Your baby is measuring in near 17 inches and around 3.5 pounds, making your little one the size of a pineapple! Weight gain will continue at around 0.5 pound per week until your delivery date, totally an extra three to five pounds.
This week your baby is developing the senses. The brain is hard at work developing all of the nerves that communicate with the body, including sensory perception. Since baby is safely inside your womb, the sense of smell hasn’t quite developed yet, but it will kick in the moment your little one is born and smells you for the first time. At this point, your child is developing touch, can taste amniotic fluid, can track light, and is responsive to sounds.
That keen sense of hearing is likely contributing to all of that movement you’re feeling. You might feel your little one startle in response to a loud noise or maybe even move when a favorite rhythm is played. Your sweet child is already working on those dance moves! You may even feel some peddling as baby works on leg movements. Their tiny head is even capable of moving side to side now. It’s most likely that these bouts of movement are in spurts since baby is sleeping longer these days. When your little one isn’t getting their groove on, they’ve probably settled in for a nap.
It’s quite possible that your baby is already sucking that tiny little thumb inside the womb. You may have even caught a glimpse of it during an ultrasound. It’s all part of the practice routine and sucking is a vital skill. Some babies are even born with a callus from so much thumb sucking in the womb. That’s not all your child is practicing though. Baby is practicing making faces, swallowing, breathing, and even hiccupping.
All of that movement baby is up to may not be so ideal for you. A jab here and a kick there can be pretty unpleasant. Look on the bright side though because the movement means your baby is healthy.
If you’ve noticed that your breasts are leaking, have no fear. That premilk substance is called colostrum and your breasts are constantly making it. To prevent stains in your clothes, pack some nursing pads into your bra. It’s probably a good time to switch over to nursing bras while you’re at it. To be comfortable, they should be a cup size larger than your normal size to accommodate the extra size from breastfeeding.
It’s quite possible you’re feeling some uterine tightening that feels like contractions. These are called Braxton Hicks contractions and are preparing your body for the big delivery day. At this point they’re irregular, infrequent, and painless. They’ll last for about 30 seconds before stopping. If they’re frequent (more than four in an hour) or you notice any change in discharge, you should call your practitioner, as these may be signs of preterm labor.
Now is the time to start considering your major options for the big day. Epidurals are common practice and can help alleviate labor pains. Each woman handles childbirth differently and each delivery is different so be sure that no matter what you choose, you make an informed decision. If you’re having a boy, you should also consider your options for circumcision. Discuss your options for both with your doctor. There is no right or wrong answer so the decisions are up to you and your partner.
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