Your baby’s movements will peak this week then change in quantity and quality. Most of the wrinkles are disappearing from baby’s face, and there may be a lot of hair! Your baby has put on about 2lb of weight, mostly fat and muscle tissue, bringing the total to about 3lb 11oz (1.7kg), and 40cm or 15.8in.
Babies born younger than this will most likely have difficulties sucking or nursing. This also applies to babies who weigh less than 1500g. A good sucking pattern is a sign of neuromuscular maturity.
Baby can now use neck muscles to move the head from side to side, although it’s a bit cramped for space.
The bigger mum’s bump gets, the harder it is for her to walk without ‘waddling’. Arching your back to compensate can cause back pain, so try to stand as straight as possible. Supporting yourself by putting a hand on a chair or a wall is better than compensating by changing your posture.
During pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin is also released, softening the hip joints and causing the characteristic pregnancy shuffle.
We’ve all heard about cravings during pregnancy. Giving in to these won’t harm you or baby as long as you keep a healthy balanced diet. Things like chocolate can even help top up your magnesium and iron levels.
As you begin to have more and more Braxton-Hicks contractions you may begin to wonder more about labour and what it will entail for you. You will be thinking about things like when is the right time to go to hospital, or call the midwife if you are having a home birth. When is a Braxton-Hicks contraction more than just a Braxton-Hicks? For all these concerns, speak to your midwife.