Pregnancy Weeks 23 to 25
You are almost at the end of Trimester 2! This is going to be an exciting period for you as your baby becomes more active in your womb. Here is what you may expect in the coming weeks.
Your baby is now roughly the size of a grapefruit. The fine, soft hair that covers your baby’s body, known as lanugo, has darkened. In addition, your baby’s lungs will continue to develop, although they are not ready to breathe in air yet. Your baby may even be able to produce insulin to break down glucose as the pancreas steadily develops. This week, you may begin to feel more action in your belly as your baby moves around inside.
Your feet and ankles may start to expand this week, so it may be best to stick to comfortable shoes for now. You may even want to go for a swim to soothe those swollen ankles.
Your baby is about the size of an ear of corn at Week 24, and will gain about 90 grams per week. This weight gain will come from the increase in bone mass, as well as the growth of muscles and organs. At this point, your baby’s fingerprints and footprints are almost fully developed. Blood vessels in the lungs will also form, preparing for the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen outside the womb.
Additionally, you may feel stronger movements from your baby with punches and kicks in your womb. Your baby may even react to loud and sudden noise with a startled jump. If you have not felt your baby move by now, you may want to consult your doctor and arrange for an ultrasound scan.
As your body continues working hard to pump extra blood and oxygen to your baby, you may feel like your appetite is growing. This is totally normal but do remember to eat a balanced diet — both you and your baby need the right nutrients in the appropriate amounts.
At Week 25, your baby is the size of a head of cauliflower. The previously wrinkled skin should look smoother by now as they put on more weight. Your baby’s brain, heart and lungs may be fully developed, while the spine and brain continue to grow rapidly. If you shine a light on your tummy, you may even notice your baby turning towards it.
Your baby may be grasping anything from their other hand to the umbilical cord as nerve connections to the hands significantly improve. You may also start to notice a pattern in your baby’s sleep cycles — typically lasting 12 to 14 hours. Interestingly, if you have twins, their sleep cycle may not be the same.
This week, you may experience itching as your skin continues to stretch. A gentle moisturiser will help ease the discomfort.