Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he'll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.
In the past few weeks, the top of your uterus has risen above your belly button and is now about the size of a soccer ball. Most women have a glucose screening test (also called a glucose challenge test or GCT) between now and 28 weeks. This test checks for gestational diabetes, a pregnancy-related high-blood-sugar condition.
Untreated diabetes increases your risk of having a difficult vaginal delivery or needing a cesarean section because it causes your baby to grow too large, especially in his upper body. It also raises your baby's odds for other complications like low blood sugar right after birth. A positive result on your GCT doesn't mean you have gestational diabetes, but it does mean that you'll need to take the glucose tolerance test (GTT) to find out for sure.
Finally, if you don't already know how to spot the signs of preterm labor, now's the time to learn. Contact your caregiver immediately if you notice any of the signs mentioned below.
Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. Her weight — a pound and a half — isn't much more than an average rutabaga, but she's beginning to exchange her long, lean look for some baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she'll start to look more and more like a newborn. She's also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you'd now be able to discern its color and texture.
You may also notice that you can't move around as gracefully as before. Unless your caregiver has advised you otherwise, it's fine to continue to exercise, but follow a few safety rules: Don't work out when you're feeling overly tired and stop if you feel any pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath. Don't lie flat on your back and avoid contact sports as well as any exercise where you're apt to lose your balance. Be sure to drink plenty of water, and make time for both warm-up and cool-down periods.
As for me, doing well. I'm starting to get cramps when I jog, so I'm thinking those days might be over and my physical activity might now need to be limited to walking, biking, and lifting weights. I have my glucose test this Monday. Other than that everything is going well, I'm still in a very comfortable stage where I'm not so big that it's uncomfortable yet. I'm still on track to gain about half of what I gained last pregnancy, so I'm relieved about that! I'm just starting to get a little more tired than normal and have taken a mid-day nap upon a few occasions.