you take comfort putting your care in the hands of a medical professional who you believe knows best? Once you have thought through this with and discussed with your husband. Accordingly, select your practitioner by taking recommendations from your GP and your friends who have had babies. Interview 1-2 practitioners before deciding.

Pregnancy week 17 wellness guide

Your Body

changes in the body
What to expect
You will start to look and feel amazing glossy, full hair and radiant skin. Your morning sickness has possibly disappeared and you have a large appetite. You may be snoring very loudly in sleep.Don’t feel embarrassed by it.You have funny feelings in your body. It’s likely to be your baby moving !

Baby size

Week 17 size guide
What to expect
Your baby is the size of a large Onion (11-12 cms and weighs around 150 gms).

Your Baby

Pregnancy weekly guide - baby size
What to expect
Your baby moves more after meals, when you listen to loud music or rub your tummy and talk to your baby! You can feel his/her hiccups. Your baby’s finger nails are starting to grow and he/she is forming unique finger prints.  The placenta which your baby attaches to in your uterus has grown and is as heavy as your baby. It provides all the nutrition, vitamins and good stuff to your baby.

Taking care

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Tips
  • You are likely to be asked a lot of questions about your pregnancy by others. Some may want to touch your belly too!
  • It’s good to share a happy experience but feel free to firmly say no if you are uncomfortable.
  • Have fish rich in Omega 3 like Rohu to boost your baby’s brain development.
  • Eat 350 gms of fish a week (2 average meals). Avoid fishes like swordfish, shark and mackerel, which can contain high levels of mercury.
  • Eat plenty of Vitamin C rich foods and use unscented moisturiser for your body. This can help prevent stretch marks.
  • Don’t lie down immediately after a big meal. Otherwise you may end up with indigestion and heart burn.

Ask your doctor

Pregnancy weekly guide - ask your doctor
Questions
  1. What medications are safe for me to use?
  2. Which exercises are okay for me?
  3. What should I do in preparation for birthing?
  4. Do I have any risks and how should I prevent it?
  5. I see strange spots on my face. Are these normal?

Your to do list

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Action points
  1. Involve husband by placing his hand on the belly and sharing the experience of baby moving
  2. Schedule 20 week ultrasound appointment.
  3. Record weight and blood pressure on the Kushal app.
  4. Get a head massage!

Questions you may have

“Everyone is different. I felt unattractive and overwhelmed by my changing body and was anxious about the responsibility of having a baby. I spoke to my doctor about it and attended the Kushal support network. That helped.”

“I was told to avoid excessive amounts of Vitamin A, which is found in beauty products. My skin was sensitive during pregnancy so I did not try new products.”

Pregnancy week 18 wellness guide

Your Body

changes in the body
What to expect
You are starting to feel a little clumsy as your belly has gone bigger. Your breasts may also have gone up a size. You notice a blackish line down your stomach. This is normal skin pigmentation and nothing to worry about. You are likely to complain of backaches and pains.

Baby size

Week 18 size guide
What to expect
Your baby is the size of a small Cucumber (roughly 13-14 cms long and 180 – 190 gms).

Your Baby

Pregnancy weekly guide - baby size
What to expect
Your baby is keen to hear. Talk to your baby! Baby is fully developing as either a girl or boy and his/her nervous system is maturing rapidly. Baby can now yawn and have hiccups.

Taking care

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Tips
  • Your blood pressure gets a little lower than it usually is. Don’t get up abruptly from a chair or sofa as you could feel dizzy. 
  • Don’t compare the size of your belly with other pregnant women. It varies from person to person. Just make sure all is going well at your antenatal check-ups.
  • Use a foot rest to raise your feet slightly when resting. It helps with back pain.
  • When standing, place one foot on a low stool when possible to take some pressure off your lower back.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, combat constipation with added fiber, and avoid straining when you go to the bathroom.

Ask your doctor

Pregnancy weekly guide - ask your doctor
Questions
  1. Is my weight gain okay?
  2. Am I at high risk for any problems during pregnancy?
  3. My feet and ankles are swelling up. Is that okay?
  4. Is my baby’s growth okay?

Your to do list

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Action points
  1. Have a foot stool to raise feet.
  2. Have folic acid supplement and prenatal vitamins.
  3. Book antenatal appointment with doctor.
  4. Share with others your feelings and talk about what is happening to your body.

