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.

Your baby today

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 reflected.

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.

… Mom
Q: Should we buy a baby bath or can the baby use our bath?
A: 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 transport water).

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 today

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’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 breathing movement.

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.

… Nutrition
Burning calories

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.

Prenatal care

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.

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