This week your baby is over 17 inches in length and weighs close to 3 pounds. The lanugo which covered your baby’s body is beginning to shed now and is almost gone, except for few patches on his or her back and shoulders. The lanugo is being replace by actual hair, which will continue to grow and gain some color now. Sound , taste and smell are all senses that are developing nicely at this stage of your baby’s development and you baby is even capable of crying real tears in the womb!
Your baby’s bone marrow has now entirely taken over production of red blood cells, which later on will be the job of the spleen. The growth rate of your baby will begin to slow down as your due date approaches and due to the lack of space available at this point, you may feel less kicking, but more pushing and stretching.
Right now, the top of your uterus is about 4 inches above your belly button. Your doctor or midwife will be able to conduct an abdominal exam and feel which way your baby is lying inside you at this time. Most babies settle into a head-down position between weeks 32 and 36, but some babies keep everyone guessing until just before birth.
It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of preterm labor. Some signs you need to report to your doctor or midwife include: cramping (with or without diarrhea), nausea, lower back pain or pressure, pelvic pressure or achiness, leaking of fluid or a watery (or pinkish or brownish) discharge and uterine contractions that don’t go away when you change positions or drink a couple glasses of water.