Pregnancy Information

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Pregnancy Information

Weeks 1-4

  • Ovulation occurs - The time is right; now you just need this egg to be fertilized!

  • Conception occurs - Did you know that during your pregnancy that your uterus will increase its capacity by 1000 times?!

  • Gender is determined - Immediately upon fertilization your little one is set as a boy or a girl. Ladies, this is one that you can't take credit for since it is up to the sperm to determine the sex of your baby. Sperm carries either a "X" (girl) chromosome or a "Y" (boy) chromosome. (*Hint:* You will have to hold off on picking out the pink or blue until at least the second trimester when the gender will be visible via ultrasound.)

  • Implantation - Some spotting (also known as implantation bleeding) may occur about 10 - 14 days after conception. You may believe you are starting your period but generally this bleeding is extremely light and lasts only a day or so.

  • Neural tube forms at 1-4 weeks of your pregnancy - It will develop into the nervous system (Brain, spinal cord, hair, and skin). Already your baby has the foundation for thought, senses, feeling, and more!

  • At 1-4 weeks pregnant, heart and primitive circulatory system rapidly form - While still in its beginning stages, this is the very life support system that will carry your child throughout his or her life.

Fetal Development

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Week 5
? At 5 weeks pregnant, the first heartbeats begin - If you have an early ultrasound you may not be able to recognize this tiny being as a baby, but there is no mistaking what it feels like seeing your child's heartbeat on that screen. That rhythmic beat is echoed in your own heart.

? Umbilical cord develops - This is your baby's lifeline in utero. It bears the responsibility of pumping in oxygen, removing waste, and supplying the necessary nutrients for the remainder of your pregnancy.

? In week 5 of your pregnancy, blood is now pumping - All four heart chambers are now functioning, insuring your baby's body will receive all it needs over not only the remainder of your pregnancy but throughout life.

? Most other organs begin to develop - Your infant's lungs start to appear, along with her brain. Already your little one is preparing for a quest for lifelong learning!

? Arm and leg buds appear at week 5 of pregnancy - While they may not appear to be much at this stage it is ok to dream of the future. Just imagine your ballerina twirling and jumping around your kitchen floor. Or perhaps you will have the precocious boy that throws the perfect pitch -- right through the neighbor's window.

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Week 6

  • At 6 weeks pregnant, the arms and legs continue to develop - These limbs are stretching out more and more. Later on you will be feeling those feet and elbows up close and personal right in your bladder!

  • Brain is growing well - Did you know that over the course of the remaining months that your baby's brain will develop over 100 billion neurons? This is just the beginning!

  • Lenses of the eyes appear at week 6 of your pregnancy - If you could catch a glimpse inside, you would notice your baby's appearance becoming increasing like a newborn's.

  • Nostrils are formed - The position of the nose seems to shift into its proper place as well. Soon, the nerves running from the nose to the brain appear.

  • Intestines grow at week 6 of pregnancy - Initially these are actually located outside the baby's body within the umbilical cord.

  • Pancreas - Your baby is now equipped to deal with digestive enzymes and take on processing the insulin and glucagons the body needs to function.
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Week 7

  • At 7 weeks pregnant, elbows form - Again, taking a peek inside you could see your baby's fascination with bending and flexing. Later you will swear you can enlist your child as the star of the next "Karate Kid" movie!

  • Fingers start to develop - These digits often become your baby's first toy!

  • Feet start to appear with tiny notches for the toes - It is fascinating that at less than a half inch, your little guy (or gal) already is leaving "footprints" on your heart!

  • Ears eyes and nose start to appear in week 7 of pregnancy - Although they may resemble an alien life form, these all "shift" soon enough into a more normal appearance.

  • Intestines start to form in the umbilical cord - Did you know that initially the intestines are not formed inside your baby's body?

