Your 28th Week
Your baby is beginning
to have regular sleep–wake cycles and her breathing, yawning, and
swallowing are taking on a more definite pattern. However, your own life
may seem less rhythmical. You may find things are slightly different at
work and, perhaps, be seeing less of some friends because you don’t
always feel up to socializing. Don’t become isolated, though—if nothing
else, stay in touch by phone and email.
Even before birth, your baby is establishing a pattern of behavior
You are 27 Weeks and 1 Day 90 days to go…
Do all you can to stay involved with medium- and long-term plans at work so that you continue to feel part of the team.
On a scan the space between the frontal bones of the forehead
appears as a dark line on the soft spot at the top of your baby’s head.
This is not a line on the skin: instead where there is no underlying
bone, more of the ultrasound beam passes through rather than being
Your baby today
The difficulty of balancing
motherhood and a career can crop up even while you’re still pregnant.
Depending on your career, you may find yourself excluded from long-term
planning discussions as colleagues assume that you won’t be around, or
won’t come back after your maternity leave. Some colleagues may simply
treat you differently just because you’re pregnant, assuming you can no
longer do your job in the same way. You may feel left out of future
planning, or feel that your opinions are disregarded since you will not
be there to implement them. This can be compounded by the fact that it
can be difficult to motivate yourself if you know you won’t be there to
see a project through to the end.
No one can be certain
of being in a job in six months’ or a year’s time, but you have the
advantage of knowing how much longer you’re going to work and you may
even have a reasonable idea of when you’re intending to return to work.
Continue to do your job and make it clear by your actions that you want
to provide input on all projects, even though you may not be there to
see them through to the end. If at this point in time you’re intending
to return to work after the baby is born, make this clear to any
colleagues who may doubt your long-term commitment.
You can also help plan
for your maternity leave by, perhaps, dividing up your workload or
helping to search for a replacement to cover your role. Being organized
now will make the countdown to going on maternity leave much easier in
the coming weeks.
Should we buy a baby bath or can the baby use our bath?
I thought a baby bath was an optional extra, but having bought
one found it really useful. A huge advantage is that you can use it in
any room (though if the room doesn’t have a water supply, you’ll need to
I was a bit
apprehensive the first few times we bathed the baby, then experienced
parents told me even they found it tricky to hold a wiggling baby safely
in a bath of water. Using a smaller baby bath is less daunting and
helps you develop confidence. However, a baby outgrows a baby bath by
around six months and, once not in use, the bath can take up a lot of
storage space (unless you can recycle it to a pregnant friend). Many
parents choose a bath seat designed for newborns in the family bath.
Alternatively, enjoy a bath together, although you must keep the water
tepid for the baby and you may find this too cold for you.
As your uterus grows, your diaphragm is compressed with the result that you may find it difficult to breathe deeply.
In fact, you’re actually
taking in more air. It’s important not to fight the natural tendency to
hollow your back. This opens up your rib cage to let in more air, and
also helps balance the excess weight of your belly.
You are 27 Weeks and 2 Days 89 days to go…
Your baby has developed a sleep–wake cycle very similar to the one she will have in the days and weeks after birth.
Your baby may be looking happy today. Babies smile and grimace,
wrinkle their foreheads, and stick their tongues out. Many of these
behaviors are only becoming more apparent now as 3D ultrasound has
provided a unique opportunity for their study.
Your baby today
Your baby’s yawns
have, until this point occurred only occasionally as a single event,
but they are now becoming more repetitive, with several yawns following
one another. Your baby’s swallowing reflexes were developed at 25 weeks
but still need to become much better coordinated.
The baby’s breathing
movements are vital for the normal development of the lung tissue. Your
baby does not breathe amniotic fluid into her lungs; The lungs are
filled with fluid produced by the lung tissue itself, and as breathing
movements are practiced, small amounts are expelled. With each breath,
the diaphragm pushes down, and the chest wall moves in as the larynx
relaxes, allowing fluid to escape. Only a tiny proportion (0.5 percent)
of the fluid in the lung escapes with each breath. This compares to a
fifth (20 percent) of the air in the lungs moving in and out with each
Your baby has been
breathing for some weeks, but the pattern up until now has been somewhat
random. Now, the baby’s breathing patterns start to reflect her better
developed sleep–wake and becomes more rhythmical.
During pregnancy your body will store fat—mainly
in the hips, thighs, and abdomen—to ensure there is enough energy for
your baby to grow. Usually, the body relies on glucose for energy but in
mid and late pregnancy, hormonal and metabolic changes facilitate the
use of fat as an energy source. If you exercise regularly without adding
on calories, you could be reducing the amount of stored fat. In
addition, doing cardiovascular and weight-bearing exercise regularly
tends to increase your metabolic rate slightly; therefore even when
you’re not exercising, your body will burn more calories.
It’s important that
you do exercise regularly during pregnancy but you need to make sure
that you’re taking in enough calories to meet the demands of your
growing baby and your body. A simple guideline is that during your third
trimester you should be taking in an extra 200 calories a day, with an
extra 150 calories on the days that you exercise.
As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll have appointments every two weeks.
At each one, your blood
pressure will be measured, and your urine tested for protein. The doctor
will also check the size of your baby by measuring the height of your
uterus, and she will listen to any concerns and offer you advice.