Check out what happened with your baby's development last week.
Just looking. "What are all those lights and shadows?" After being fused shut for more than four months, your baby's eyelids can open again. This, combined with the facts that the visual part of her brain is active and most eye structures are complete, means your little one can see the world around her, limited though it may be. She can't make out objects yet, but she sees light and shadows.
Rock-a-bye baby. By paying attention to her movements inside you, you can get a good idea of how your baby spends her days...and nights. Just like babies in their mothers' arms, your little one gets lulled to sleep by rocking. Your daily activities may not feel like rocking to you, but the amniotic fluid provides such a cushion that all your baby feels is gentle swaying. So she's likely to sleep more during the day. It may be a different story at night, once you lie down to get some rest. Suddenly, she's awake and ready to party!
Measuring up. Your little one will gain about 1 pound over the next month. This week, she's up to 9.6 inches, crown to rump, and weighs about 2 pounds. Though she's growing quickly, her brain and lungs are still immature. Luckily, she's got 13 more weeks to get ready for the outside world.
Right on target. Your breasts will keep changing throughout your pregnancy (and beyond). They've probably continued to grow somewhat since they started swelling in your first trimester. Many women find that the areola, the dark part of the breast that surrounds the nipple, continues to change as well. In the first trimester, your areola probably got darker. Now, the dark pigmented skin may extend beyond the areola. This is called a secondary areola, and it can cover half the breast. No one is sure why this happens, but many experts think that the darkened skin is a target of sorts, making it easier for your newborn to find your nipple during breastfeeding. It's a temporary change, lasting up to 12 months after you deliver your baby.
Dream weaver. If you're like most pregnant women, you've got an extremely vivid, even bizarre, nightlife once you nod off: You give birth to a full-grown son. You go through labor only to find...a litter of kittens. The newborn baby in your arms suddenly opens his mouth and says, "I love you, Mama." You may dream not just about your pregnancy and baby, either; many women report that their dreams during pregnancy are filled with wild adventures, heady love affairs, and strange occurrences, all rendered in Technicolor. What the heck is going on? The dramatic dreams of pregnancy may be due to the extra hormones coursing through your body. Or they may simply be your mind's way of dealing with the range of thoughts and emotions you're experiencing right now. Whatever the reason, enjoy your vibrant nighttime getaways, and don't take them too seriously.
From the experts. "To help fulfill your and your baby's protein requirements during pregnancy, you should be eating 'quality' protein," says Margaret Comerford Freda, Ed.D., R.N. "Most animal protein is quality protein, while most plant protein is not." Find out which foods are best (even for vegetarians) and how much you need by clicking here.