  • In week 7 of your pregnancy, teeth begin to develop under the gums - Thankfully, right now you won't be dealing with teething pain!
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Week 8

  • At 8 weeks pregnant, cartilage and bones begin to form - At the end of this week your baby will have already completed 1/5th of the journey 'til his birthday!
  • The basic structure of the eye is well underway - The position is more "newborn" like already!
  • The tongue begins to develop during week 8 of pregnancy
  • Intestines move out of the umbilical cord into the abdomen.
  • Body grows and makes room - Two months along and this little one is growing inside and out by leaps and bounds!
  • The fingers and toes have appeared but are webbed and short
  • After 8 weeks of pregnancy, baby's length (crown to rump) is 0.61 inch (1.6cm) and weight is 0.04 ounce (1gm)
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Week 9

  • At 9 weeks pregnant, baby has begun movement - While still too small for you to feel, your little one is wriggling, shifting, and dancing already! Makes you almost wish for a window to peek in whenever you want!
  • Most joints are formed now - and trust that your little one is practicing bending and flexing.
  • Fetus will curve its fingers around an object placed in the palm of its hand - This is amazing to see! At only 9 weeks pregnant, if you happen to have an ultrasound, you may observe your infant fascinated by everything he or she can lay their fingers on (mainly other fingers, toes, ears and nose!
  • Fingerprints are already evident in the skin
  • Average size at 9 weeks pregnant -- length 0.9 inch (2.3cm), weight 0.07 ounce (2gm)
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10 Weeks

  • At 10 weeks pregnant, baby is now called a fetus in "medical terms". You, however, may have chosen the name "peanut," "angel," "jumping bean" or simply "miracle."
  • The most critical part of your infant's development is complete. Now you are headed into a period of rapid growth.
  • While a bit strange to envision, your baby's head is now about half its length - Soon the rest of the body's growth will catch up but this area is prepared to keep up with the rapid brain development!
  • Eyelids fuse shut and irises begin to develop during week 10 of your pregnancy - Eye color is also determined by this point.
  • Placenta begins to function this week or next - The placenta is the organ responsible for both the provision of nutrients along with the removal of waste to keep your baby growing strong!
  • After 10 weeks of pregnancy, your baby will be about 1.22 inch long (3.1cm) and weigh 0.14 ounce (4gm) at the end of this week
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11 Weeks

  • At 11 weeks pregnant, nearly all structures and organs are formed and beginning to function.
  • Fingers and toes have separated - Take a glimpse at how incredibly precious your child's tiny feet are at this point.
  • Hair and nails begin to grow at 11 weeks of pregnancy
  • The genitals begin to take on the proper gender characteristics - It will be just a few more weeks before your ultrasound can show if you are having a boy or a girl! Have you been dreaming of pink or blue?
  • Amniotic fluid begins to accumulate as the kidneys begin to function - This fluid, consisting primarily of water, helps provide a cushion for your baby while she's nestled within your womb.
  • The muscles in the intestinal walls begin to practice contractions that digest food.
  • After 11 weeks of pregnancy, your baby is about 1.61 inches (4.1 cm) long and weighs 0.25 ounce (7gm).
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12 Weeks

  • At 12 weeks pregnant, vocal cords begin to form - While perhaps not quite ready to be introduced to the nearest opera stage, your infant will use these immediately following the moment of birth. Bet you can't wait to hear that first cry!
  • Those precious eyes begin to move closer together - Are you wondering if he will have mommy's crystal green eyes, daddy's laughing brown ones, or maybe out of the gene pool will emerge grandma's clear blue!
  • Ears shift to their normal place on the side of the head at week 12 of your pregnancy
  • Intestines move farther in to your child's body
  • His or her liver begins to function - Responsible for cleansing the blood, storing nutrients, and providing needed chemicals, this is an important event!
  • The pancreas begins to produce insulin
  • Guess what? After 12 weeks of pregnancy, your baby's average size is now at a whopping length: 2.13 inches (5.4cm) and weight: 0.49 ounce (14gm)
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13 Weeks

