Welcome mummies to 6th month of pregnancy i.e., the last month of second trimester. In this article, we will have a look on “fetal development” from 22nd-26th week. We will also discuss about maternal changes and advises for all the wonderful mums, who are still being restless and sleepless at times, also enjoying baby’s kicks, moves and all gym activities. These feelings are very beautiful and unforgettable. So, mummies let’s peek inside the womb and see how your little baby is growing.
Week 22: Apart from skeletal system getting stronger day by bay, your little baby’s coordination is also strengthening and your baby is practicing how to grasp and grab by holding umbilical cord.
Baby’s eyes and lids are fully developed but still closed but he/she can detect light coming through the womb from outside world. Your little one is busy practicing hiccups, yawning, sucking and swallowing and is also listening to the sounds around him/her like mum’s gut sounds, heart beat or noises from outside world.
Your baby has now developed a timed sleep pattern (approx. 12 hours sleep/day) as well, which will carry on until birth or may be afterwards. If you are expecting a boy, then his testes have started to descend now.
Your little one is now approx. 230g and 28 inches long from head to heel.
Week 23: Your baby’s head at this point of time is still a little bit bigger as compared to the body but it is on its way to get into proper proportion. Now your little bundle of joy looks like a little baby but still need more and more strengthening and production of fat under wrinkly skin.
Your baby is busy practicing breathing movements, her/his lungs are developed now and have Surfactant that prevents Alveoli (air sacs in lungs) to collapse, and one more exciting thing for beautiful mums is to know that your baby’s ears are developed and can recognize your voice, so, now the time has come to start talking to your little baby and having an adorable bond even before his/her arrival.
Your baby is now about 11 inches long and weighs about 500g.
Week 24: As your baby is busy practicing all the activities we have discussed earlier like kicking, moving, punching, breathing, grabbing and grasping, baby has now also developed a set pattern of being more active at a specific time frame.
Though your baby looks like a tiny human being but her/his skin is still bit translucent as well as hair also need to get pigmented by colour.
As inner part of our ears is not only responsible for hearing but also for balancing our body. Your baby’s inner ear is also developed now and he/she can sense about his/her position that is upside down or down side up. Isn’t it amazing and beautiful…😊?
Your baby is now 8.5-9 inches long and weighs around 550-700g.
Week 25: Along with all above developments and activities, your baby has started to develop fat inside her/his skin to get Plummer. Your baby’s gums with future teeth are also developed. Your baby’s blinking reflex and sense of self is developing during this week. Not only this, but baby’s vocal cords are developing and strengthening as well.
Your little one is now 10-12 inches longs from head to heel and weighs around 1.5 lbs.
Week 26: Your baby’s sense of equilibrium and balance is getting stronger. His testes are descending into scrotum. Skin, hair and iris are getting their pigmentation/color. Hearing is getting stronger and the most beautiful thing in this week is that your beautiful baby can now open and close his/her eyes whenever they want or after getting light stimulus.
As your baby’s blood is forming inside his/her body, so immune system is also getting stronger day by day.
Your little one is now 11-14 inches long and weighs around 2 lbs.
CHANGES IN MOTHER: Many congratulations! This is the last month of second trimester. You are getting heavier and your baby bump is growing fast. Your baby is growing and developing day by day but there a lot of maturation, strengthening and development needed.
Second trimester is the relaxing period of the whole pregnancy as in your first trimester you suffered from nausea, morning sickness, loss of appetite and what not. In third trimester, your baby bump will be bigger. So, second trimester is considered as golden period of pregnancy and you feel more energetic and better as compared to first and third trimester.
In this trimester, with your growing bump, you will feel difficulty in changing positions, even while lying on bed, use maternity pillow for support between your legs if you want to lie on your sides or pillow and cushions under your feet while sitting and lying. This give your legs extra comfort. You might be having swollen legs especially when you stand on your feet for longer. In that case, rise your legs with the help of pillow while lying and if sitting, keep your feet on another chair or table. This prevents you from getting swollen legs.
With growing bump comes stretch marks and itchy tummy skin as a result of stretching of skin due to increased bump size, best advice for minimizing stretch marks and skin itching is to keep yourself well hydrated and keep your bump moisturized by olive oil or stretch mark creams.
Bladder infection is another very common thing during pregnancy, so, keep drinking a lot of water. If your get itchy vagina or your discharge becomes yellowish/greenish, go to your doctor to get treated as this is the sign of infection/thrush.
With the growing baby, your pelvis is getting more and more pressure, you might feel pain in pelvis and lower back because of this pressure on muscles and ligaments and also because of this pressure, you might experience little bit incontinence of urine.
This incontinence is also because of Progesterone which relaxes smooth muscles. Kegel exercise is the best thing to do if you are experiencing incontinence and want to get rid of it. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles (that your use to stop urination), do this tightening 5-6 times in one episode and one tightening should last for 8-10 seconds and then release for 8-10 seconds. Do 10 episode per day. you don’t need to take out extra time for this, it can be done while doing our everyday cores.
Progesterone also relaxes smooth muscles of digestive system and hence food stays in stomach for longer, so, causing heart burn. The food in the intestines moves slowly because of progesterone effects and cause constipation.
Well, drink a lot, eat fiber rich diet like fruits, cereals, whole-whet pasta, beans and lentils etc.,
During this trimester, skin of face, breast and abdomen gets blotchy and darker because of high levels of pregnancy hormones. Your Breast might leak Colostrum from this point of time on wards and getting prepared to feed your baby after birth.
During Pregnancy your blood volume increases, that might cause gum bleeding and nasal bleed sometimes. Well, all these difficulties are for a little time. The time will pass and you will be holding your baby very soon. So, think about your baby, his/her shopping and preparation. Go out and meet your friends.
If you are expecting a midwife appointment, then think about birth plane, type of birth you want as per your wish and your health, maternity leave and paternity leave and discuss every point with your midwife. Keep yourself healthy and active and be happy and enjoy. You will forget all your discomforts once you hold your little one into your arms😊.