Your Pregnancy Preterm labor alert.
Check out what happened with your baby's development last week.
Energizer baby. Jumping and diving, rolling and kicking—your little one is having a great time training for the Baby Olympics. Just as you settle in for a good night's sleep, he starts his workout. Does it seem as if he's moving more than ever? He is: Babies are most active between 24 and 28 weeks. After that, there won't be enough room for him to perform the acrobatics he's so adept at now.
Thin skinned. If your baby could look down at his chest, he'd get his first anatomy lesson. Because his skin is still thin and transparent, it's possible to see the blood vessels, bones, and organs beneath it. His skin will continue to thicken as the months pass, until it's opaque like yours.
Eye spy. Even though your baby's eyes are still fused shut, all the parts of his eyes are present, including the retina, which completes its development over the next month. The iris, the colored part of the eye, still doesn't have any pigmentation. Your little one's eye color will fill in over the next few months, though their final shade won't be settled until after he's born.
Measuring up. Your little gymnast weighs up to 1.3 pounds this week and measures 10 to 11 inches.
From here on out, you need to be alert to the signs of preterm labor. The most common symptoms are menstrual-like cramps, a change in vaginal discharge, a dull ache in your lower back, uterine contractions, pressure on your pelvis (as if the baby is pushing down on it), or fluid leaking or gushing from your vagina. Of course, many of these complaints, like a backache or mild contractions, may just be the usual discomforts of pregnancy. Pay attention to your body; if the symptoms occur frequently or don't disappear after you drink some water or juice and lie down for an hour, call your health care provider right away. And be aware that fluid that rushes or leaks from the vagina needs immediate medical attention. For more information, read our article on preterm labor
. Father in the making.
Dad goes through tremendous changes during the pregnancy, even though they may be less physically obvious than yours. Your partner may be trying out a different look—growing a beard or mustache or changing his hairstyle—or beginning new activities in his effort to prepare for this wonderful but often frightening adult passage. Now is the time to talk about these changes and how your new roles as parents will affect your relationship with each other. For more about dads-to-be, click here
. From the experts.
With your belly getting larger, you'll probably have to make some adjustments when you're behind the wheel. "Be sure that the lap portion of the seat belt goes under your abdomen, snug against your hip bones," says Suzanne Dixon, M.D., M.P.H. "The shoulder strap should come from the shoulder to the hip above
your abdomen, not across it." For more tips on safe riding from Dr. Dixon, click here