What's going on this week, from Baby Gaga:
Your little scientist is already starting to explore their body, focusing most intently on touching their head, and especially their face and mouth. Their mouth in particular will provide them with hours of entertainment. This happens not only because your baby is gaining coordination, and is therefore able to move a hand on command, but also because their palms have gained sensation and can actually “feel” what it touches.They're also developing their swallow reflex this week. And lastly, your baby's smelling and other olfactory senses will begin developing this week, which when combined with the maturing taste buds, will provide your baby with their first experiences of taste and smell.
Or, from birth.com.au:
What is happening now?
Your baby measures about 5 cm (2 inches) from crown to rump and weighs about 8 grams (0.28 ounces), nearly doubling in size during the last week!
Your baby now has a limited ability to suck and swallow, although this action is not fully mature until 24 to 28 weeks. Their taste buds have developed to taste the amniotic fluid that surrounds them and their kidneys are now functioning and secreting fluid into their bladder. Your baby will soon pass a type of clean urine into the amniotic fluid, in a continuous cycle of swallowing and urinating this fluid to keep their kidneys functioning until birth.
Your baby also breathes amniotic fluid into their lungs to strengthen the muscle under them (called the diaphragm) and to regularly practise rhythmic expansion of their lungs. Their stomach now produces gastric juices and they have about 20 baby teeth in their gums!
Your baby's sex organs are still developing although their typical male or female characteristics are not yet obvious. Under the influence of increased testosterone for boys (or the lack of testosterone for girls), your baby's genitals start taking their individual shape to look distinctly male or female by 15 weeks.You can read more here.
Your baby's movements are now more coordinated and purposeful and a few women can sense their baby moving as early as 12 weeks (although this is not common). Regular movement is now important for your baby's growth and development. Without it their muscles would waste, their joints would seize and their bones would become brittle. Movement of some description is now a daily part of your unborn baby's life (when they are awake!)
You can look at an image of what your baby may look like now by clicking here.
Uterus growing. By the end of this week your uterus will start to grow up out of your pelvic bones and your caregiver (and you) may be able to feel the top of the uterus, called the fundus. If this is not your first pregnancy, or you are carrying twins (or more), you may be able to feel the top of the uterus earlier (possibly after 10 or 11 weeks). You can read more about fundal heights and measuring them here.
Body temperature. You may notice an increase in your body temperature. This is due to your body's metabolism increasing by 20%, creating more heat and slightly raising your temperature. Increased blood flow also makes your skin warmer and you may sweat more. In the summer months, dressing in layers can help with temperature changes. Take care not to overheat when exercising. You may wish to read more about this here.
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