Questions you may have

“I could not feel my baby move at 18 weeks. My doctor told me it is completely normal. She also told to not try to count my baby's movements until at least 30 or 31 weeks!”

“I was offered a scan called an anomaly scan for my doctor to look at my baby in detail to see if there is anything unusual about his/her development and appearance. I was also told that I don’t need to have it if I don’t want to.”

Pregnancy week 19 wellness guide

Your Body

changes in the body
What to expect
You are nearly at the half way point! Getting tired easily from lack of sleep and carrying extra weight is common. You may feel more hungry than usual. You may also be getting leg cramps that cause disturbed sleep. Drink lots of water as you could be prone to urinary tract infections, so keep an eye for it.

Baby size

Week 19 size guide
What to expect
Your baby is the size of a Mango (about 15 cms long and 240 gms in weight).

Your Baby

Pregnancy weekly guide - baby size
What to expect
Baby's lungs are developing and adult teeth are starting to grow. There is a white greasy coating (Vernix) on your baby now which helps regulate body temperature and protects his/her skin. Your baby is fattening up!

Taking care

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Tips
  • Talk about any feelings you are having about your pregnancy. It is normal to have some worries and fears.
  • Do light exercise and not overwork yourself. You should be able to talk comfortably when you are carrying out any day to day activity (Talk test). If not, check with your doctor.
  • Practise ‘beditation’ – a combination of meditation and stretch exercises when you get into bed. It will help you fall asleep.
  • Try keeping a pillow between your knees when you sleep. That can help with pain.
  • Avoid lifting heavy loads. Ask others to help you. If you absolutely have to, assume a wide stance, bend at the knees and not at the waist and slowly lift with your arms and legs and not waist.

For information week by week you can click here.

Ask your doctor

Pregnancy weekly guide - ask your doctor
Questions
  1. I have a white discharge. Is that yeast infection? What is the best treatment?
  2. I need to go to the bathroom very often and I get a burning sensation. Do I have urinary infection?
  3. My nipples are leaking. Is that normal?
  4. I have been feeling low and off mood lately. What should I do?

Your to do list

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Action points
  1. Have folic acid supplement and prenatal vitamins.
  2. Book antenatal appointment.
  3. Practice ‘beditation’
  4. Come up with a birthing plan.

Questions you may have

“It is not unusual to have some worries and fears. Don’t put too much expectation on yourself. Be realistic about what you can do. Relax when you need to. Spend time with others who make you feel relaxed and good about yourself. 1 in 10 pregnant women experience some form of depression. Talk to other expectant mothers. If you are feeling constantly bad or your mood is coming in the way of your day to day functioning talk to your GP.”

If you are concerned about COVID - 19 and would like to know more, please click here.

“I cried at the silliest of things! I went to the shops, saw baby clothes and started crying! It is common to have mood swings and get emotional. It’s those pregnancy hormones!”

Pregnancy week 20 wellness guide

Your Body

changes in the body
What to expect
You are glowing with happiness and bursting with energy and you are obviously pregnant! You can feel your baby’s movements. You notice physical changes. Your nails and hair are growing faster! You get hot and uncomfortable and get headaches in crowded and poorly ventilated places.

Baby size

Week 20 size guide
What to expect
Your baby is the size of a Sweet Potato (roughly 24 cms and 300 gms)

Your Baby

Pregnancy weekly guide - baby size
What to expect
Your baby is getting more active each day - kicking, punching and turning around and sucking his/her thumb. Vernix, the coating that protects your baby in the uterus is developing. It also helps your baby ease through your birth canal at delivery.

Taking care

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Tips
  • Go for walks to unwind and relax. Invite a friend to join you in your walks. Walking will keep you fit.
  • When you are casually sitting do foot exercises. This can prevent leg cramps.
  • Rub your calve muscle hard and pull your toes upwards if you are woken up at night with sharp pains.
  • Chew on sugarless chewing gum after meals. This could prevent heartburn.
  • Take frequent fresh air breaks if you are in a stuffy room. This can help prevent headaches.

