Congratulations-you're halfway through your pregnancy! You've come a long way in four and a half months.
Last week, vernix started to coat your baby's skin. This week, he's
completely covered with the creamy substance, which will protect his
delicate skin from the amniotic fluid.
Your baby is truly starting to experience the world
around him, limited though it may be. His brain has been working
overtime developing the nerve centres dedicated to his senses, and
they're coming alive. He's more responsive to the changes in the world
around him: your activity, sounds in the environment, and even the
taste of the amniotic fluid.
Pick up a hiccup.
You've probably felt your baby rolling, diving,
and kicking inside your belly. Now you might also feel a rhythmic
jerking. No, he's not tapping out a tune; he's hiccupping. Most babies
get the hiccups in utero, possibly due to an immature diaphragm having
spasms. There's nothing you can do to stop the hiccups, but there's no
need to-they won't harm your baby now or after he's born.
Sprouting a top.
After establishing a scalp hair pattern several
weeks ago, your baby is moving to the next step: growing hair. And this
isn't lanugo; it's the real deal. But don't get visions of a lustrous
mane just yet. Most of this hair will start to fall out two weeks after
birth. Don't worry-your little one will gradually grow permanent hair,
which will probably be lighter in colour than the hair he has at birth.
Elsewhere on your baby's head, the bones of the inner ear are now fully
formed, and the nose is beginning to develop into its recognizable
Your baby weighs about 220-250 grams (about 8 to 9
ounces) and measures approximately 22 cm (about 8.7 inches). You could
cup the little guy in the palm of your hand.
Congratulations-you're halfway through your
pregnancy! You've come a long way in four and a half months. Your
uterus has grown to three times its original height. When your midwife
measures it, she probably will find that the top is now even with your
belly button. From here on, your uterus will grow just under one
centimetre (about 0.4 inch) each week until you deliver.
Womb with a view.
Have you had the chance to see your baby? If
you're having a mid-pregnancy ultrasound, it will probably take place
between 18 and 22 weeks. Your doctor may want to perform an ultrasound
at this time for a variety of reasons: to confirm your due date, screen
for certain birth defects, and check that the placenta is in the right
place. Ultrasound gives you the chance to count fingers and toes, lets
you find out the sex (if you want to know), and reassures you that all
is well inside Hotel Mama. Of course, this first peek at your acrobat
(the one who's been keeping you awake with her antics) may make
impending parenthood seem more real. Ask for a printout of the
ultrasound image so you can start your baby's first picture album!
From the experts.
If your life or job is high-stress, you'll be
doing yourself and your baby a favour by taking measures to relax.
"While certain amounts of stress are beneficial-stimulating us to take
action-severe, constant stress can have negative effects on you and
possibly on your baby," says Dr. Elaine Zwelling.