by Patricia Hughes
What are some of the changes in the sixth month of pregnancy. First, the fetus is moving a lot this month. The baby is still small enough to move freely in the fluid and changes positions often. She breathes in fluid and swallows it. This helps the baby develop the muscles used in breathing and eating.
The fetus continues remarkable growth and development. Fat is beginning to form under the surface of the skin. This will keep the baby warm and regulate body temperature after birth. Fine hair, called lanugo, grows all over the body. A waxy substance called vernix helps protect the baby’s skin in the watery environment of the womb.
The facial features look like a miniature newborn baby. The finger and toe nails are growing as well. Meconium is forming in the intestines. This is a black, tar like substance that you will see in the baby’s first stool. The baby has come a long way in six short months.
This mini baby looks almost fully formed. The lungs are not developed yet. If the baby were to be born now, she would spend months in the NICU. By the end of the month, the baby will weigh between one and one and a half pounds. She will be between eleven and fourteen inches long.
It’s important to continue to have regular prenatal care. The doctor or midwife will be able to monitor you and the baby. Complications are easier to prevent and treat if the mother has good care during the pregnancy. Most visits are the same. You will be weighed and your blood pressure will be checked. You will need to give a urine sample. The doctor will listen to the baby’s heart rate and measure the fundal height.
You will be feeling more movements this month. As the baby gets bigger, the movements get stronger and more frequent. You may begin to notice patterns in the time when the baby is active or asleep. Physically, you may experience symptoms such as indigestion, heart burn, bleeding gums, constipation and aches in the lower abdomen.
Some women notice an increased appetite around this time. Eat when you are hungry. Many doctors recommend six smaller meals spaced throughout the day. Choose healthy foods for snacking between meals. This will ensure the best nutrition for your baby. Eating healthy also helps control weight gain.
As your belly grows, you may find your abdomen itches. This is due to the skin stretching as the baby grows. Dry skin may make the itching worse. Body lotion may help with the itching. Apply a moisturizing lotion after you shower to help keep the skin soft and reduce the itch.
How do you plan to feed your baby? Experts agree that breast-milk is best for babies. There are many benefits to both mother and baby from breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor about breastfeeding. The key to success is knowledge and support. Read about breastfeeding to gain knowledge. Consider joining a support group such as La Leche League.
If you want to breastfeed, sign up for a class. These are offered at hospitals and birthing centers all over the country. Ask your doctor or call the hospital for information and to register for the class. These classes offer valuable information and cover common concerns. Taking a class will increase your confidence and help ensure success.
Don't forget to check out our next article: The 7th Month of Pregnancy
Patricia Hughes is a freelance writer and mother of four. Patricia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University. She has written extensively on pregnancy, childbirth, parenting and breastfeeding. In addition, she has written about home décor and travel.
No part of this article may be copied or reproduced in any form without the express permission of More4Kids Inc © and All Rights Reserved.