Ask your doctor

Pregnancy weekly guide - ask your doctor
Questions
  1. What are the dos and donts in 2nd trimester of pregnancy?
  2. Which screening tests are important?
  3. I notice spotting at times. Is that normal?
  4. I am sad more often than being happy and the feeling is not going away. Do I need to see a specialist and get extra support?
  5. Am I gaining the right amount of weight? My belly is not as big compared to other pregnant women!

Your to do list

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Action points
  1. Check options for wellbeing sessions.
  2. Have folic acid supplement and prenatal vitamins.
  3. Book antenatal appointment with doctor.

Questions you may have

“It is not unusual to have some worries and fears. Don’t put too much expectation on yourself. Be realistic about what you can do. Relax when you need to. Spend time with others who make you feel relaxed and good about yourself. 1 in 10 pregnant women experience some form of depression. Talk to other expectant mothers. If you are feeling constantly bad or your mood is coming in the way of your day to day functioning talk to your GP.”

“I cried at the silliest of things! I went to the shops, saw baby clothes and started crying! It is common to have mood swings and get emotional. It’s those pregnancy hormones!”

Pregnancy week 24 wellness guide

Your Body

changes in the body
What to expect
 Aches and pains appear anywhere in your body – that's because baby is moving a lot. You are likely to be putting on weight – your baby is growing! Belly may be big enough for you to have a protruding naval! You could be having sleepless nights and may not have enough desire for sexual intimacy.

Baby size

Week 24 baby size
What to expect
Your baby is the size of a large Pomegranate (about 30 cms long and 575 gms in weight).

Your Baby

Pregnancy weekly guide - baby size
What to expect
Baby if born now can survive outside the womb  with the right support! However, your baby still needs you and has to be nurtured in your belly for another three months. His/her arms, legs and head are in proportion. He/she responds to soothing voices when your husband or you rub your belly.

Taking care

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Tips
  • Try natural remedies for sleep like meditation or hot milk before bed.
  • Avoid sleeping on your hands so that you don’t get swollen and painful wrists.
  • Straighten your legs and move your ankles and toes in circular movements to avoid cramps.
  • Soak your hands and feet in cold water or apply ice packs if they get red and itchy. Also avoid wearing socks.
  • If you are keen to keep your hair in control rub a tablespoon of coconut oil in your hair after shampooing!

Ask your doctor

Pregnancy weekly guide - ask your doctor
Questions
  1. Do I need to get a test for diabetes?
  2. At times I see things blurred. Is this normal?
  3. I have lower abdominal pain. I also feel a little feverish and chills. Do I have a serious problem?
  4. I am having white discharge and irritation around the vulva. What can I do?

Your to do list

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Action points
  1. Have your folic acid supplement and prenatal vitamins.
  2. Book an antenatal appointment with your doctor.
  3. Schedule to get a glucose test done.
  4. Discuss having a birthing plan with your husband.

Questions you may have

“Weight gain differs from woman to woman. On an average women gain 10 -14 Kgs during pregnancy. In the second trimester women generally gain 400 – 425 gms a week. If you are concerned that you are not reaching the target weight gain your doctor advised ask your doctor for advice. I checked with my doctor.”

“I was offered one in my second trimester. Whooping cough can kill and the vaccination provides protection during the first few weeks of the baby’s life. It is very safe for mother and baby. You should consult your doctor.”

Pregnancy week 25 wellness guide

Your Body

changes in the body
What to expect
You are starting to feel uncomfortable because of simple things that you may not be able to do easily, like bending. You are also likely to get back aches and feel clumsy with movements. That is because your uterus is growing rapidly. It is the size of a football! You are likely to be puffy and swollen in your face, hands and feet and your fingers may feel numb and tingly.Your hair looks thick and lustrous – enjoy!

Baby size

Week 28 baby size
What to expect
Your baby is the size of a small Eggplant or Aubergine (roughly 32 cms and 640 gms).

Your Baby

Pregnancy weekly guide - baby size
What to expect
Baby is getting hiccups and sticking out his/her tongue! The brain, lungs and digestive system are quite developed. The first bowel movement has taken place. Kidneys are functioning and baby can pass urine!

