Pregnancy: What To Expect The Sixth Month

How a baby grows and develops during the sixth month of pregnancy, and how a mother's body changes.

You are now in the second half of your pregnancy and have probably already started setting up your baby's nursery. By this time, you have probably already found out the sex of your baby (if you and your partner wanted to find out early), so you are filling up the room with pink or blue d├ęcor and clothes. You may already be sporting your maternity clothes and taking birthing classes for your upcoming birth. At this point in your pregnancy, the sixth month, how is your baby developing and what should you expect from your own body?

Your Baby

Once the sixth month has completed, your baby will be almost completely formed and will weigh approximately two pounds with a length anywhere from ten to fourteen inches. While she is not growing as rapidly as she has been in the last few months, her organs are maturing on a daily basis. Her muscles are strengthening, which you may notice due to her constant movement. She will respond to your talking and singing voice and can even be soothed by music at this point. Since your baby is still miniature, her skin is wrinkled and will transition from transparent to opaque as the month progresses. Her body is creating white blood cells so that she can fight off infectious diseases. She is still completely covered with lanugo (soft hair) and vernix (the substance covering her body to protect her skin from the amniotic fluid that surrounds her). Her brain is continuing to develop. Her eyes will begin to open and her first stool (meconium) is starting to form. As her bones solidify, she is forming "brown fat" that will serve to warm her body when she is born. Although she is extremely tiny at this point, there is a chance she could survive (with intensive care) if she is born early.

Your Body

As you have been doing every month, you will have a special visit with your physician to test your body's development. Again, your physician will check your weight and blood pressure and perform tests concerning your uterus size and urine. This is the time when you will need to alert your physician of any symptoms you have been having or discuss any concerns you may have at this point. Some of the more common symptoms you may be experiencing include, but are not limited to, constipation, indigestion, bloating, headaches, heartburn, dizziness, congestion, leg cramps and swelling, backache, bleeding gums, changes in skin pigmentation, varicose veins and bigger breasts. At this point, you may have gained anywhere from ten to fifteen pounds, so you are definitely showing. Many women report a white vaginal discharge while others report itchiness in the abdomen area. If you want to keep your abdomen from feeling itchy and dry, apply lotion to this area on a daily basis. During this sixth month, your doctor may recommend a glucose screening test that is used to check for gestational diabetes. Due to the constipation that many women experience, hemorrhoids are not uncommon and can be relieved with a bath in warm water, a pack of ice, or suppositories.

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