-Your baby weighs around 500 grams or ? kg this week and is just under 20 cm from its crown (head) to its little rump. It still looks like a little dolly but perhaps one with more skin than fat to fill it; sort of like having a size 000000 skin and a size 00000 body. This is because its skin is growing faster than its underlying fat can be laid down. You are entitled to some treats this week, as long as you remember they are for filling out the baby’s skin, not yours ok?
-Your baby is starting to form an important substance in its lungs, known as surfactant which will help its tiny alveoli to stay open when it is born. Think about the outer leaves on a tree and you’ll have mental image of the importance of these minute air pockets staying open so oxygen can pass through from the surrounding blood vessels. If a mother goes into premature labour, she will often have an injection of steroids to assist in the development of the baby’s surfactant.
-Your baby’s heart chambers and major blood vessels supplying the heart can all be seen on ultrasound this week. Although it is still very small, this major organ will grow along with the rest of your baby so that at birth, its heart is around the size of a walnut.
-Your baby can hear. Its ears are fully functioning by this stage of pregnancy and will react if there is a sudden, loud noise. A dog barking, door slamming, car backfiring will all make it jump. Its bones are hardening as well so remember to have a good intake of calcium everyday.
-Your baby can move all of its muscles this week and there is even more coordination and action going on in your tummy. You’ll have a sense that the baby is getting stronger and instead of little flutters which until recently, made you doubt you’d felt something, you’ll need no convincing this week.