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Pregnancy Series

Up to 30 weeks
Your baby is now so big that when your doctor gives you an abdominal examination, they can assess his position. This is the last month he can turn a somersault.

Your baby’s progress
Great changes take place in the nervous system this month. The brain grows larger and the brain cells and nerve circuits are all fully linked and active. In addition, a protective fatty sheath begins to form around the nerve fibres, just as a similar sheath formed earlier around the spinal cord. This fatty sheath will continue to develop until early adulthood. As a result, nerve impulses can travel faster and your baby becomes capable of increasingly complex learning and movement.

Your baby prepares himself for birth. (If the baby were to be born prematurely at this stage, he would have an excellent chance of survival. Even though such a baby may have some breathing problems and difficulty in keeping himself warm, modern special care facilities should help him thrive.)

Some fat is beginning to appear underneath the skin, which smoothes out, loses its wrinkles and becomes more rounded. His coat of hairy lanugo membranes that sealed and protected the eyes during the baby’s growth will by the beginning of this month have fulfilled their function as the eyes are now fully formed and his eyelids have separated and allowed his eyes to open. He continues to develop his swallowing and sucking skills.

The baby’s breathing
The baby has now fully developed mature breathing rhythm and the air sacs in his lungs start to prepare for the first breath that the baby will take outside the uterus.

The baby’s movements
Over the course of this month, the baby will find it has less room to move about in and will gradually give up moving around so much. The baby will wriggle uncomfortably if you have your body in a position that doesn’t suit it.

Orientation
During the weeks of “gymnastic practice”, the baby has done more than just increase its muscle tone – the baby has developed the ability to orientate itself in space. It will probably continue to lie in your uterus with its head upward during this month, although if the baby is maturing very fast, it may turn upside down and settle into place for delivery rather earlier than usual. This is more common in first born babies.

Baby’s vital statistics
By the end of this month the crown to rump length will be 28cm (11inch) and the weight about 1.5 kg (3lb).


Mother

This is the end of your second trimester. You may start to feel tired and knowing that your baby just needs to mature, you may now begin to anticipate thebirth.

 Colostrum
This sweet, watery fluid, less rich than breast milk and easier to digest will probably have formed in your breasts. It will provide your baby with his first meals before your milk comes through.

Urination
Your growing baby will now be pressing against your bladder, causing you to pass urine more frequently.

Sleeping problems
Very few positions will be comfortable if you are very big. Lying on your side with one knee on your chest and the other stretched out will probably be most comfortable.

Low back pain
Owing to an alteration of your centre of gravity caused by the enlarged uterus plus the slight loosening of the pelvic joints, you may experience backache. Wearing low-healed shoes and sitting with a straight back on a hard chair or the floor will help. Avoid lifting if you can.

 

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