Your fetus is about 12.5 inches and weighs 1 lb, 12 oz to 2 lb, 1 oz.
It is now producing growth-inducing hormones, and the pancreas is making insulin, which starts metabolizing calcium.
In the 26th week, the fetus reaches a very important milestone in its development. In fact, if you felt contractions that could not be stopped and your baby were born now, it would have a chance of surviving outside the womb in a neonatal medical setting.
Starting in the 26th week, your baby’s eyes open, and it can even blink. Vision is always the least developed sense because it is the least used in utero. But your baby will still be able to tell the difference between bright lights, like the sun.
Without a doubt, the fetus is most adept at hearing. It actually takes the fetus about three seconds to react to some stimuli. We can observe it by watching the heart beat faster. The higher-pitched the sound, the more the tissues tone it down. They react and are even bothered by certain noises like a bell or loud music.
Researchers have done numerous studies on hearing. One interesting experiment involved playing a recording of “Peter and the Wolf” every day pressed against the mother’s abdomen. When the baby was born, it was soothed when listening to the same music. Similar experiments in which the father spoke the same words every day to his partner’s belly showed that the baby calmed down when hearing those words after being born.
So moms, don’t hesitate to play your favorite music for your baby every day.
The brain is now developing at a fast pace. In the first few months of pregnancy, the brain is creating 1,000 neurons per second. In the fifth month, the brain starts looking different. It begins creasing, and the gray matter wrinkles into countless twists and folds. Everything is in place before the birth to enable the fetus to develop a certain level of intelligence. Sensory stimulation gives the brain what it needs to grow through experience.
From this moment on, neurons can die off and not be replaced. In the months to come, the neurons will move around to form the cortex. Over the following months and until birth, the nerve cells will grow and diversify. The connections between neurons create a complex network. Most of the connections are made in the middle of the brain, whose job is to oversee vital functions like breathing, the sucking reflex and sleep patterns.
Your baby begins to sleep for longer and uninterrupted periods, usually at the same time as the mother.
- Your changes: In the sixth month of pregnancy, your belly gets rounder and the baby is growing. You start feeling the extra weight in your back, spine and legs. Blood is surging through your body. Your pulse speeds up a bit, your baby needs oxygen and nutrients as building blocks for growth, and your blood pressure remains normal. By now, your uterus is well above your belly button, is taking up much more room, and may still be causing you some acute ligament pains on the side of your tummy. You feel a more urgent need to sit down, lie down, and rest. Some moms stop working at this stage.
- This is the month when you should start preparing for childbirth, even if you’re considering an epidural. You never know whether it might not be possible at the last minute. Doing things like yoga, sophrology, shiatsu, and swimming exercises to prepare will mostly be a chance to learn how to relax and care for your body.
- This is also the time to work on your perineum by contracting this muscle without tensing up the buttocks or abdomen. These exercises will help loosen up your perineum while preventing urinary leakage after the birth.
- Fourth prenatal exam
- A test is done to check for gestational diabetes, which may result in an overweight baby and a slightly complicated delivery. If gestational diabetes is diagnosed, close monitoring will be prescribed.
- Good to know: You don’t have to pay the €1 fixed fee, the medical fee (franchise médicale), the €18 rate for advanced medical procedures, or the hospital fee.
- Carte Vitale: Update it again to ensure all your healthcare expenses are fully covered starting on the first day of the sixth month through 12 days after childbirth.