• Your baby is about the size of a small lime now. He weighs about 8g (0.3 oz) and he’s about 44 to 66 mm (1.7 to 2.6 in) long, from the crown of his head to his buttocks. But not for long. He’s entering a period of rapid growth. Over the next three weeks, he will double in length!
• His fingernails have formed and his external genitals are beginning to develop now. In three weeks, your baby’s development into a boy or girl will be complete. Will you find out your baby’s gender ahead of time?
Your baby’s lifeline
Wondering how your body provides your baby with all the nutrients and oxygen he needs to grow? Through the umbilical cord! It’s like a blood vessel that’s as thick as your index finger and about 20 inches long. With one end attached to your baby’s navel and the other to the placenta, the umbilical cord carries oxygenated blood to your baby and takes de-oxygenated blood and wastes from your baby back to the placenta.
Read more: What is placenta previa?>
Should you bank your baby’s cord blood?
The umbilical cord also contains stem cells, which are used in bone marrow transplants. You can choose to bank your baby’s umbilical cord blood in case it’s needed to treat a future illness, or donate to a public bank if that’s an option in your area. Learn more about the politics and the realities of cord blood banking.
Read more: Canada’s cord blood system>
Learn about listeria
Listeria is a food-borne bacteria which can also threaten an unborn baby. Thoroughly cooking your meat and avoiding soft-ripened cheeses such as brie and camembert are two important steps in preventing listeria infection. Learn more precautions for pregnancy.
Read more: Pregnancy: What foods to avoid>
Your bladder, under pressure
Have to pee? Again? The more your baby grows, the more your uterus presses against your bladder and other organs. Frequent urination and constipation (due to pressure and intestinal changes) are common pregnancy complaints.
Read more: Most embarrassing pregnancy symptoms>
Are you starting to desperately seek a maternity wardrobe? Many women hold off as long as they can, but don’t keep squeezing into clothes that are too tight. It’s important to be comfortable!
Read more: Best maternity stores across Canada>