Your Pregnancy After 35 : How Your Baby Grows and Develops (part 3) - Problems for a Developing Fetus, Premature Birth

- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy

8. Can a Baby Hear Inside the Womb?

A baby can hear inside the womb. But “hearing” in a fetus is really a matter of feeling vibrations in the skull that are then transmitted to baby’s inner ear. It may be similar to living near a busy airport.

The developing baby hears a constant murmur of noises. By the middle of the second trimester, your baby will begin hearing many sounds from you—your beating heart, lungs filling with air, swishing blood and digesting food. Baby hears your voice as it vibrates through your bones. Lower-pitched sounds are heard more clearly in utero than high-pitched ones.

There is evidence that by the third trimester the fetus responds to sounds it hears. Researchers have noted fetal heart rate increases in response to tones heard through the mother’s abdomen.

Too much noise may be harmful to an unborn baby. A baby exposed in utero to noise levels between 85 and 95 decibels (common at rock concerts and dance clubs) is three times more likely to suffer from high-frequency hearing loss.

Newborns prefer their mother’s voice to a stranger’s, which suggests they recognize her voice. Babies also prefer their mother’s native language, and they respond strongly to a recording of an intrauterine heartbeat.

9. Problems for a Developing Fetus

During the embryonic period (the first 8 weeks of baby’s growth), the embryo is most susceptible to factors that can interfere with its development. Most birth defects originate during this period.

Some things that have a bad effect (teratogenic) at one point in pregnancy are safe at other times; rubella is one example. The most critical period is the first 13 weeks. If the fetus is infected with rubella during the first trimester, heart defects often occur. Infection later can be less serious for the fetus.

Time-Saving, Energy-Saving Tip

Do you sometimes find you just don’t have time to wash your hair, but you want it to feel fresher? If you have light-colored hair, an easy way to remove some oil and dirt is to put a little baby powder in your palms (start with a little; add more if you need it), and run hands through your hair. Start at the front, and fluff your hair as you go. Brush briskly to distribute powder through your hair and to remove oil and dirt. Style as usual.

10. Your Medication Use

Some medications you take could harm a developing fetus; others are safe at any time during pregnancy. Still others are safe for one part of pregnancy but not advised for another. It’s best to avoid medications during pregnancy unless you discuss them with your healthcare provider before taking them.

11. Premature Birth

It’s hard to believe, but today a baby born at only 25 weeks gestation may survive. Some of the greatest advances in medicine have been in the care of premature babies. Because of advances in technology, fewer than 10 deaths per 1000 are reported in premature births.

Critical Periods of Fetal Development

Time Period Fetal Development Affected
3 to 5½ weeks Central nervous system
3½ to 5½ weeks Heart
3½ to 7 weeks Upper and lower limbs
3½ to 7½ weeks Eyes
3½ to 8½ weeks Ears
5½ to 8 weeks Teeth
5½ to 8½ weeks Palate
6½ to 9 weeks External genitalia
20 to 36 weeks Brain and lungs

However, babies born extremely early are usually in the hospital a long time and often have serious problems.

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