Pregnancy: Weeks 17 to 20
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If you're eating everything in sight, you'll be happy to know that your truck-driver's appetite is a normal, healthy pregnancy symptom during month five. What else is?
Transcript: As you enter the half-way point of your pregnancy, you may notice some mild effects, but considering...
As you enter the half-way point of your pregnancy, you may notice some mild effects, but considering your baby's rapid growth this month, you'd be amazed that you don't feel even more! By the end of your twentieth week, your baby will weigh about 10 ounces and be around six and a half inches long...officially the size of a small cantaloupe! Your little gymnast is now equipped to do cartwheels! Arms and legs that are at last proportionate to the body, combined with new bone growth, give your baby the ability to kick and stretch in your belly. At last, you'll likely experience quickening, which is the ability to feel those fetal movements! During the end of your fifth month, your baby will also begin to develop a protective "coating" called vernix caseosa. This "varnish" is made up of your baby's downy hair, oil and dead skin cells. It may sound a little unappetizing, but the vernix protects your baby's thin skin from the amniotic fluid that surrounds it. Two particularly neat things happen this month: The first is that your little individual will actually develop his or her own unique fingerprints. By week twenty, if you're having a little boy, his testicles will begin to descend. A baby girl's uterus will be fully formed this week, and she'll have developed eggs in her ovaries. All of this development means that if you want to know your baby's sex, an ultrasound exam should be able to tell you what color to paint the nursery! So much rapid growing is hard work, and your baby is hungry. That means that you're probably hungry too, and eating everything in sight! While it's good to eat more when you're pregnant, remember that moderation is key. You don't ACTUALLY get to eat for two, because your baby IS only the size of a cantaloupe! During month five, you're probably also starting to experience pain in your back and cramping in your legs that gets worse at night. Doctors aren't sure exactly where those nighttime leg cramps come from, but the back pain is often caused by a shift in the uterus that pulls your lower back forward. Isn't it about time pregnancy caused a GOOD change in your body? You'll probably have noticed that your hair and nails look great! You can thank your increased circulation for bringing more nutrients to these areas, but, unfortunately, those lustrous locks and long nails will probably disappear once your baby makes his or her debut. By the end of month five you're halfway to your due date. Day-by-day your baby is becoming a real little person and you're doing just great at housing him or her while that happens!More »
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During week 12 of pregnancy, your baby is in the process of finding its voice as its vocal cords develop. Find out what else happens during this week by watching this video.
Transcript: This week is a big one for your fetus, as your little one learns what it means to respond reflexively....
This week is a big one for your fetus, as your little one learns what it means to respond reflexively. As those reflexes develop, your baby's tiny hands will open and close, toes will curl, eyelids will clench, and that small mouth will begin to suck. In fact, if you gently prod your abdomen now, your little one will squirm, although you still won't be able to feel his or her response! Equally exciting this week is the official functioning of your baby's kidneys. As your baby swallows nutrient-rich amniotic fluid, those kidneys will convert it to urine, which will be sent to the bladder. And your fetus grows to slightly more than two inches by the end of week 12, meaning that your future baby is now officially the size of a small lime. This growth means that your fetus's intestines-which previously protruded into the umbilical cord-can now begin to move into the abdomen. In addition, vocal cords are now fully developed this week, which, incidentally, is the last week of your first trimester. To see what's up for the beginning of your second trimester, check back next week for your latest video update!More »
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You fetus will try to suck its thumb for the very first time during week 13 of pregnancy. Check out this video to find out more.
Transcript: Your little one is now probably able to put that teeny thumb in his or her mouth this week! Although...
Your little one is now probably able to put that teeny thumb in his or her mouth this week! Although those sucking muscles won't be quite up to the task of doing much with that thumb, your little one will likely take comfort in just having that thumb in his or her mouth. This week, your baby is about three inches long, the size of a clementine. And with this growth, your fetus's large head is finally becoming more proportionate to the size of the rest of the body, Although you still won't know the sex of your child, if you're having a girl, her ovaries will now be home to more than two million eggs! In other news, your baby's most distinctive characteristic-fingerprints-have fully formed on the fingers and toes. Want know what's up with your 14-week-old fetus? Check back in a few days for your next video update!More »
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Did you know that during fetal development week 14, your baby is roughly the size of a peach? Find out what other changes your baby will go through.