  • At 13 weeks pregnant, your infant is about 2.91 inches (7.4cm) and weighs around 0.81 ounce (23gm) - This is about the same weight as 4 quarters.
  • If you could peek in again you may spot your baby as he begins to practice inhaling and exhaling movements
  • Eyes and ears continue to move and develop at week 13 of your pregnancy
  • Baby's neck is getting longer, and the chin no longer is resting on his chest
  • Her hands are becoming more functional - Your baby may find it comforting to start playing with her fist.
  • After 13 weeks of pregnancy, all nourishment is received from the placenta
  • On your next doctor visit you should be able to hear heartbeat with a Doppler by now - (Don't worry though if you can't, the heartbeat can be confirmed through U/S). Your baby's heartbeat is much more rapid than your own and may remind you of the race towards birth that he is running!
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14 weeks

  • At week 14 of your pregnancy, the thyroid gland has matured and your baby begins producing hormones which will be used throughout his or her life.
  • In boys, the prostate gland develops
  • In girls, the ovaries move from the abdomen to the pelvis
  • Your little one may have learned to suck his thumb by this point!
  • Your child's bones are getting harder and stronger by the day!
  • At 14 weeks pregnant, your baby's skin is very transparent still
  • Lanugo (very fine hair) covers the baby's body and will continue to grow until 26 weeks gestational age - Generally this will be shed prior to birth. Its purpose is to help protect baby's skin while in all that water!
  • After 14 weeks of pregnancy, your baby is 3.42 inches (8.7cm) long and weighs about 1.52 ounces (43 grams) - approximately the weight of a letter!
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Welcome to 2nd Trimester!

15 Weeks

  • At 15 weeks pregnant, you may begin to feel some fluttering movements as baby kicks, flails, twists and turns (but don't panic if you don't yet). She can also grasp, squint, frown, grimace and maybe suck her thumb!
  • Your baby's legs have grown longer than the arms and the body is now longer than the head.
  • And you'll be happy to note that he is moving those arms and legs often!
  • His skin is very thin at week 15 of your pregnancy -- so thin blood vessel are visible. It's covered by a fine, soft layer of hair called lanugo. Lanugo comes from a Latin word meaning "down." This hair is thought to help insulate your little boy.
  • The three tiny bones in his middle ear have begun to harden. The auditory centers in your baby's brain haven't developed yet, so she might not really understand what you say but her hearing capacity is in the process of developing.
  • Fingernails and toenails are growing.
  • Eyebrows are beginning to grow and even the hair his head is sprouting. It will probably change color and texture after birth.
  • All this and your little one is an amazing 3.98 inches (10.1cm) long and may weigh 2.47 ounces (70gm) at week 15 of your pregnancy.
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16 Weeks

  • At 16 weeks pregnant, fat begins to form underneath skin, providing your baby with insulation for the coming months.
  • Did you know that both baby and placenta are now about the same size?
  • After 16 weeks of pregnancy, your little one has reached 4.57 inches (11.6cm) and approximately 3.53 ounces (100gm).
  • His head and neck are held straighter now.
  • This is a week of "mights!" You might hear the tiny thumps of his heartbeat with an external monitor now. The genitals are developed sufficiently that an experienced sonographer might be able to determine if your baby is a boy or a girl.
  • Her heart is pumping as much as 6 gallons of blood a day and beats at a rate about double your heart rate.
  • During week 16 of your pregnancy, if you could take a peek inside, you would witness your child's reflexes in action! (Sucking, swallowing and blinking are now evident.) She is probably even hiccuping even though you don't feel it yet!
  • Your baby has learned to breathe! This is apparent from the regular movements of his chest. Isn't it amazing that he is able to breathe "underwater," inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid? These actions help the lungs to develop and grow.
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17 Weeks

