Your baby is about 44cm in length, and may even extend this by another 2.5cm this week, especially if they haven’t been growing particularly quickly. Your baby should be weighing about 1.9kg, and as he or she gets more and more cramped in your womb, do not be surprised if you cannot feel as many movements going on in there. However, now that there is more baby than amniotic fluid in your uterus, you will be feeling and even seeing the pokes of knees or elbows a lot more distinctly!
This week your baby now has his or her own immune system and are producing their own antibodies to fight off diseases, your body is actually sending antibodies to your baby, for your baby’s immune system to store up and take into the real world.
Your baby is also practicing digestion, by swallowing a pint of amniotic fluid a day, helping to prepare your little one’s digestive system. Your baby’s pallet is also advanced enough for them to have preferences to the foods they taste in the amniotic fluid!
You may find that heartburn becomes a problem from this stage of your pregnancy as your baby pushes up against your stomach allowing little room for digestion. Some foods make this worse and are best avoided; if heartburn is a serious problem speak to your doctor about safe medication to help ease the discomfort.
You may find you have some urinary leakage or incontinence and find that when you sneeze or cough you lose a small amount of urine. This is more common in women who have given birth before. Pelvic floor exercises (Kegal exercises) which strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor will help with this. Wear a light pad to avoid embarrassment.
If you wear contact lenses you may find that they feel less comfortable than usual due to dryness of the eye and a change in shape to the eye. Many women revert to wearing glasses at this stage of pregnancy until after the birth. Eye tests and new prescriptions are best left until after delivery of your baby as your eyes are in a transitional stage making an accurate assessment difficult. Speak to your optician if in any doubt.
This late on in your pregnancy you are most likely left with frequently feeling of being out of breath and exhausted, and as important as resting is for you and your baby, it is also advised that you try to keep active. As suggested before, swimming is an ideal way of keeping mobile as the buoyancy of the water will take the weight of your bump and body. Exercise will also help you to relax and sleep better. When you feel exhausted don’t reach for caffeinated snack like chocolate, try to have iron rich snacks instead.
If you have any symptoms that concern you it is important to consult your doctor as soon as you can.
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