From here to the end of your pregnancy at around 40 weeks, your baby will make rapid changes. You are almost to the halfway point, and your baby will increase in size by nearly 15 times at birth when compared to his or her size now.
This week your baby’s changes are very specific. Your baby is about 7 ½ inches long and weighs about 7 ounces. Your baby is similar in size to a coconut. Right now, your baby is making significant changes, including:
- Baby’s brain is forming pockets that will be responsible for detecting touch, taste, and smell
- Your baby’s finger pads are developing ridges that will be fingerprints
- Vernix, or the thick cheesy skin protectant will be secreted by baby to keep their skin smooth in their watery home
- Females have 6 million eggs already in her ovaries
The skeleton of the baby will continue to harden and the muscles will become stronger. If you are lucky enough to have started to feel the baby kick you will notice that the kicks can be fast at times. The baby will start to figure out where the womb starts and ends. By now the baby will start sleeping about 20 hours a day.
Changes With Your Body
As your growing belly expands, many women have trouble with balance. As your center of gravity changes, falls can be more common. Mothers should use caution when climbing or descending stairs or when trying to reach for objects to prevent injury.
Shifting structures of the uterus can also increase round ligament pain as the supporting structures of the body are stretched. Move slowly, and take your time to reduce discomfort.
Other symptoms mom may experience can include
- Nighttime leg cramping
- Nasal stuffiness
- Growing breast tissue
- Darkening of the areola around the nipple or a dark line from the belly button to the pubic bone
What To Expect
You will continue to feel well overall, but still experience days when you don’t feel as well as you did the day before. Exercise will still be essential to keeping your energy up. Eating several small meals a day can help balance blood sugar and avoid energy drops as well.
Remember to ask for help if you need it and pace yourself for the coming days challenges.
Try sleeping on your side with several pillows to ease back pain. You may also consider investing in a maternity belt to support your lower back and ease pain.