"Do I have fleas? Why am I so freakin’ itchy?"
You are now two-thirds of the way to labour day. You may find you are more moody than usual, this could be down to tiredness or hormones. You may start feeling Braxton Hicks, ‘practice’ contractions to prepare your body for labour. Your abdomen will go hard and taut and may be uncomfortable. You may find getting comfy a problem. You may find you are starting to suffer backache. Try some gentle stretching to help ease any aching.
Your baby is developing immunity to infection from antibodies which cross the placenta from you. This will be boosted if you breastfeed and lasts until your baby is a few months old.
Deep breath! Air sacks are developing in your baby’s lungs, which means it just might be possible for your baby to take a breath at the end of this week. The air sacks (technically called alveoli) will continue to grow for the next nine years. The membrane that keeps the alveoli separate from the blood vessels is now thin enough to allow for that oxygen–carbon dioxide exchange we call breathing. Other highlights this week:
The retina completes the development of its normal layers this week—all the better to see you with. Well not you, per se, because her eyes are still sealed shut and it’s really dark in there, but your baby’s eyes are now fully developed.
Brainwaves for the auditory and visual systems are detectable in baby’s noggin this week. That means baby’s brain is registering things like sound and light. She can’t understand what any of it means yet, but she’s on track to comprehend an entire episode of Blue’s Clues in no time!
As hearing continues to develop, your baby will start to recognize your voice. One hint that your karaoke rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody" is not the best would be when the baby starts banging on your gut. Your bambino will also start to recognize your partner’s voice. He may feel silly talking to your stomach, but assure him that somebody other than you is definitely listening. Research has shown that newborns actually recognize familiar sounds after birth. Proof that your baby has been paying attention all along.
Break out the sparkling apple juice—baby has now completed two-thirds of her stay in Hotel Womb. Your baby is about 1 2/3 pounds and is 14 inches long head-to-heel, or about the length of a burp cloth (otherwise known as your primary wardrobe accessory for the next several months).