women

1. How Big Is Your Baby?

Your baby now weighs about 10½ ounces (300g); its crown-to-rump length is about 7¼ inches (18cm). It’s about the size of a large banana.

2. How Big Are You?

When your healthcare provider measures your uterus, it’s almost 8½ inches (21cm) from the pubic symphysis. Your weight gain should be between 10 and 15 pounds (4.5 and 6.3kg).

By this week, your waistline is definitely gone. Your friends and relatives—and strangers—can tell you’re pregnant. It would be hard to hide your condition!

3. How Your Baby Is Growing and Developing

Rapid growth rate of your baby has slowed. However, the baby continues to grow and to develop as different organ systems within the baby mature.

Baby’s digestive system is functioning in a simple way, and baby swallows amniotic fluid. Researchers believe swallowing may help develop the digestive system. It may also condition the digestive system to function after birth. After swallowing fluid, baby absorbs much of the water and passes unabsorbed matter as far as the large bowel. With ultrasound, you can see the baby swallowing.

Studies indicate full-term babies may swallow as much as 17 ounces (500ml) of amniotic fluid in a 24-hour period. It contributes a small amount to baby’s caloric needs and may contribute essential nutrients to the developing baby.

Meconium

During pregnancy, you may hear the term meconium and wonder what it means. It refers to undigested stuff in baby’s digestive system. Meconium is made mostly of cells from the lining of baby’s gastrointestinal tract and swallowed amniotic fluid.

It is a greenish-black to light-brown substance. It passes from baby’s bowels before delivery, during labor or after birth. If present during labor, meconium may be an indication of fetal stress.

If a baby passes meconium into amniotic fluid, he or she may swallow the fluid. If meconium is inhaled into the lungs, baby could develop pneumonia or pneumonitis. For this reason, when meconium is found at delivery, an attempt is made to remove it from baby’s mouth and throat with a small suction tube.

4. Changes in You

Swelling

You may notice swelling in various parts of your body, especially in your lower legs and feet, particularly at the end of the day. If you’re on your feet a lot, you may notice less swelling if you can rest during the day.

Swelling often begins around week 24. Seventy-five percent of all pregnant women suffer from swollen fingers, ankles and feet. If your feet swell, it can help to wear pregnancy support stockings to avoid blood from pooling in your feet. Ask your healthcare provider about them.

Your face may look fuller during pregnancy because of the weight you are supposed to gain and from water retention, which can cause some swelling in the facial area.

Image

Ultrasound may be used to detect problems. In this ultrasound of
a baby in utero, there is a cyst in the mother-to-be’s abdomen.
The interpretive illustration clarifies the ultrasound image.

There are some things you can try to help control swelling. Prenatal massage may be good. Eat plenty of raisins and bananas; both are high in potassium. A potassium deficiency may allow your cells to fill with water, increasing swelling. Flexing your feet and ankles during the day helps keep blood circulating. You can also try standing on your tiptoes—it helps pump blood back to the heart. When sitting, press your toes down as if you were pushing on the gas pedal of your car to accomplish the same thing.

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