Weeks 21 to 24 of your pregnancy bring some huge changes for your growing baby. As your baby continues to grow, you will notice that your tummy keeps expanding. In this article, you will learn what happens in the sixth month of pregnancy; what happens to your baby and some major concerns you might experience during this month
Week 21 of your pregnancy
In this week, your baby will keep gaining fat to keep warm. However, the growth rate is slowing down, but vital organs are still developing. During this week, your baby’s oil glands will make a waxy film also called vernix caseosa. This helps cover the skin and keep it safe while enmeshed in amniotic fluid. Buds for your baby’s teeth will start forming in this week.
In this week, your baby would have started making blood cells from the bone marrow. Since the placenta has provided nearly all of the baby’s vital nourishment, your baby will start absorbing some amounts of sugar nutrient from swallowed amniotic fluid for vitality.
If your baby is a girl, the vagina is formed, the ovaries now contain over 6 million eggs. If it is a boy, the testes are formed and will begin to descend from the abdomen. Please note that boys do not produce sperm until puberty.
As your tummy continues to announce your pregnancy, your uterus will start to extend above your navel, and you will probably gain 10 -12 pounds by now.
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Week 22 of your pregnancy
In this week, your baby is about 11 inches and weighs about 1 pound. The eyelids and eyebrows are fully developed. Fingernails would have covered the fingertips and the fetus in the womb will hear sounds from your conversation. If you talk, sing or read, be assured that your baby is listening.
In this week, your waistline is gone, and the top of your uterus is about 1 inch above the belly button. Your abdomen is not too large, and you will be able to bend and sit comfortably. You should be able to walk comfortably too.
In this week, your baby is about 11 inches from crown to the rump and weighs about 450g.
Week 23 of your pregnancy
Your baby begins to engage in a regular workout. He/she will turn from side to side and heel over heels. With a fully developed inner ear, your baby will be able to control balance. Your baby will know whether he or she is right side down or upside down while in the womb.
Your baby’s skin pigment will start forming in this week. The fetus now looks like a newborn except it is a smaller version of a newborn baby; since the baby has not developed much fat yet.
The pancreas used in the production of hormones is undergoing gradual development. By this week, your baby will begin to produce insulin needed for the breakdown of sugars.
If your baby is born in this week (quite unlikely), he or she will still have a 20% chance of survival. As each day keeps passing, the odds will keep going up. By the end of this week, your baby will weigh a little over 1-pound and 28cm in length (crown to rump)
Week 24 of your pregnancy
By the beginning of this week, the baby will start practicing breathing, inhaling amniotic fluids in his developing lungs. The lungs are parts of the respiratory tree that produce surfactant. This substance keeps the small air sacs from collapsing due to inflation. As the baby is still covered by a whitish fluid substance, the skin will be protected by hair and wax-like matter. These substances can be seen on the child body when given birth.
Before the end of this week, the baby would have gained about 3 ounces. A large part of the baby’s weight comes from muscle, bone mass, and developing organs. The baby’s body will keep refining its appearance hence looking like a new born baby. Your baby’s taste bud will begin to form by this week. Watch what you drink or eat as the baby might show discomfort when you take something bitter.
Little creases would have begun to form on your baby’s palm. As the fetus continues to suck the thumb, the muscular coordination in the hand will keep improving.
By the end of this week, your baby will weigh about 1.3 pounds and over 12 inches in length.
After this week, the odds of surviving premature birth will increase to 36 percent.
Common Concerns This Month
- Insomnia: During the end of the sixth month, you may experience frequent sleepless nights or insomnia. Many factors might contribute to this problem. Frequent visit to the bathroom might disrupt your sleep. Secondly, as your baby continues to practice acrobat inside the womb, it leaves your tummy restless, thereby making it difficult for you to sleep at night. Thirdly, the increasing hormonal changes might disrupt your sleep.
- Body ache: As the baby keeps growing, your body begins to ache. This leaves you tired and fatigued. As your uterus continues to expand, the ligament in the pelvic area is stretched and put under pressure, causing pain and mild aches around the abdomen. The pain may last a few minutes and in severe cases, up to many hours. Ideally, this is a normal process, but you should contact your doctor if you notice severe fever or contractions.
- Varicose Veins: As the body continue to push extra blood to the uterus for the baby’s nutrient need, your veins might likely swell and appear purplish. If you notice this, put your feet up whenever necessary and avoid sitting with your legs tightly crossed.
As you step into the third and last trimester, you push near to your due day. It is recommended that you frequently visit your doctor for check-ups and eat healthy foods in the right proportion. Your baby still depends on you for nourishment and vitality.