Check out what happened with your baby's development last week.
Quick study. "All of my senses are working now!" Your baby's brain is still developing rapidly as her five senses get ready for the world outside the womb. At this point, she can see the liquid world around her; feel sensation when she grabs a toe or sucks on a finger; taste the amniotic fluid she's swallowing; and hear your heartbeat, your voice, and the grumble of your stomach. Of course, there's no air in the amniotic sac to carry scent, but if there were, she could also smell her environment.
Head most. Because of tremendous brain growth, your baby's head circumference has increased by nearly half an inch just this week.
Mind the menu. It's more important than ever to pay attention to your diet. Your baby's protein and fat requirements are at their greatest over the next few weeks, so be sure to continue to eat balanced meals. Your little one now measures 16.5 inches and weighs more than 4 pounds, and she'll double her weight over the next seven weeks. Read Eating for Two to find out which foods offer you and your baby the biggest nutritional bang for the buck.
Scaling up. You should be gaining weight too—about a pound a week. You'll continue to put on pounds until just before delivery. Don't try to slow your weight gain even if you weigh more than you'd hoped. Your baby needs the extra pounds right now. There's plenty of time to lose weight after he's born.
Wrestling with wrist pain. If your wrists and fingers feel achy, painful, or numb, you're not alone. Many pregnant women develop carpal tunnel syndrome, characterized by swelling around the nerves at the wrist. Usually, carpal tunnel problems are caused by repetitive movement, like typing, but in your case water retention is the culprit. Just as your feet and ankles fill with fluid, so does the carpal tunnel, the tube that carries nerves from your wrist to your fingers. The pain and swelling will probably disappear after you deliver. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do. If the discomfort strikes at night, which is common, shift your sleeping position so you're not putting any pressure on your hands or wrists. Wear a wrist brace, which will keep your wrist extended. If possible, reduce any repetitive motion—typing or piano playing, for example. If your pain is not relieved by these measures and continues to be severe, your health care provider can give you an injection at the wrist to reduce the discomfort. Be sure to tell your provider about any pain you experience.
From the experts. "You may have noticed fluid leaking from your breasts as you near your due date," says Elaine Zwelling, R.N., Ph.D. "This leakage is called colostrum, and it's completely normal. This 'pre-milk' will be your baby's first nourishment if you're planning on breastfeeding."