Baby's now the size of a mango!
Vernix caseosa, a greasy white substance made of lanugo, oil, and dead skin cells (yum) now coats baby's skin, shielding it from the amniotic fluid. (Picture yourself after a nine-month bath, and the need for protection makes sense.) You might get to see the vernix at birth, especially if baby is premature.
Those nasty leg cramps are probably making it tough to get comfortable. One way to ease the pain: Extend your leg and flex your ankle and toes toward your knees. Or enlist your partner for a calf (and back!) massage. Good news: Your now-bulging belly should get you a little more compassion from everyone around you. www.thebump.com
How your baby's growing:Your baby's sensory development is exploding! Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that she may be able to hear your voice now, so don't be shy about reading aloud, talking to her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you.
Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the size of a large heirloom tomato. Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now. Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid.
How your life's changing:Think you're big now? You'll start growing even faster in the weeks to come. As a result, you may notice some achiness in your lower abdomen or even an occasional brief, stabbing pain on one or both sides — especially when you shift position or at the end of an active day. Most likely, this is round ligament pain. The ligaments that support your uterus are stretching to accommodate its increasing weight. This is nothing to be alarmed about, but call your practitioner if the pain continues even when you're resting or becomes severe.
These darkened spots will probably fade shortly after delivery. In the meantime, protect yourself from the sun, which intensifies the pigment changes. Cover up, wear a brimmed hat, and use sunscreen when you're outdoors. And if you're self-conscious about your "mask," a little concealing makeup can work wonders. www.babycenter.com
This post is really late...again.
A few more words on round ligament pain.
This always catches me off guard. It seems to bother me more each pregnancy or maybe its just that i forget...highly likely.
I remember in my first pregnancy that i thought i was dying or something was horribly wrong the first time i felt this. I was out running errands but drove myself home so i could rest, it was that bad. I was in enough pain that my hubbie called the nurse so she could reassure me that nothing was really wrong, as he had been trying to tell me.
So today, on baby number 6, i still deal with this and it still in unpleasant, but at least now, i know nothing is wrong and i just have to rest a little until it passes.