  • By week 17 of pregnancy, your baby weighs about 4.97 ounces (140gm) and is 5.12 inches (13cm) long.
  • He or she has a much more normal "human" appearance now. In week 17 of pregnancy, she holds her head more erect and her body and limbs are longer in proportion to her head.
  • Pads are forming on his tiny fingertips and toes. Soon those individual swirls and whorls will be apparent.
  • Her eyes are looking forward now, but they are still firmly closed.
  • Meconium (composed of products of cell loss, digestive secretion and swallowed amniotic fluid), is accumulating in the bowel. This black gooey substance will become your baby's first poop!
  • The umbilical cord is growing thicker and stronger and continues to rush blood and nutrients to your growing baby.
  • If your child is male the prostate begins to develop during pregnancy week 17.
  • Her skeleton is transforming from cartilage to bone. The bones remain flexible to make the journey through the birth canal easier.
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18 weeks

  • At 18 weeks pregnant, vernix (a white cheese-like protective material) forms on baby's skin with the lanugo (soft, lightly pigmented hair covering the body and limbs); both serving to protect your baby's skin during the months in water.
  • Your placenta continues to grow and nourish the baby. Don't forget those prenatal vitamins!
  • After 18 weeks of pregnancy, tiny air sacs called alveoli begin to form in lungs. He'll be putting these lungs to good use in just a few months!
  • Her vocal chords are formed. She goes through the motions of crying but without air she doesn't make a sound.
  • Features of your baby's heart, including ventricles and chambers, should be visible during an ultrasound.
  • Your baby measures about 5.59 inches (14.2cm) this week and weighs about 6.7 ounces (190gm) at week 18 of your pregnancy.
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19 Weeks

  • At 19 weeks pregnant, your baby has the same awake and sleep patterns of a newborn. He has a favorite position for sleep and recognizable active and rest periods.
  • Throughout baby's body, nerves are being coated with a fatty substance called myelin, which insulates the nerves so that impulses can flow smoothly.
  • Scalp hair becomes apparent in week 19 of your pregnancy. It has sprouted and continues to grow.
  • The milk teeth buds have already developed and over the next few days the buds for the permanent teeth will begin to form behind the milk teeth.
  • If baby is female the uterus starts to develop. If you're having a girl, the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes are in place.
  • If it's a boy, the genitals are distinct and recognizable.
  • Your baby is swallowing amniotic fluid and his or her kidneys are making urine.
  • After 19 weeks of pregnancy, your little one's size is around 6.02 inches (15.3cm) and 8.47 ounces (240gm).
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Half way!! Yay

20 Weeks

  • You're half way there!
  • At 20 weeks pregnant, the rapid growth stage is about over. While things have slowed down, this next stage is vital to survival.
  • The baby's heart grows stronger. Find a quiet place, lay flat on your back. Locate your own heartbeat by finding your pulse. Next lay your hand on your belly. You may be able to distinguish the two heartbeats!
  • His legs are reaching their relative size. With the increase muscle develop occurring as well, you will start feeling much more than tiny flutter kicks soon!
  • Immunities are being transferred from you to your baby now. These immune cells will protect her from viruses you've already had for up to six months after birth!
  • The nerve cells for taste, smell, hearing, seeing, and touch are now developing in specialized areas of the brain. Production slows down as existing nerve cells grow larger and make more complex connections.
  • Your baby may startle in reaction to loud sounds. Amazingly, she can actually hear noises outside of the womb. Familiar voices, music, and sounds that baby becomes accustomed to during her development stages often are calming after birth.
  • If your baby is a girl, her uterus is starting to develop in week 20 of your pregnancy. She has approximately six million eggs in her ovaries. About one million will remain at birth.
  • After 20 weeks of pregnancy, your baby is about 6.46 inches (16.4cm) and weighs around 10.58 ounces (300g).
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21 Weeks