Transcript: Your fetus shed that fish-like tail a few weeks ago, but now begins to sprout a coating of downy fur!...
Your fetus shed that fish-like tail a few weeks ago, but now begins to sprout a coating of downy fur! This ultra fine layer of hair, which is called lanugo, will continue to grow throughout the rest of your pregnancy, until it is shed shortly before birth. Meanwhile, your baby's body is growing significantly faster than the head at this point, which sits atop a more prominent neck. This week, that ever growing fetus is about the size of a peach, or 3 1/2 inches long and now weighs about 1 ounces. By now, your baby's arms are proportionate to the body, although the legs still have some growing to do. And while you still can't see them just yet, your baby's genitals have fully formed by this week. In addition, the liver has started to produce bile and the thyroid gland will begin to make thyroid hormones that will regulate metabolism. Wonder what else your little one has in store? Check back next week to get your next video update!More »
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Week 15 of pregnancy is a very exciting time, as you can find out whether you are going to have a baby boy or girl. Learn more through the video.
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During week 17 of pregnancy, your baby’s bones go through an important transformation. Find out how this happens by watching this video.
Transcript: Your fetus' body is continually developing. Here's what's happening this week! The placenta, which nourishes...
Your fetus' body is continually developing. Here's what's happening this week! The placenta, which nourishes your fetus and also removes waste, is ever growing to accommodate your baby's needs. It now contains thousands of blood vessels, which bring life-giving oxygen and nutrients to your little one. Plus, the umbilical cord, which is your baby's lifeline to the placenta, is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby's umbilical cord contains two arteries and one vein surrounded by a white thick gel called Wharton's Jelly. Your fetus weighs about five ounces, and measures five inches now, making your little one the size of a sweet potato! Interestingly, your baby's bones have started to ossify, which means to change from what was previously soft cartilage to what will become hard bone. Some of the first bones to ossify are those in the clavicles and legs. Plus, your baby's sweat glands are forming now, and your little one's joints are now fully active and moving. To see what your fetus is up to next week, check back for a brand new video update!More »
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By the time you get to fetal development week eighteen, your baby can probably hear you talk, or sing! Learn more about the baby’s development in the video.
Transcript: You better start brushing up on your storytelling and song singing abilities this week, because your...
You better start brushing up on your storytelling and song singing abilities this week, because your baby may be listening! Now that your baby's ears have moved to their final position on the head, the bones of the middle ear and auditory nerve endings from the brain are developing. This means that your fetus will probably be able to hear sounds like your heartbeat and blood rushing through the umbilical cord. At this point, your little one may even be startled by a sudden loud noise! And if you haven't yet done so, you'll probably start to feel those butterfly kicks of surprise, as well as some more strident jabs this week. From crown to rump, your ever-growing baby will measure about 5 inches long, and weigh seven ounces about the size of a bell pepper! In addition to ongoing brain development, a protective, insulating coat of myelin has begun to grow around your baby's nerves, a process that will continue through your baby's first year. This is why many pregnant women are advised to supplement with Omega-3 essential fatty acids so talk to your practitioner about what is right for you. For more on your little one's development, check back during your nineteenth week!More »
Last Modified: 2013-05-03 | Tags »
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There are a number of important physical and sensory changes your baby will go through during week 19 of pregnancy. Watch this video for more information.
Transcript: Your baby is experiencing some serious sensory action this week as the brain develops specialized areas...
Your baby is experiencing some serious sensory action this week as the brain develops specialized areas for each of the five senses. Aside from the sensory explosion, your baby begins to grow a white, waxy skin coating this week. Called vernix caseosa, this coating ensures your fetus's delicate skin doesn't become scratched or pickled in its bed of amniotic fluid. If your baby arrives prematurely, he or she may still be coated with an entire layer of vernix, although most babies will shed much of this pre-birth. In addition, this week brings about the development of brown fat, which will help keep your fetus warm after birth. About now, your baby is the size of a large heirloom tomato, weighing about 8 1/2 ounces and measuring six inches. In other news, your little one is essentially proportional now, from the legs to the arms to the head. The organs are well-developed and become easier to view sonographically Your fetus's kidneys continue to make urine and the mini-lungs continue to "breathe" amniotic fluid. For more on your little one's developmental progress, get your weekly play by play right here.More »
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Week 20 marks the middle of your pregnancy. Check out what is in store for you in the coming few weeks by watching this video.
