The seventh month of pregnancy is the final stretch of the second trimester. Excitement levels are high at this point; you’re feeling lots of movement and you’re probably making even more plans! You can look forward to baby showers and other events to welcome your baby. If you haven’t started to think about childbirth preparation classes or home study, now is the time to do it.
When your baby isn’t sleeping, he or she is practicing. Sucking, swallowing, and even reflexes are all part of your baby’s “workout” sessions. Some of these reflexes may even help your baby during labor and birth. The “stepping” reflex may help your baby work with you to propel him or her down the birth canal.
Your baby’s fingernails and toenails grow rapidly in the womb. This will continue outside, too. You’ll need to clip your baby’s nails right after birth and every few days after that!
It’s possible to hear your baby’s heartbeat by pressing an ear to the abdomen now, so your husband or partner may like to try. You can also use a prenatal listening device or your own personal Doppler if you have one. Remember that Doppler is an ultrasound device so we’re not completely sure the effects of using one regularly. It is generally regarded as safe. A fetoscope can be used to listen to your baby with no ultrasound waves.
Your Pregnancy Week 26
Though your baby’s nostrils have been closed throughout development, they begin to open up at this point. Your baby can practice “breathing” through opened nostrils, and lung development begins. Your baby’s entire bloodstream is also developing and maturing.
Your baby may be able to hear and pick up patterns of light playing across your abdomen at this point.
You may be noticing some of the discomforts of later pregnancy at this point. Hemorrhoids and constipation can be problems for some women. Be sure you’re getting plenty of fresh vegetables and try and add some fresh fruits if you’re having trouble in the bathroom. You may also be getting tired more easily. Try to make time for an afternoon nap. Putting your feet up and resting is good for you and for your baby.
Your Pregnancy Week 27
Your baby’s brain continues its rapid growth this week, with brain activity similar to what it will be at your baby’s birth. The lungs also continue to mature, though your child is not ready for life outside the womb yet.
Many care providers recommend that you start to keep track of your baby’s movements now. You may be advised to do a “kick count” test around the same time every day, so you can be sure your baby is active and doing well. If you notice a sudden decrease in your baby’s movements, or if he or she fails a kick count test, call your care provider right away.
Though you don’t have to do a kick count test (some care providers feel it’s not necessary) you should pay attention to your baby’s movements. If you feel concerned that your baby isn’t moving enough at any point, take a break and have some fresh fruit. Then lie down on your left side and see if your baby begins to move. Remember; call your midwife or doctor right away if you’re concerned.
Your Pregnancy Week 28
Your baby has an amazingly strong grip at this point and muscles are developing rapidly. You’ll be surprised at just how strong your baby is when he or she is born. Your child’s eyes are starting to open now and will be completely formed within the coming days. Baby is anywhere from ten to thirteen inches long and weighs around two pounds.
Vigorous kicking is normal — in fact it may be keeping you up at night! Getting comfortable in bed can help you relax and fall asleep in spite of your energetic little one’s movements. Try using multiple pillows to provide support and comfort while you’re sleeping. A relaxing bath or shower can help you wind down and prepare for bed.
If your skin is very itchy you can use lotions, creams, or an oil on it daily. Remember to avoid using soap on your belly when you’re in the shower. Soap can strip the natural oils and make your belly more prone to itching and stretch marks.
This is a good time in pregnancy to be doing daily kegel exercises. These exercises strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor. They help during your baby’s birth and help to prevent “leaks” when you laugh or cough! They’re easy to do any time of day and make a big difference.