Check out what happened with your baby's development last week.
Making headway. Your baby's brain continues its amazing development. Up until now, its surface has been smooth. This week, the brain begins to take on its distinctly wrinkled appearance. These wrinkles are called convolutions, and they allow the brain to hold more brain cells. As some things develop, others disappear, like lanugo, the ultrafine hair that covered your baby's body. He may still have patches of it on his back and shoulders, however.
A shared meal. Eating well is tremendously important in the third trimester because your baby is taking nutrients directly from you to build up his internal stores and to gain weight. The calcium from the milk you drink goes directly to building his bones, and the iron in your prenatal vitamins and iron-rich foods boosts his iron supply, which will last until he's 6 to 9 months old. Protein is also crucial in these last few months, because it supports healthy cell growth throughout your baby's body. Learn more about good nutrition during pregnancy by clicking here.
Measuring up. Your baby weighs about 3 pounds this week and is a little more than 10.8 inches from crown to rump. His total length, including his legs, is about 17 inches.
The seventh-month itch. By this time, the top of your uterus is about 4 inches above your belly button. The stretching skin on your belly may itch; this is completely normal. Try massaging your abdomen gently with a moisturizing lotion. Tempting as it may be, don't scratch—it could make the itching worse. You might also experience itching on your arms, legs, fingers, and toes. Find out additional ways to ease the discomfort.
Looking for Dr. Right. It's not too early to start searching for a pediatrician, family physician, or nurse practitioner for your baby—in fact, the earlier the better. You'll probably feel more comfortable with your choice of health care provider if you take the time now to make an informed decision. Otherwise, you may have to make a hasty choice at the hospital after you've delivered. It's important to find a provider you're comfortable with—you'll be seeing him or her a lot, especially during your baby's first year. Ask your friends for recommendations, and take the time to interview each candidate. For more information, read Choosing a Pediatrician.
From the experts. Have you started setting up shop for your little one? "When you get to assembling her crib or bassinet, pay special attention to how the crib sheets fit," says Linda Jonides, R.N., C.P.N.P. "Loose-fitting sheets can be dangerous to your baby, posing a smothering hazard." Read more about safe sleeping from Linda Jonides.