You are 24 Weeks and 2 Days 110 days to go…

If you’re feeling tired, you’re not alone. Your developing baby has been yawning for some weeks now.

Your baby today

In the uterus, your baby’s ears not only have fluid around them but also inside. This is part of the reason that he can only hear certain lower sound frequencies. Yawning may be a way to unblock the ears, and from now on your baby spends a lot of time yawning.

All babies are known to yawn in the uterus, although the reason why they do this remains unclear. Yawning is often accompanied by shrugging of the shoulders or stretching, exactly as you would do when tired. Unborn babies have even been seen to rub their eyes!

Your baby first started yawning at around 15 weeks and has gradually yawned more and more frequently. The precise function of yawning for the baby remains in doubt and there are several hypotheses. While it’s difficult to imagine that an unborn baby is actually tired, it has been found that babies who are anemic yawn much more frequently than others. Another theory is that yawning may help the unborn baby to regulate the amount of fluid or blood flow he has within his lungs. Or yawning may simply be a primitive reflex, a remnant from an earlier evolutionary stage, with no current function.

Whatever the reason for yawning, the early stage at which this develops in the unborn baby, and the fact that all mammals are known to yawn in the uterus, does suggest that it plays an important, though unknown, role in fetal development.

Many unborn babies have been filmed yawning on 4D scans, which give a very up close view of fetal behavior.

Women aged over 40 are more than twice as likely to have left-handed babies.

This is according to a Canadian study and may be related to the fact that older women are more likely to experience complications in pregnancy and have more arduous deliveries. Several studies show a correlation between left-handedness and birth stress.

… Your baby
Listen to Mommy

Your developing baby’s ears are structurally complete, and studies show that he can hear clearly now. Far from cushioning him against noise, the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby has excellent sound-conducting properties. Your heartbeat and digestive system provide a constant background rhythm, but he’s also aware of other sounds.

Talking to your baby will help you to bond: research indicates that newborns recognize—and turn toward—the sound of their mother’s voice in preference to other female voices. To begin with he’ll hear deeper voices more clearly, but later he’ll register higher-pitched sounds. He will, of course, become more familiar with his mother’s voice because this is what he will hear most often.

You may have noticed that sudden noises make your baby startle. In one study, ultrasound scans of fetuses showed that they had a “blink-startle” response to loud noises from around 26 weeks.

You are 24 Weeks and 3 Days 109 days to go…

Your body is working hard to grow your baby, so take care of it by enjoying some pampering.

Your baby today

Here the baby is lying with an arm up to the face and the face lying on the placenta. The eyes are shut at this time and it will be a couple of weeks before they start to open. The hand is held in the most relaxed position, with the fingers slightly curled.

Think of your pregnancy as a time to focus on yourself and your body; once your baby is born, the majority of your focus will be on baby care.

If you have the time and money, treat yourself to a day at a spa. Most spas will have special packages for pregnant women. Spending time at a spa, where you can go for a gentle swim, have some pampering treatments, and enjoy being in a tranquil environment, is a great way to relax and unwind. If a spa day is out of the question, create your own at home. Run a bath, add some relaxing music (for a background soundtrack), light some candles, and relax. If you don’t want to be disturbed, let your partner know and turn off the phone.

Pregnancy massage (see You are 20 Weeks and 4 Days) either from a professional or your partner, can be very therapeutic, both physically and emotionally. Another great treatment to have at this stage is a pedicure; you’ll increasingly be unable to see your toes, let alone reach them, so it’s a treat for someone else to take care of them for you.

Now is the time to indulge yourself in a little pampering. When booking beauty treatments, always make it known that you’re pregnant.

… Doctor
Q: I haven’t felt my baby move for four hours. Should I be worried?
A: Contact your doctor and explain your baby’s usual pattern of movements. She can examine you and provide reassurance.

If you’re not familiar with your baby’s movements, lie down—he is more likely to sleep when you’re active. Try encouraging him to move around.

On your feet

You may now find it more of a struggle to be on your feet, especially for long periods of time. Weight gain, changes in your center of gravity (particularly during the second and third trimesters), and hormones can cause foot pain and swelling . The pregnancy hormones that relax your joints ready for childbirth can also work to loosen the ligaments in your feet and hips, which can cause some discomfort.

To minimize foot discomfort:

  • Wear sports shoes that have a good arch support to help reduce strain on your spine. They may also prevent a condition called plantar fascitis—this is where the large ligament that connects the heel to the ball of the foot becomes inflamed.

  • Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes. In addition to being uncomfortable, they may make you unsteady on your feet and cause you to fall.

  • Ensure that your shoes fit correctly and invest in new ones if not. Some pregnant women’s feet expand by a size, and never return to their normal size after pregnancy.

  • Get regular exercise, and avoid standing for long periods. Take regular breaks if your job involves standing.

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