This week’s big developments: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his thumb! Thanks to brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another.
His kidneys are producing urine, which he releases into the amniotic fluid around him – a process he’ll keep up until birth. He can grasp, too, and if you’re having an ultrasound now, you may even catch him sucking his thumb.
How your baby’s growing:
In other news: Your baby’s stretching out. From head to bottom, he measures 3 1/2 inches – about the size of a lemon – and he weighs 1 1/2 ounces. His body’s growing faster than his head, which now sits upon a more distinct neck. By the end of this week, his arms will have grown to a length that’s in proportion to the rest of his body. (His legs still have some lengthening to do.)
He’s starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy covering of hair, called lanugo, all over his body. Your baby’s liver starts making bile this week – a sign that it’s doing its job right – and his spleen starts helping in the production of red blood cells. Though you can’t feel his tiny punches and kicks yet, your little pugilist’s hands and feet (which now measure about 1/2 inch long) are more flexible and active.
How your life’s changing:
Welcome to your second trimester! Your energy is likely returning, your breasts may be feeling less tender, and your queasiness may have completely abated by now. If not, hang on – chances are good it will soon be behind you (although an unlucky few will still feel nauseated months from now).
The top of your uterus is a bit above your pubic bone, which may be enough to push your tummy out a tad. Starting to show can be quite a thrill, giving you and your partner visible evidence of the baby you’ve been waiting for. Take some time to plan, daydream, and enjoy this amazing time. It’s normal to worry a bit now and then, but try to focus on taking care of yourself and your baby, and having faith that you’re well equipped for what’s ahead.
Decision Guide: Should you find out the sex of your baby?
Boy, girl – or big surprise? Sixty-four percent of mothers-to-be in a BabyCenter poll said they wanted to find out the sex of their baby ahead of time, while the rest preferred to wait. “We decided that the surprise of ‘it’s a boy!’ or ‘it’s a girl!’ is the same surprise at 5 months as it is at the birth,” said Jessica. Michael disagreed: “I think the old-fashioned way is the best. Finding out before birth is like opening your Christmas presents before Christmas!” If you’re still on the fence, here’s a look at the pros and cons of each side. A word of caution: If you want to keep your baby’s sex a secret, let your provider and the ultrasound technician know right away so they don’t inadvertently blurt it out in the middle of an ultrasound exam or while reviewing your test results.
Benefits of finding out:
- Many women say they feel a deeper bond with the baby once they know the sex and can picture a little boy or girl.
- You can prepare an older sibling for the arrival of a new little brother or sister.
- You can narrow down your list of baby names.
- You can pick out a gender-specific nursery theme or baby clothes, if you want to.
Benefits of waiting:
- You, your partner, and your family will have a delightful surprise on the day you give birth.
- Your desire to know whether your baby is a boy or a girl might motivate you during the toughest parts of labor.
- You’ll be following in the tradition of your parents, your parents’ parents, and so on.
- There will be no mistakes – what you see is what you get!
This Week’s Activity:
Find a prenatal exercise class. If you haven’t already, now is a good time to start a regular workout. Joining a class can help motivate you to stick with it. And many women find that prenatal exercise classes are a wonderful way to bond with and get support from other pregnant women. Some good options include water exercise, prenatal yoga or Pilates, a walking group, or a dance class designed for pregnant women.