Maybe you’ve noticed that the baby sleeps and is awake at various times? This is when the baby starts to develop some form of daily rhythm. You can tell when the baby is awake through movements, which are now felt every day and which usually occur in the evening and at night, while mum rests. It is common to learn to recognise the movement pattern. But how much babies move can vary; some are very active while others take it a little easier. The hands are actually fully functioning as of now; the fingers have nails and the bones continue to harden. The baby now measures 33-34 cm and weighs around 750 grams. If born now, chances are good that the baby would survive, which is a wonderful and perhaps also quite comforting thought.
Do you have to pee every 15 minutes? Unlike the need to urinate early in your pregnancy, it’s no longer due to hormones, but rather because your belly is growing and your uterus is pressing up against your bladder. This, along with the fact that you’re gathering more fluid during the day, which at night finds its way into your bladder, means you may be taking a lot of trips to the bathroom. For some people, the need to pee can be so constant that it can be annoying to leave home for fear of not finding a toilet. Even if it’s tiring to have to rush to pee so often, you absolutely should not stop drinking liquids; your body needs a lot of water and fluids now, during pregnancy. One thing that will help is to do your Kegel exercises often. If you haven’t started yet, do so now and continue after your baby comes. Be attentive to whether you’re having unprovoked contractions, pain in your belly, or if you feel dizzy when you pee. These could be signs of a urinary tract infection, which can be easier to get while pregnant. In that case, contact your medical provider – it’s important to treat a urinary tract infection early. Around now, your midwife or doctor will start to measure your belly. Using a measuring tape, they will measure the distance between the pubic bone (symphysis) and the top edge of the uterus (fundus). This measurement, called the fundal height, is placed on a curve. The current measurement doesn’t really matter; the important thing is that future measurements follow your curve, without any dramatic deviations upwards or downwards. There is no need to wonder what is normal here, because as with all curves, the important part isn’t to be on the ‘normal curve’, but rather to follow your own. The same applies for the baby after it is born and you go to check-ups at the medical centre.
As of now, you will be seeing your midwife or doctor more often. There will be more visits the closer you get to your anticipated due date, and at those visits, the belly’s growth will be measured. This is done by measuring the curve, called the fundal height, which is measured across the belly with an old-fashioned measuring tape. The doctor or midwife will also listen to the baby’s heartbeat, either with a Pinard horn, or with an ultrasound monitor. Blood samples are taken, weight and blood pressure are checked, and all of this data is entered into the mother’s record so that it is available to whoever takes care of your family during delivery. In some places, after a routine ultrasound, you will receive a certificate of pregnancy confirming your partner’s pregnancy and expected due date, according to the ultrasound. This may need to be sent to the appropriate authority in your country. In general, you will wait on identifying the second parent until after the baby has arrived. If you are married, you will automatically be considered the guardian, but if not, you may need to certify your status as parent with your local government. It may feel a little strange to certify that you are the parent just because you aren’t married, but this is the law in some places.