Pregnancy: Weeks 21 to 24
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During weeks 21 to 24 of pregnancy, your growing fast and gaining weight. Check out this video to learn more about this stage of pregnancy.
Transcript: Weeks 21 through 24 of your pregnancy bring some huge changes for your growing baby. He or she has probably...
Weeks 21 through 24 of your pregnancy bring some huge changes for your growing baby. He or she has probably broken the one-pound mark! By the end of month six, your baby will weigh up to a pound and a half and be approximately eight inches long, the size of a standard letter. Have you ever wondered how your baby eats? Believe it or not, he or she is swallowing several ounces of amniotic fluid each day, an exercise that helps the digestive system mature and provides practice for life post-womb. The taste of your amniotic fluid differs based on what you've eaten, and research has shown that babies who are exposed to certain foods in the womb are more likely to eat them later. See, it's never too early to get your little guy or gal to eat veggies! And speaking of eating, your baby may now get bouts of the hiccups! You might perceive them as a small repetitive and rhythmic movement that occurs for a few minutes at a time and then recedes, a common and harmless occurrence. Although your baby's eyes are still fused shut, he or she can perceive lightness and darkness now. Your little one is also developing a sense of touch. By the end of your sixth month, your baby's transparent, saggy skin will become less so, as your fetus gains weight from fat and growing organs, bones, and muscle. In fact, he or she will start gaining about three ounces a week! The most fun part of this month is that you'll probably be able to hear your baby's heartbeat through a plain old stethoscope (forget that Doppler!) While your baby grows, so do you...and your feet! That growth can be attributed to normal pregnancy swelling and many expectant moms find that their feet balloon up a full size...and stay that way post-birth. That's because relaxin, the hormone that loosens the ligaments in your pelvis, also loosens the ligaments in your feet. Pregnancy hormones may also cause some temporary skin discolorations. You may have noticed a dark line, or linea nigra, which runs between your belly button and pubic bone. Some women may also experience discoloration around the face, known as "the mask of pregnancy," or melasma. And you may have started to notice the literal marks your baby is leaving on your belly, buttocks, thighs, hips, and breasts...stretch marks! These reddish, purplish streaks are caused by tiny tears in the tissue under skin that has been stretched to its limit. More than half of women get stretch marks, and the tendency to do so is genetic. Take heart though: Stretch marks DO fade over time and should be worn as a badge of honor...40-weeks of pregnancy is no easy feat! You're almost done with your second trimester and your little one is getting bigger, and more ready to leave your belly and snuggle in your arms.More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-11 | Tags »
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