At just over 29cm long, and weighing in at around half a kilo your baby is now about the size of a large mango and has reached the most active period of your pregnancy. Between now and twenty eight weeks, your baby is small enough to manage his or her somersaults and flips, with just enough room, and is big enough that you can most certainly feel these fetal movements!
At week twenty four, your little one is considered viable, in that should he or she be born prematurely in this week, they would stand a chance of survival.
The skin of your fetus is still thickening, until it loses its translucent quality, and the eyes are now completely developed with the exception of the pigmentation of the iris. Your baby’s ears are still developing so they he or she will be able to start distinguishing different sounds, as they become clearer, for example the sound of your heartbeat and the sound of your voice, or the sound of a siren or loud music. Also, now that the balance-controlling inner ear has developed, your baby can finally tell if they are upside down or the right way up, so moving around becomes more significant and meaningful.
As your belly becomes increasingly stretched out, it is likely that if you formally had an inset belly button, it will pop out this week and remain like this for the rest of your pregnancy (although will return to normal, albeit a more stretched version of normal).
You may also be experiencing an unpleasant tingling, numbing sensation in your wrists. This is known as carpal tunnel syndrome, which can be caused by work that requires repetitive motions, like typing. This particularly affects pregnant women because fluids accumulate in your lower extremities during the day, and are later redistributed to the rest of your body when you’re lying down. As the fluid travels to your hands is puts pressure on the nerve that runs through your wrist. This results in a sensation that is a mixture of numbness, tingling, pain or dull aching throughout your fingers, hands or wrists.
It is also important to keep an eye out for the signs of preterm labor. Common symptoms are abdominal cramps, change in vaginal discharge, an aching lower back, uterine contractions, pressure on your pelvis – as though the baby is putting pressure on it, or fluid leaking or gushing from your vagina. If the symptoms become continuous, seek medical attention, however, if fluid is gushing from your vagina, seek immediate medical assistance.
If you have any symptoms that concern you it is important to consult your doctor as soon as you can.
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