Last week, your baby opened his eyes for the first time in four months, and he began to see light and shadows.
Your baby opened his eyes for the first time in four months, and he
began to see light and shadows. This week, if you shine a bright light
against your abdomen, he may open his eyes and turn away from the
light, as if to say, "Hey Mum, shut that off-I'm trying to sleep in
Loud and clear.
Your little one's sight isn't the only sense that's
working. His brain wave patterns indicate that he's responding to
sounds in the environment. What's he able to pick up? The sound of your
voice, the growl of your stomach when you're hungry, even noises
outside your body. His brain waves are also starting to show
differences during sleep. These sleep cycles will become clearer and
more distinct as he gets closer to his due date.
This is a vital stage in your baby's lung
development. Blood vessels are forming throughout both lungs. When he
takes his first breath of air, his lungs will absorb the oxygen, and
then send it into these vessels, which will circulate the oxygenated
blood throughout his body. Your little one is also just starting to
manufacture a substance, called a surfactant, which keeps the air sacs
in his lungs from sticking together. The surfactant will allow him to
breathe properly after birth. The bronchial tubes are also maturing,
dividing into smaller and smaller branches.
Your baby is gaining weight rapidly now-he may weigh
nearly 1 kg (2.2 pounds) now. Crown to rump, he measures 25 cm (about
10 inches) , but if you were to stretch him out he might be nearly 40
cm (about 16 inches) long.
If preliminary blood tests showed that
you're Rh negative, you may be given an injection of "anti-D" this
week, just in case your baby is Rh positive. This will keep your body
from producing antibodies to any of your baby's blood cells that may
have crept into your circulation. Your baby will be tested right after
birth; if she is indeed positive, you'll be given another injection of
"anti-D" at that time to protect future pregnancies.
The mark of pregnancy.
As your pregnancy progresses, stretch marks
may appear on your skin, especially on your abdomen. You may also see
these pink, red, or white streaks on your hips, breasts, buttocks, or
thighs. Many creams and lotions on the market claim to prevent stretch
marks or to keep them from spreading. Whether they work is open to
question. Most experts agree that there's not much you can do to avoid
getting stretch marks. Chalk it up to genetics-if your mother got them,
you probably will too. Still, applying creams to your belly certainly
won't hurt, and it may keep your skin from getting dry and itchy. The
good news is that stretch marks usually fade after birth.
Double up the checkups.
When you reach 28 weeks, most midwives will
want to start seeing you every two weeks instead of just once a month.
Among other things, they will be on the lookout for signs of infection,
preterm labour, or pre-eclampsia, a complication of pregnancy.
From the experts.
You've probably been nausea-free for some time,
but now you may face two different tummy-related annoyances, heartburn
and indigestion. Why now? "During pregnancy, the entire
gastrointestinal system slows down," explains Dr. Margaret Comerford
Freda, "As a result, the muscles of the stomach and gullet relax,
allowing digestive acids to enter your gullet and mouth."