Transcript: Congratulations, mom-to-be! You're halfway through your pregnancy, and your baby continues to grow,...
Congratulations, mom-to-be! You're halfway through your pregnancy, and your baby continues to grow, grow, grow. At this point, you may notice that the top of your uterus, the fundus, is about level with your belly button. In baby news, your little one will be less bent over, so from now on we will measure size from head to toe, instead of from head to rump. And this week's head to toe measurement is about ten inches, or the LENGTH of a banana. Your baby is also about 10 to 11 ounces now! These days, your little one is swallowing more amniotic fluid, which is great practice for your fetus' developing digestive system. And your baby has also started producing meconium, a black, sticky, tar-like stool composed of materials ingested while in utero like mucus, amniotic fluid, bile and epithelial cells. Because it accumulates in the bowels, you'll notice meconium in your baby's first diaper, though your baby may even pass some during birth. Check back in next week to see what your busy baby has in store!More »
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During week 22 of fetal development, your baby will start sucking on its thumb. Check out this video for more information about this developmental stage.
Transcript: This week your fetus will begin to discover its sense of touch. Because your baby's brain and nerve...
This week your fetus will begin to discover its sense of touch. Because your baby's brain and nerve endings are almost fully formed, he or she will begin experimenting with this newfound sense! As such, an ultrasound may show your baby stroking his face, sucking her thumb, or feeling other body parts. And now that your fetus has officially hit the one pound, 11-inch mark, he'll really start to look like a person this week. Of course, he's still covered with that downy coating of lanugo, and he also sports deep wrinkles of skin on his body. But don't worry: Before your fetus is ready to be born, he'll shed that fur and will also fill in the wrinkles with oh-so-pinchable baby fat! In other developments, a baby girl's vagina is almost fully formed now, while a boy's testes will begin to descend this week. And deep within your baby's belly, the pancreas continues to grow and get ready to produce vital hormones. Want to know more? Check back right here for your weekly fetal development update!More »
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During week 23 of pregnancy, you'll become more aware of your baby's movements. Find out more about this by watching the video.
Transcript: Can you believe that just a few weeks ago you could barely discern your baby's fluttering movements?...
Can you believe that just a few weeks ago you could barely discern your baby's fluttering movements? By now, there's no doubt that you'll feel your little martial artist as he or she kicks, squirms, and somersaults in your belly. In fact, you'll be so attuned to your little one's movements that you'll know your fetus's sleep/wake schedules. This can be frustrating if they're different from your own, but just look at this as great practice for your baby's eventual arrival! The reason it's so easy to feel your fetus now is that your baby is much bigger. In fact, your little one weighs in at about one pound. And as your baby grows, he continues to prepare for the real world with ever keener senses. In particular, your fetus's hearing will allow him to discern loud, disruptive noises, like the dog barking or the vacuum cleaner. Exposure to these sounds in the womb will mean that your baby will unlikely be fazed by them once he arrives-which is good news for you! For more on your baby's impressive development, check back right here for your weekly video update.More »
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During week 24 of pregnancy, your baby will get a sense of its movement and position. Check out this video for more information.
Transcript: You probably won't know whether your baby is floating upside down or right side up-but as of this week,...
You probably won't know whether your baby is floating upside down or right side up-but as of this week, he or she sure will! As the development of the inner ear becomes complete, this important component of the vestibular system enhances the baby's sense of movement and position. In addition, your rapidly growing fetus has gained four ounces since last week, and he's now about the length of an ear of corn. While your baby is in utero, he receives oxygen through your placenta, but you both know that won't always be the case. To prepare for the work of taking in oxygen once he's born, your baby's lungs are beginning to produce surfactant. Surfactant is a substance that keeps the air sacs in the lungs from collapsing or sticking together during breathing. In addition, your fetus's brain and taste buds are continuing to grow and develop during your 24th week. To see what's in store for your baby's continued development, check back next week for your newest video update!More »
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