Approximately 18 To 22 Weeks

Dec 01, 2010 No Comments by

Your Baby This Month

Week 18. At five and a half inches long and about 5 ounces in weight, your baby is filling out nicely and getting large enough that you might even be feeling those twists, rolls, kicks, and punches he or she is perfecting. Another set of skills your baby is mastering now is yawning and hiccupping.

And your one-of-a-kind baby is truly one of kind now, complete with unique fingerprints on his or her fingertips and toes.

Week 19. This week your baby is hitting the growth charts at 6 inches log and a full half pound in weight. What fruit is it this week? Your baby’s about the size of a large mango. A mango dipped in greasy cheese, actually.

Vernix caseosa –  a greasy white protective substance  (it resembles cheese) – now covers your baby’s sensitive skin, protecting it from surrounding amniotic fluid. Without that protection, your baby would look very wrinkled at birth. The coating sheds as delivery approaches, but some babies born easily are still covered with vernix at delivery.

Week 20. You’ve got a baby the size of a small cantaloupe in your melon-size belly this week, about 10 ounces and six and a half inches (crown to rump).

Your ultrasound this month should be able to detect – if you want to know – whether your baby is a boy or a girl. And oh boy – or oh girl- has that baby been busy. If you’re having a girl, her uterus is fully formed, her ovaries are holding about 7 million primitive eggs (though at birth, the number of eggs will be closer to 2 million), and her vaginal canal is starting to develop.

If you’re having a boy, his testicles have begun their descent from the abdomen. In a few months, they’ll drop into the scrotum.

Luckily for your baby, he or she still has plenty of room in your womb, which means there’s plenty of space for twistig, turning, kicking, punching, and even an occasional somersault. If you haven’t felt these acrobatics yet, you almost certainly will in the coming weeks.

Week 21. How big is baby this week? About 7 inches in length (think large banana) and almost 11 ounces in weight. And talking about bananas, you might want to eat some this week if you’d like your baby to have a taste for them. Some carrots, too. That’s because amniotic fluid each day (for hydration, nutrition, and also to get practice swallowing and digesting), he or she will be getting a taste of  – and a taste for – whatever’s on your menu.

Here’s another baby update : Arms and legs are finally in proportion, neutrons are now connected between the brain and muscles, and cartilage throughout the body is turning to bone. Which means that when your baby makes his or her moves (which you ‘re probably feeling by now), they’re much more coordinated – no more jerky twitches.

Week 22. Forget about ounces, baby. This week, we’re talking a whopping weight of 1 pond and a length of nearly 8 inches, about the size of a small doll. But your doll is a living one – with developing senses, including touch, sight, hearing, and taste.

What’s your baby touching? He or she may grab onto the umbilical cord and practice the strong grip that will soon be clutching your fingers.

What’s your baby seeing? though it’s dark in the uterine cocoon – and even with fused eyelids – fetuses this age can perceive light and dark. If you shine a flashlight over your belly, you might feel your baby react, perhaps trying to turn away from the “bright” light.

What’s your baby hearing? The sound of your voice and that of your partner, your heart beating, the whoosh-whoosh of your blood circulating through your body, those gastric gurgles produced by your stomach and intestines, the dog barking, sirens, a loud TV.

And what’s your baby tasting? Pretty much everything you’re tasting (so pass the salad).

From Conception To Delivery, Nine Months And Counting, The Fifth Month
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