  • At 21 weeks pregnant, white blood cells are under production. Leukocytes (or white blood cells) form our body's defense system. They help fight infections and diseases.
  • Your little one's skin has changed from translucent to become more opaque.
  • Your infant's tongue is fully formed. If you were able to peek you might catch your son or daughter practicing giving you a raspberry!
  • If your baby is a girl, her womb and vagina are formed. Unlike males, females have a limited supply of eggs in their lifetime. At this point your daughter will have 6 million eggs. This amount decreases to approximately one million by birth.
  • Baby swallows more in week 21 of your pregnancy. After your baby takes in amniotic fluid, his body absorbs the water in the liquid and moves the rest into the large bowel. This is good practice for his digestive system!
  • Wake and sleep periods become more consistent. Some research suggests that baby sets her internal clock to match the outside world's even before birth! Your eating and sleeping habits as well levels of light and noise serve as her signals.
  • Length is now measured crown to heel.
  • After 21 weeks of pregnancy, your baby measures about 10.51 inches (26.7cm) and weighs nearly 12.7 ounces (360g).
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22 Weeks

  • At 22 weeks pregnant, your baby weighs close to a pound at this point!
  • Your baby can now hear your conversations more clearly than before!. When you talk, read, or sing, expect her to hear you. Studies have found that newborns will suck more vigorously when read to from a book they heard frequently in utero.
  • Eyelids and eyebrows are fully formed at week 22 of your pregnancy.
  • Fingernails have grown to the end of the fingers.
  • Be prepared for all those "Why" questions coming! Your baby's brain has entered a stage of rapid growth, especially in what's called the germinal matrix. This structure deep in the middle of the brain serves as a kind of factory for brain cells and disappears shortly before birth. But the brain's amazing expansion program continues until around the fifth birthday.
  • With some help from mom, baby's liver is starting to break down bilirubin, a substance produced by red blood cells.
  • If your baby is male his testes begin their descent to the scrotum.
  • Primitive sperm have formed and he is producing testosterone.
  • After 22 weeks of pregnancy, your baby's length is 10.94 inches (27.8cm); weight is nearly 1 pound (430gm).
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23 Weeks

  • At 23 weeks pregnant, proportions of the body are now quite similar to a newborn although thinner since he hasn't begun to form body fat.
  • Bones located in the middle ear harden.
  • Your baby is able to hear. (Dads, did you know: low-frequency sounds mimicking a male voice penetrate the abdomen and uterine wall better than the higher frequencies of the female voice?)
  • The eyes are formed, though the iris still lacks pigmentation.
  • The pancreas, essential in the production of hormones, is developing steadily at week 23 of your pregnancy. She has begun producing insulin, important for the breakdown of sugars.
  • If born now, after 23 weeks of pregnancy, your baby has a 15% chance of survival, his odds going up with each passing day.
  • The average baby at this stage weighs 1.1 pound (501gm) and is 11.38 inches (28.9cm) long.
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24 Weeks

  • Bring on the bulk! Baby gains about 6 ounces at week 24 of your pregnancy. The weight is in muscle, bone mass and organs.
  • His body begins to fill out with his appearance increasingly becoming more like a newborn.
  • Taste buds begin to form. If mom drinks something strange or bitter, baby may be observed showing his distaste.
  • Little creases have appeared on his palms. The muscular coordination of his hands has improved as he sucks his thumb.
  • Over the next seven days the sweat glands will be forming in the skin.
  • At 24 weeks pregnant, his lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" and cells that produce surfactant, a substance that helps the air sacs inflate easily.
  • This week your baby is officially considered viable.
  • After 24 weeks of pregnancy, your baby weighs 1.3 pound (600gm) and is 11.8 inches (30cm) long -- almost the length of a ruler!
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25 Weeks

  • At 25 weeks pregnant, the structures of the spine begin to form -- joints, ligaments and rings. These will protect the all important spinal cord which serves as the information transmitter for your child's body.
  • Blood vessels of the lungs develop.
  • Your baby's nostrils begin to open. There is a study out of Belfast that suggests babies at this stage have the capability of scent preferences!
  • The nerves around the mouth and lip area are showing more sensitivity now. When baby is rooting for food later on, these will be valuable!
  • His swallowing reflexes are developing at week 25 of your pregnancy.
  • Dexterity is improving. Your baby can make a fist and would clasp objects placed in palm.
  • After 25 weeks of pregnancy, your child has now obtained an approximate length of 13.6 inches (34.6cm) and weighs 1.46 pound (660gm).
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26 Weeks

