You are about to enter the last stage several weeks of your pregnancy. Despite your rapidly passing weeks, baby is making the best of them and by the end of this month your baby will begin to pack on enough body fat to begin filling out his or her saggy skin. Right now, baby is almost transparent in appearance but coming weeks will bring on twice the weight gain.
As your baby grows, so will you. At the start of the week, your baby weighs around a pound (soon to be two) and is around 11-12 inches long—almost the size of a child’s doll.
While the development of a baby is never commonplace, this week your baby is perfecting its everyday skills. Moving, stretching, and reaching—your baby is preparing its body for life outside of mom at the same time that organs, bodily processes and hormones start to function and regulate. This week is much about the same practices as baby’s main focus is on gaining weight and defining the practices that will keep your baby strong after birth.
The baby can hear just about anything outside the womb. It is truly an amazing time in your pregnancy as baby will be able to recognize familiar tones of voice or react to very loud noises. . The baby’s pancreas is developing and it has started to provide their body insulin to help regulate blood sugar levels in response to mom’s sugar.
Changes With Your Body
At this week in your pregnancy, the uterus is now 1-1/2 inches above the belly button. The belly button may start to protrude because the stomach muscles are expanding. You will have gained somewhere in the ballpark of about 15 to 20 pounds, and you baby bump has become more noticeable.
While you have more energy than you did during those early weeks, a nap is beginning to feel like a pretty good idea at times. 15 to 20 minutes of rest should be enough to restore your energy levels and get you back on track for the rest of your day.
Thanks to shifting hormone levels, you may notice your linea nigra developing during this week. Your abdomen was once smooth, but you may awake to find a dark brown line running from your belly button down to your pubic bone that wasn’t there before. Some women find their linea nigra running from the top of the uterus all the way down the length of the abdomen. Caused by the hormones that darken patches on your face, as well as the nipples, this vertical line will disappear in the months following delivery.
What To Expect
Forgetfulness may bring about some frustrations this week—but do your best to keep the mood light as you wander the parking lot looking for your car. Related to pregnancy hormones, this “pregnancy brain” will lift after delivery.
You will soon start visiting your doctor every two weeks for checkups, and more testing that will help your doctor detect and intercept complications like hypertension and gestational diabetes. Remember to keep all appointments, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet in the coming weeks.
Enjoy the last three months and a few weeks of your pregnancy. Some women enjoy it from day one and others go through such a difficult time that being happy can be a challenge. Do your best to take in the good points of every day, remembering that this time is temporary and will be over before you know it.