Your baby measures about 7.9 inches (20 cm) from head to foot and weighs about 6 ounces (170 gm) at the start of the week—and about 7.7 ounces (220 gm) at the end of the week.
The baby’s milk teeth are fully formed but can’t be seen, while the beginnings of the permanent teeth are starting to develop.
As your metabolism rises and the amount of blood in your body increases, you may notice that your hair and nails respond favorably. Your facial skin may also be affected. If you have a pale complexion, dark patches may appear—and if you have a dark complexion, white patches may appear. This condition is called chloasma and it is exacerbated by sunlight. Remember to protect your sensitive skin with sunblock or a sun hat when you’re in the sun. (Most women find that these patches fade after pregnancy as hormone levels drop.)
You may also notice a dark line of skin from your public bone up to your navel. This is known as linea nigra, and it often fades away after pregnancy.
Heartburn isn’t uncommon. It feels like a burning sensation in your chest and can cause acid reflux. This may be an unwelcome symptom from when you were pregnant before, or this may be a brand-new experience this time. Part of the cause is that the upper opening of your stomach relaxes slightly, and part of the cause is that your growing uterus pushes your digestive organs up.
For some women, heartburn can be so disturbing that it affects their sleep. Many women who have trouble with their sleep at night say their sleep improves if they pile lots of pillows behind their backs so that they are half-sitting up in bed. This helps to keep the gastric juices from coming back up. Another alternative is to sleep on your left side. There are various over-the-counter medicines that treat heartburn. Speak with your midwife, physician or the pharmacist.
“What if I faint during the birth?”. This is a fairly common concern among partners. In actuality, it happens very seldom. Some partners are also worried about vast quantities of blood during the birth, which there usually isn't (although there is a fair amount of amniotic fluid). Other common concerns that partners have are whether they have to cut the umbilical cord (no, your doctor will do it for you if you like), or where they should stand when the baby’s head starts to crown, and may they look between their partner´s legs (talk about it with your partner—and be honest!).
It is perfectly natural to have mixed feelings before the birth. Some partners may look forward to an exciting experience, while others feel afraid and would rather not be present—in which case, could a doula be an option?
Partners can also prepare for the birth by taking a course or reading up on the subject. Talk with friends who’ve been there—what was their experience, what was difficult, what could they have done differently? But don’t listen to the horror stories!