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Fetal Development: 7 Months

7 Months (28-31 weeks)


By the end of this month, your baby will be 3 pounds and 16 inches long. Her lanugo is beginning to disappear and is only visible on her back and shoulders. At seven months of pregnancy, your baby’s head hair is starting to grow and she looks more like a newborn. Her body is well formed and her skin is pink and smooth. She has grown eyebrows and even eyelashes, and her eyes that were fused shut have opened. Her nails have reached the tops of her fingers and toes. Her lungs are beginning to be functional and if she were born this month, she would have a good chance for survival. Shine a bright light on your belly, and she may turn towards it.

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Welcome to the third trimester! Your uterus is 11 inches from the top of your pubic bone, and at the end of this month, it will have grown another inch in height. You should feel the top to be about 4 ½ inches above your belly button. This month, your doctor will perform a glucose screening test along with your normal appointments, in which you will drink a high sugar carbonated drink. They will have you wait until it is absorbed, then draw blood to test for gestational diabetes. If your results are abnormal, they will bring you in for more extensive tests to determine if you have the pregnancy-related disease.

This month, you may experience Braxton Hicks contractions. These painless “practice” contractions help prepare your uterus for delivery. You will experience these throughout the remainder of your pregnancy. Your breasts may increase in size and may begin to leak colostrum. Colostrum is a clear fluid that will be your baby’s first milk after delivery before your real milk comes in. It is very sweet and high in nutrients. Many women experience the leaking of colostrum as they sleep at night. Don’t be surprised if you wake up soaking wet one morning. Now would be a good time to invest in some breast pads.

Remember back to the first trimester when you had to make frequent trips to the bathroom? Well, it’s back to that and more. Your growing uterus and baby will start to put more pressure on your bladder this month, and you may need to get up a couple of times per night to urinate, not to mention the frequent trips throughout the day. Don’t skimp on your water drinking though. You need to be well hydrated for all the work you and your baby are doing.

Another old foe that is popping back up is fatigue. With the load you are carrying, you will start to wear out faster. Along with that, you will not be sleeping as well, due to frequent urination, aches and pains, and anxiety. Think of it as nature’s way to prepare you for nights with a newborn. Like that’s supposed to make you feel better, right?

Other physical symptoms include constipation, heart burn, bloating, indigestion, headaches, dizziness, nasal congestion, bleeding gums, increased appetite, leg cramps, swelling, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, itchy stomach, protruding naval, hot flashes, backache, skin changes, fuller breasts, carpal tunnel, tingly hands and feet, fetal hiccups, skin eruptions, lower back and leg (sciatica) pain and clumsiness. If you are experiencing sciatic pain, check out SmartMomma’s recommended pregnancy pillows to ease the pressure on your sciatic nerve.

You may start getting bored and impatient with this pregnancy thing, as that seems to be what defines you right now. Anxiety about the baby and about life with baby is also common as reality sets in. Soon it will be time for baby showers and birth classes, which should soothe you somewhat. For some ideas on what you will need for your baby, check out:

SmartMomma: Baby Gear


Fetal Development: By Month
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Fetal Development: 9 Months
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This should be used as a general guideline and is for general information and educational purposes only. Please remember that all pregnancies develop at different rates. If you have questions about your baby's development, please contact your doctor or midwife.

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