Taking care

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Tips
  • Sit up straight when you eat, eat small and healthy meals, cut back on tea or coffee to prevent indigestion problems – heart burn, nausea, distension.
  • If your vision seems blurred try not to worry too much – it will pass off after delivery.
  • Carry on doing pelvic floor exercises, have lots of water and food rich in fibre to help with constipation.
  • Maintain oral hygiene – brush your teeth at least twice a day. Periodontitis, a serious infection of gums has been linked to premature birth and increased risk of pregnancy related serious illnesses.
  • Use moisturiser or calamine lotion if your skin feels itchy.

Ask your doctor

Pregnancy weekly guide - ask your doctor
Questions
  1. My face, hands and feet feel puffy and swollen. I also get splitting headaches. Can this be due to high blood pressure in pregnancy?
  2. I get this tingling sensation and constant urge to move my legs. Could this be due to iron deficiency?
  3. My wrists hurt and I can barely move my fingers. Can acupuncture help?
  4. I often think that I don’t deserve to be happy! I think I have depression?

Your to do list

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Action points
  1. Get weight checked and assessed.
  2. Have folic acid supplement and prenatal vitamins
  3. Book antenatal appointment.
  4. Ask how to prevent depression after birth.

Questions you may have

“Birth plans are personal. It is about thinking through what you would like to happen during your labour and after the birth. I planned where I wanted to give birth, what kind of pain relief I would like, discuss about caesarean section and what should I be looking out for in my newborn. I was advised to discuss my birthing plan with my husband, how he could help and to be flexible as all may not go as per plan!”

“Normal daily hair loss is suppressed by pregnancy hormones. Enjoy the look for now. After delivery you will shed quite a lot - all the hair that does not fall now!”

Pregnancy week 26 wellness guide

Your Body

changes in the body
What to expect
As the third trimester approaches you feel more tired, quite clumsy and uncoordinated – you are having to carry a lot of extra weight. You get of leg cramps and just feel like curling up throughout the day. Your belly button is likely to be protruding out now and the line downwards starting from your naval is quite dark. You just feel like snacking – avoid that!

Baby size

Baby size week 26
What to expect
Your baby is as big as a Sweet Papaya (roughly 34 cms long and 740 gms in weight).

Your Baby

Pregnancy weekly guide - baby size
What to expect
Baby’s eyes are opening, blinking for the first time! The brain is developing and processing information – listening and responding to sounds. Fingernails have grown. He/she might be feeling a little cramped in your womb.Baby has quite a bit of hair this week.

Taking care

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Tips
  • Allow more time to do your usual activities – like when you have to walk to the bus stop.
  • Remain active as you are likely to feel like staying put and not moving.
  • Get to know your baby’s movement patterns. Learn how to track the frequency of movements.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you touch foods like raw meats, egg, poultry or fish.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them, even the ones you will peel. Avoid raw eggs.

Ask your doctor

Pregnancy weekly guide - ask your doctor
Questions
  1. I can’t feel my baby’s movements as strongly. Is that okay?
  2. Why am I kicking in my sleep?
  3. My eyes feel dry and irritated. Is that normal?
  4. I normally get migraines. But it seems to have increased a lot in pregnancy. What medication can I take?
  5. Do I need to have a birthing plan?

Your to do list

Todoicon
Action points
  1. Make a daily activity plan.
  2. Practice good posture.
  3. Get your weight checked and assessed.
  4. Have your folic acid supplement and prenatal vitamins.
  5. Book Ann antenatal appointment with your doctor.

Questions you may have

“Rubbing my muscles where it hurt helped. I also made it a point to do ankle and foot exercises when I got into bed. Pulling my toes upwards also helped.”

“It’s best to talk to your doctor. Also share how you feel with your husband or your close friend. It helped me. Try to take away negative thoughts from your mind. Don't suppress positive thoughts actively.

Having thoughts like I don’t deserve to be happy suggest that postpartum depression may be likely. Your doctor will suggest if you need specialised help.”

Pregnancy week 27 wellness guide

Your Body

changes in the body
What to expect
You are feeling tired and need naps during the day. You could also be feeling quite short-tempered and outspoken. Worrying a lot more about what’s best for you and your baby.Your feet are swelling up and you will find putting on your shoes difficult. Your skin around your belly feels stretched, dry and itchy.

Baby size

Baby size_week 27
What to expect
Your baby is the size of a Cabbage (roughly 36 cms long and 840 gms in weight).

