By now your baby looks like a thinner, smaller, redder version of what he or she will look like at birth. If the birth was to occur this week, your baby’s chances of survival would be high. Even though the systems aren’t fully matured, your baby’s got what it needs to survive for life on the outside now. Now your baby opens its eyes. The eyes can tell the difference between light and dark, they open and shut and look towards either side – your baby is exercising its eye muscles. The foot measures 4 cm, the thigh 5 cm and the head diameter is now 7 cm. Illustration by Karoline Lenhult
Yes, last trimester, you’re entering the last phase of the pregnancy. Now your ribs, diaphragm and stomach are beginning to be compressed. And the heavy stomach makes it more difficult for the back. Nearly 50 per cent of all pregnant women have back pain at some time, and by this time many of them do. Start doing back stretches; that will help. And a nice, warm bath. Sore back muscles benefit from a little careful massage - perhaps someone at home might be so kind as to help fulfil this small wish. The volume of the amniotic fluid has reduced by about half, so it’s easier to spot if there is an elbow or a hand poking you or a little foot.
How often should the baby move?
That’s a really tough question. Babies are personalities; some move more, some less. Of course it’s more reassuring to have a baby that moves frequently. But it’s not unusual for a baby to have quiet times… It may help to lie down on your side to feel the baby.
Many women report that their baby is much more active at night, keeping them awake and making it hard to go to sleep. When you are moving you’re rocking the baby to sleep.
If your baby is quiet and not as active as you are used to, talk with your midwife or doctor.