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Your baby weighs about 4.4 pounds at this point. The crown-to-rump length of your baby is approximately 12 inches and the total length is around 19.4 inches. Measuring from the top of your uterus to your bellybutton is 5.2 inches. Total weight gain at this point of pregnancy is usually 22 to 28 pounds.
With the exception of crying, your baby is capable of doing everything that a newborn baby will do. Your baby is restricted now inside of the uterus, but still can kick and move. Your baby sleeps a lot of the time, just as newborn babies do. Your baby's eyes move in the manner of REM sleep and researchers believe that babies can dream vividly in uterus. When your baby is awake, she is listening, feeling and learning. There are billions of neurons in the brain that make trillions of connections. Your baby will probably have settled into the birth position by now and your caregiver can most likely tell which way your baby is presenting. If your baby were to be born now, the lungs would probably be strong enough to function properly, but your baby may still need extra care from specially trained doctors and nurses.
Pregnancy week 34
Your baby's crown-to-rump length this week is approximately 12.8 inches and the total length is around 19.8 inches at this time. Your baby now weighs almost 5 pounds. Your baby's hair continues to get longer and thicker. Your baby's hair color probably is not going to be the same color from birth onwards, so you should expect it to change in color. Your baby is shedding most of lanugo, but the amount of vernix caseosa is increasing. Your baby is taking calcium from you to lay down lots of bone. Continue to take your prenatal vitamins and drink milk to ensure that you receive enough calcium.
If you were to deliver your baby now, it would probably be called a pre-term infant instead of premature. The only difference is in the maturity, particularly lung maturity. A pre-term baby is less likely to need intensive care because its lungs have developed. Doctors can test lung maturity with an amniocentesis that checks levels of surfactant.
Pregnancy week 35
Your baby now weighs over 5.5 pounds and its crown-to-rump length is approximately 13.2 inches. Your baby's total length is around 20.25 inches at this point. Your uterus is now 6 inches from the bellybutton and the average weight gain is approximately 24 to 29 pounds.
Most pregnant women begin to feel cramped and heavy around this time and often become tired of being pregnant. Some women feel like they do not have to room to breathe or eat. You should eat small, but frequent, meals and rest as often as you can throughout the day. Your cervix will begin to dilate and efface within the next few weeks to make room for your baby's head to emerge from the birth canal. Your cervix needs to be 10 cm dilated in order to deliver your baby.
Pregnancy week 36
By this week of pregnancy your baby's crown-to-rump length reaches about 13.5 inches and the total length is approximately 20.7 inches. Your baby weighs about 6 pounds now. Your baby's face has filled out significantly and looks smooth and plump. Because your baby has powerful sucking muscles and has had layers of fat forming for quite some time now, the cheeks have filled out like a newborn's. Your baby's skull is firm, but not hard. Every baby's head has the ability to give slightly so that there is room for her to fit down the birth canal during delivery. Some babies are born with cone shaped heads from the pressure of delivery, but this will go away after delivery. The amount of amniotic fluid is at its maximum amount now and your baby may not be moving as much as she had been. As long as you still feel her movements every day, there should be no cause for concern.
The placenta is now one-sixth of the fetal weight.
Pregnancy week 37
You are considered full-term now and your baby's final touches are being made. The crown-to-rump length of your baby is now 14 inches and the total length is around 21 inches. Your baby weighs approximately 6.5 pounds.
Your baby is now fully mature and ready to be born. However, your baby is still growing and developing every day. Fat is still being laid down at a rate of a half ounce a day. If this is your first pregnancy, you can expect to deliver closer to 40 weeks or shortly thereafter. If this is not your first baby, you might go earlier than 40 weeks! Make sure that your bags are packed for the hospital and remember to preregister for admission.
Your doctor may begin doing weekly pelvic exams to evaluate your cervical changes and progression. Your healthcare provider will make sure that you are not leaking amniotic fluid and will also examine your cervix to check for effacement and dilation. Before labor, your cervix is thick and 0% effaced. During labor your cervix thins out and right before delivery it will become very soft and 100% effaced.
Your baby has learned to coordinate sucking, swallowing and breathing so it can do all three when breastfeeding after birth. Babies practice shallow breathing before birth, using amniotic fluid.
Pregnancy week 38
Your baby continues to grow this week and weighs about 6.8 pounds. His crown-to-rump length is still about 14 inches and total length is around 21 inches.
Over the last few weeks of pregnancy, your baby has been building up waste materials in the intestines. This waste material is known as meconium and is greenish-black in color. Meconium is made up of cells that your baby has shed, lanugo and other substances. Meconium is the first waste that your baby will pass after birth. However, sometimes babies pass meconium before delivery and are delivered with greenish-black waste covering their body. Special care must be taken when a baby passes meconium in the womb.
If your baby is a boy, his testes should have descended into his scrotum by this time. When your baby boy is born, both of his testes should be in place. Approximately 1% of babies are born with undescended testes. Because an undescended testis can cause infertility issues and increase the risks of testicular cancer, your baby's doctor will examine both testes after birth.
The baby's skull is not fully solid as the five bony plates, known as fontanels (little fountains), are still separate and can be pushed together. Birth may mold and elongate the fetal head, a safety precaution to reduce the skull's diameter for an easier birth, without damaging the fetal brain. After delivery, the baby's head returns to a rounded shape. Eyes have no tear ducts yet, they appear a few weeks after birth.