Your baby measures about 11.8 inches (30 cm) from head to foot and weighs about 1.5 pounds (680 gm) at the start of the week—and about 1.7 pounds (790 gm) at the end of the week.
Your baby may sit on your bladder, causing you to have to go to the toilet more frequently. The umbilical cord contains two arteries and a vein and is thick and elastic. The blood vessels are embedded in a gelatinous mass known as Wharton’s jelly to prevent them becoming entangled. Toward the end of your pregnancy, the umbilical cord will be about as thick as your thumb and 20 to 31 inches (50 to 80 cm) long. The beginnings of your baby’s permanent teeth are formed, and these will emerge once your child has lost her milk teeth.
As your belly grows, you will gradually feel the weight of your uterus even more. You may feel like this pregnancy is much heavier than your first one. If so, you’re not alone. Many women feel that each pregnancy is heavier than the previous one. They feel that pregnancy is a long process toward finally meeting the baby and becoming a mother again. But just imagine it! When this little one arrives, you’ll be growing your own little family.
Backaches, leg cramps and pressure on the pelvic floor are common now. Do you remember this from one of your previous pregnancies? Stretching exercises, or exercises to strengthen your calf muscles, can help to relieve cramps in your calves. Try to do 10 to 20 toe raises while brushing your teeth in the morning and evening. It takes several weeks for your muscles to adapt to the strain that arises from pregnancy weight gain, so get an early start before the cramps set in— particularly if you had a lot of problems during any of your previous pregnancies.
You might also notice that your feet and ankles swell significantly, caused by the pregnancy hormone progesterone. It reduces resistance in the muscles of your blood vessels, causing swelling (or edema as it’s known) in the feet and lower legs.
Try a pair of support stockings and move around a bit more every day. Support stockings are most effective if you put them on immediately when you wake up and before you get out of bed. You can find support stockings that go up to your knees and others that go all the way up to your waist.
Experiment to see which is more comfortable. It can also feel great to let your feet and lower legs rest on a few cushions, or elevated on a chair. This usually helps with the swelling.