You are 17 Weeks and 6 Days 155 days to go…
You might want to think about signing up for prenatal classes now since in many areas they get filled up well in advance.
In this image the whole baby is seen in one view. The legs, held
straight, will now be kicking more strongly and, especially if you have
had a baby before, you will be increasingly aware of these movements
over the next few weeks.
Your baby today
Prenatal classes help to prepare you
for the birth of your baby. They usually start in the sixth or seventh
month. You’ll learn about the signs that you’re in labor; breathing and
relaxation techniques; pain-relief options; and medical interventions.
You’ll also be given practical advice on caring for your newborn baby,
which can be invaluable if you’re a first-time parent.
Depending on where you
live, there are various types of classes. These range from classes run
by a nurse or other certified instructor at the hospital or classes run
by organizations like Lamaze International (lamaze.org) or the Bradley Method (bradleybirth.com).
Classes are a great way to meet other expectant parents, and by doing
so you’ll gain an invaluable mutual support system through the rest of
your pregnancy and the early weeks of parenting.
By attending prenatal
classes with you, your partner can help to prepare for the labor and
early weeks of parenting. Classes are also a good way for your partner
to meet other dads-to-be. The significant role fathers can play during
labor and in the early weeks of parenting is widely acknowledged, and as
a result prenatal classes have become much more father-friendly.
Find a classmate
If you’re single, you don’t have to go it alone.
There’s no reason why you can’t go to a class with a friend or
relative—preferably the person who will be attending the birth. If you’d
prefer not to do this, you could find out if there are any classes in
your area for single expectant moms. You may feel more comfortable in
this environment and you will get the opportunity to meet other women
who are in the same position as you.
Don’t skip classes just because you’re single: they’re an invaluable way of learning about pregnancy, labor, and parenting
By going to classes you and your partner can practice and feel more confident about the techniques you’ll use in labor.
Classes for two
Since twins are likely to arrive
ahead of schedule, you should definitely look into signing up for
prenatal classes now so that you can start them early. Besides, your
belly could be very large toward the end, and you may feel less mobile
and inclined to go. Because twins sometimes need special care, you
should arrange a tour of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit too.
In some areas, there are
special prenatal sessions for those having twins or more, often in the
evenings. If your hospital doesn’t provide these, a neighboring hospital
might. Ask your doctor.
You are 18 Weeks Exactly 154 days to go…
Is it a boy or a girl? You and your partner may want to start thinking about whether you would like to find out.
Like your own ear, your baby’s ear is made of soft and flexible
cartilage. Although the outer ear is well developed at this stage, inner
ear structures will not be mature enough to enable your baby to hear
for about another five weeks.
Your baby today
The sex of your baby should now be apparent on an ultrasound scan, but you may not have this for a couple of weeks yet .
Whether your baby develops
into a boy or a girl depends on the presence or absence of a Y
chromosome. Males are XY and the Y chromosome instructs the reproductive
glands (gonads) to become testes. These then produce testosterone and
other hormones that inhibit the development of the female organs and in
turn stimulate the normal development of the external male genitalia.
If there is no Y
chromosome, the gonad becomes an ovary and the internal genitals are
female by default; it’s not the ovary that dictates that the female
reproductive organs will develop but the lack of testosterone. In the
female the uterus is formed first and the vagina lengthens upward to
Some pregnant women
will want to delay buying a complete set of clothes for the baby until
they know the sex, but not everyone wants to settle for either pink or
Think about: gender
have a strong opinion about whether or not they want to find out the
sex of their baby at the 20-week ultrasound, but others are ambivalent.
If your partner has strong feelings one way or the other, you can choose
to follow his lead. Otherwise, try to figure out your feelings by
deciding if you want to choose two names (boy and girl) and get mostly
yellow and green baby clothing at your shower, or if identifying with
the baby’s gender will make these upcoming baby tasks more enjoyable for
Our 20-week scan is fast approaching. I want to know the baby’s sex but my husband doesn’t. What should we do?
When one person in a relationship wants something that is at
odds with what his or her partner wants, tensions can arise.
Like you, I wanted to
find out the sex of my baby but my partner didn’t. We both explained
our reasons: I felt that knowing the sex would better help me prepare
for the birth, both emotionally and practically; my partner said he
wanted the surprise element of discovering the sex of the baby at the
Talk to each
other openly and hopefully you’ll be able to reach an agreement. Try not
to let the issue get out of hand and consider backing down if
necessary. It’s important that you feel united at this special time.
You may find either
one of you doesn’t feel as strongly once you start talking. You could
agree to find out but not tell anyone else. If you do find out, don’t
forget the result is not 100 percent accurate.
The umbilical cord
is growing thicker and stronger as it continues to transport blood and
nutrients to your growing baby. Your baby is now bigger and heavier than