The weeks are ticking by and while you feel great in most ways, there may still be many questions on your mind about the coming weeks as you anticipate the arrival of your baby. Your body is changing faster than you may be able to fully grasp and an ache here, or a twinge there may leave you wondering what is happening. Backaches, skin and vision changes, headaches and abdominal achiness may all be part of your daily routine, but don’t worry this too will pass once your baby is delivered.
At this week of your pregnancy, the baby measures about 11 inches and weighs about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds. Your doctor will be checking the size of your uterus at each visit and measurements should coordinate with the number of weeks along you are. In the cases of some very large, or very small babies, these numbers will be a bit above or below your number of weeks.
Your baby’s brain and lungs are quickly starting to develop more fully, and taste buds are coming along nicely too. The lungs are developing branches so that the special cells will produce the surfactant to help baby’s lungs move air more effectively after delivery.
Gaining weight at a rate of 6 ounces per week now, your baby has a well-defined face complete with eyelashes and eyebrows as well as a sense of hearing that is growing more finely-tuned by the day.
Changes With Your Body
Now you will be able feel the top of the uterus about 2 inches above your belly button—and if it hasn’t begun to stick out yet, just hang on. The majority of moms experience a temporary “outie” as the uterus places pressure on your navel from behind, causing it to stick out.
Blurry vision is a common complaint of many expectant moms. And of course you guessed it, hormones can lead to dry eyes during pregnancy so you may need to consider drops or wearing your glasses more for the next few months.
Every woman dreads stretch marks, but for some women they may be a very real problem. While some women may only have a chosen few, others may be left with these scars from the knees to the breasts and back. Many advertisements claim to prevent these unsightly lines, but research shows that stretch marks are more hereditary than anything else—so you can moisturize till the cows come home, but don’t expect it to make a dramatic difference in the end result.
Braxton-Hicks contractions may start around this time. These irregular, painless contractions will occur more frequently as your pregnancy progresses. If you feel that you are contracting regularly, leaking fluid, bleeding or the contractions are becoming painful, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Some of the other symptoms that you may notice in this part of the pregnancy can include breast changes, more trips to the bathroom, constipation, itching and heartburn.
What To Expect
You will be asked to take a glucose tolerance test (GTT) sometime between your 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. This screening test can help detect your risk for gestational diabetes. If you are diagnosed with the condition, it can be controlled either by diet and exercise or with added medication injections, and will disappear after the baby is born.
Some symptoms of gestational diabetes include fatigue, nausea, excessive thirst and frequent urination. Only a small percentage of moms to be will have gestational diabetes–between 2 % to 5%. Uncontrolled gestational diabetes can cause both delivery and transition difficulties for mom and baby and should be taken very seriously.
Your body is changing rapidly, and this is a great time to find your own way of relieving any uncomfortable symptoms you may be having. A warm bath can be soothing for sore muscles (avoid hot tubs or saunas), or you may need to enlist the help of a loved one for an occasional massage. If you haven’t started a pregnancy journal, this is a great time to start documenting your daily feelings, emotions, and sensations.