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Pregnancy Week by Week : Week 25 (part 1) - Itching

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1. How Big Is Your Baby?

Your baby now weighs about 1½ pounds (700g), and crown-to-rump length is about 8¾ inches (22cm). These are average lengths and weights, and can vary from one baby to another and from one pregnancy to another.

2. How Big Are You?

Your uterus has grown quite a bit and is about the size of a soccer ball. When you look at a side view, you’re much bigger. During pregnancy, your baby will have growth spurts, which may slightly affect your weight gain at certain times.

Measurement from the pubic symphysis to the top of the uterus is about 10 inches (25cm). The uterus is about halfway between your bellybutton and the lower part of your sternum (the bone between your breasts where the ribs come together). If you were seen around 20 weeks of pregnancy, you’ve probably grown about 1½ inches (4cm).

Survival of a Premature Baby

It may be hard to believe, but if your baby were delivered now, it would have a chance of surviving. A baby born at this time probably weighs less than 2 pounds and is extremely small. Survival can be difficult, and the baby would probably spend several months in the hospital.

Is Baby a Boy? A Girl?

One of the most common questions we hear is, “What is the sex of our baby?” For many couples, not knowing is part of the fun of having a baby.

Amniocentesis can definitely determine baby’s sex. Ultrasound may predict baby’s sex but is not foolproof. Some at-home tests claim to be able to determine baby’s gender, but don’t count on it. Some people believe a baby’s heartbeat rate can indicate its sex. Unfortunately, there is no scientific proof of this.

A more reliable source might be a mother, mother-in-law or someone who can look at you and tell by how you’re carrying the baby if it is a boy or girl. Although we make this statement with our tongues placed firmly in our cheeks, many people believe it’s true. Some people claim they’re never wrong about guessing or predicting the sex of a baby before birth. Again, there is no scientific basis for this method.

Your healthcare provider is more concerned about the health and well-being of you and your baby. He or she will concentrate on making sure you both are progressing through pregnancy safely and you both get through pregnancy, labor and delivery in good health.

Itching

Itching (pruritus gravidarum) is a common symptom during pregnancy. There are no bumps or lesions on the skin; it just itches. Nearly 20% of all pregnant women suffer from itching, often in the last weeks of pregnancy, but it can occur at any time. It may occur with each pregnancy and may also appear when you use oral contraceptives. The condition isn’t harmful to you or baby.

Image

Comparative size of the uterus at 25 weeks of pregnancy
(fetal age—23 weeks). The uterus can be felt about 2 inches
(5cm) above your umbilicus (bellybutton).

As your uterus has grown and filled your pelvis, your skin and muscles have stretched. Itchiness may be a consequence. Lotions are OK to use to help reduce itching. Try not to scratch and irritate your skin—that can make it worse! Ask your healthcare provider about taking antihistamines or using cooling lotions containing menthol or camphor. Often no treatment is needed.

Tip for Week 25

Pregnancy can be a time of communication and personal growth with your partner. Listen when he talks. Let him know he is an important source of emotional support for you.

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