Your Baby

Pregnancy weekly guide - baby size
What to expect
Many developments have taken place. Baby’s lungs are capable of breathing. Baby’s organs are maturing and his or her skin is not as wrinkly. Baby is nearly a foot long and two pounds in weight – double of what it was four weeks ago. Baby can now recognise your husband’s voice. Ask him to speak to baby. Baby responds to your eating too spicy food by hiccupping!

Taking care

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Tips
  • Sleep on your sides and not on your back. Some recommend sleeping on your left side. Sleeping on the back can double the risk of stillbirth.
  • Sleep with your feet elevated.
  • Avoid sitting or standing for a long time. If your feet are swelling excessively consult your doctor.
  • Use a cool damp compress to relieve heat rash.
  • Place cool cucumber slices under your eyes for puffiness under the eyes, especially when you wake up in the morning.
  • Look on the bright side of things – most of the discomfort you are experiencing will pass off after delivery!

Ask your doctor

Pregnancy weekly guide - ask your doctor
Questions
  1. During any activity I feel quite breathless and can’t talk at the same time. I feel my heart pounding too. Is that normal?
  2. My feet are swollen to the point that I can’t squeeze my feet into my shoes. Is that normal?
  3. Have I gained enough weight? Should I be doing anything more for a healthy pregnancy?
  4. Should I be attending special classes in preparation for delivery?

Your to do list

Todoicon
Action points
  1. Make sure you sleep on your sides.
  2. Support your bump with a pillow and another pillow between your knees when you go to sleep.
  3. Record your weight and blood pressure.
  4. Learn some soothing yoga based relaxation techniques.
  5. Ask your husband to put his ears against my belly to hear baby’s heartbeat.

Questions you may have

“Changing my diet helped. I stopped Cabbage, Raddish and such had more of Spinach and carrots. I was also asked to drink plenty of water and opt for smaller meals.”

“You act out intuitively when pregnant. After all you have to take care of yourself and your baby. Setting boundaries is good. It’ll help later too.”

Pregnancy week 28 wellness guide

Your Body

changes in the body
What to expect
You have entered the third trimester of pregnancy.You may start getting new symptoms, such as nosebleeds and indigestion. Your feet are likely to be swollen, your back is hurting and you get tired easily. Your baby’s kicking keeps you awake at night and worried during the day. It may feel that your baby is constantly restless and that can be annoying. It hasn't been easy.

Baby size

Week 28 baby size
What to expect

Your baby is the size of a Large Eggplant/Aubergine (roughly 36 cms long and nearly 1 Kg in weight)

Your Baby

Pregnancy weekly guide - baby size
What to expect
Your baby’s heart is beating fast (140 beats per minute) but not nearly as fast as in weeks 9-10 (170 bpm). He/she is practising breathing and trying to settle into position for birth. Your baby is probably having dreams now and sticking his/her tongue out to make faces!

Taking care

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Tips
  • It is important that you have your 28 week antenatal appointment. Your doctor is likely to measure your blood pressure, test your urine for protein and discuss the results of any screening tests.
  • Know about harmful infections in pregnancy and learn about the signs of labour.
  • Find out your Rh status and get advice whether you need to take a vaccine-like injection.
  • Use hot water bags and have bed rests if you suffer from sciatica pain - shooting pain, tingling or numbness that starts in your buttocks and goes down the back of your legs.

Ask your doctor

Pregnancy weekly guide - ask your doctor
Questions
  1. I get exhausted very easily. Is that normal?
  2. How can I avoid harmful infections in pregnancy?
  3. Do I need a urine test for protein?
  4. What were the results of my screening test?
  5. What is my blood type? Do I need to take an injection for it?

Your to do list

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Action points
  1. Have blood pressure measured.
  2. Have iron supplement and prenatal vitamins.
  3. Attend week 28 antenatal appointment.
  4. Find out which blood type.
  5. Wash hands regularly with soap and water.

Questions you may have

“I was told having breast cancer during pregnancy especially if you are under 35years is very rare. Apparently, changes that happen to breasts in pregnancy cause them to feel much more lumpy, heavy and firm than what we are used to. If you are concerned about a tender lump talk to your doctor.”

“It’s because of all that extra weight you are having to carry and the strain it puts on your muscles and body. Add to that the shortness of breath you experience!”