  • At 26 weeks pregnant, your baby may weigh about two pounds now (average is 1.7 pound, 760gm) and is 14 inches (35.6cm) in length
  • To support the fetus's growing body, the spine is getting stronger and more supple. Though no longer than the span of the average adult hand, it is now made up of 150 joints, 33 rings, and some 1,000 ligaments.
  • Air sacs in the lungs form now.
  • After 26 weeks of pregnancy, lungs begin to secrete a greasy substance called surfactant. Without surfactant the fetal lungs would stick together and couldn't expand after the baby is born.
  • Although they've been sealed shut for the last few months, your baby's eyes are opening and beginning to blink this week. Depending on ethnicity, some babies will be born with blue or gray-blue eyes (which may change color in the first 6 months of life) and some will be born with brown or dark eyes.
  • Retinas begin to form.
  • Brain wave activity for hearing and sight begins to be detectable at week 26 of your pregnancy.
  • Fetal brain scans show response to touch. If you shine a light on your abdomen, your baby will turn his head, which according to researchers, means his optic nerve is working.
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27 Weeks

  • At 27 weeks pregnant, your little one's brain continues its rapid growth. Don't forget to share music, conversation, and even books with your baby!
  • Response to sound grows more consistent toward the end of the seventh month, when the network of nerves to the ear is complete. Your baby's hearing continues to develop, he or she may start to recognize your voice as well as your partner's.
  • Lungs continue to grow and prepare for functioning outside of the womb. Each day in the womb greatly increases survival rates!
  • He also continues to take small breaths and although he's only breathing in water and not air, it's still good practice for when he's born.
  • Eyelids are now open more. Your baby can distinguish between light and dark.
  • Retinas have formed during pregnancy week 27.
  • Your baby will grow over an inch during week 27 of pregnancy alone! You may suspect this phenomenal growth rate repeats in the preteen years!
  • Average size is now 14.4 inches (36.6cm) and 1.9 pound (875gm).
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Welcome to 3rd Trimester!

28 Weeks

  • At week 28 of your pregnancy, eyebrows and eyelashes are now very noticeable!
  • Hair on baby's head is growing longer. Some babies are born with almost none at all, while others appear to be ready for their first haircut!
  • Eyes are completely formed at 28 weeks pregnant. Quite a view from inside!
  • Your baby's body is getting plump and rounded. Most of that increase is muscle tissue and bone. Fat will be added during the third trimester.
  • Muscle tone is improving. Preparation for the Olympics feels like it is taking place in your womb!
  • Lungs are capable of breathing now (but baby would still struggle and require medical attention if born now)
  • Talk to your baby often, reading stories, singing songs and more. He or she can recognize your voice now and will often calm to it later on!
  • After 28 weeks of pregnancy, your baby weighs in now at 2.2 pounds (1005gm) and is 14.8 inches (37.6cm).
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29 Weeks

  • At 29 weeks pregnant, your baby's head is in proportion with body now. He appears more like a newborn each and every day!
  • Fat continues to accumulate under the skin -- only now preparing for entering the *real world*.
  • Your baby's brain can control primitive breathing and body temperatures.
  • His eyes can move in their sockets at week 29 of your pregnancy. Soon he will be able to follow a blinking light.
  • Your baby is increasingly sensitive to changes in light, sound, taste, and smell! Various studies show that your baby may indicate preferences (or disdain) for particular tastes or odors at this stage
  • He is also moving from side to side, but probably still is head up. In the next few weeks, he will move to the head down birthing position. At times you may feel as if he is performing somersaults for a circus act!
  • After 29 weeks of pregnancy, her length is now approximately 15.2 inches (38.6cm) and weight is 2.54 pounds (1153gm)