Your baby measures about 12.2 inches—or 1 foot!—(31 cm) from head to foot and weighs about 1.75 pounds (810 gm) at the start of the week—and about 2 pounds (930 gm) at the end of the week.
Your baby can breathe in and out and practices by filling her lungs with amniotic fluid. The eyes are fully formed. Your baby reacts to sounds with an increased heart rate, and also starts to react to touch at around this time.
Your uterus is growing significantly and sometimes, when the skin of your belly stretches quickly, stretch marks can appear. These are called striae gravidarum and they look like shimmery blue lines. Stretch marks are probably caused by hormones and can even appear on your thighs, hips and breasts. Do you remember this from last time? These marks often fade with time. Your skin could feel very itchy if it cracks, but you can relieve this by rubbing a moisturizing lotion on your skin, morning and evening.
Now is the time to schedule the childbirth preparation courses, which are a good idea to take. Our experience is that it is important to devote some time to preparing ahead of each birth, even if you’ve done it before.
Everything is voluntary, but the more you know the better the chance of having a positive experience of childbirth. Knowledge also enables you to make informed choices. It is your body and your birth. It’s usually easier to prepare for the second birth since you have something to refer to. Give some thought to what was good, and what was not so good last time. Try to identify strategies in order to enhance the good.
You can find loads of videos and podcasts in Play that will help you prepare. For more articles on a variety of topics, check under Articles/Tools. Help yourself.
Be honest with yourself in your preparations, and do what makes you feel good. It’s perfectly alright to stop someone who wants to share their birthing experience with you, even though you did not ask. If your experience was less than good last time, talk with your midwife. You can work together to find strategies to think and prepare ahead of this birth.