Pregnancy is a time characterized by an array of emotions, ranging from joy to pain. Entering your seventh month, your baby already weighs just more than a full pound and is approximately 9-inches long. You are now visibly pregnant, having gained on average 10 to15 pounds, and may have experienced some back pain as well as itchy skin from stretching.
Week 25 to 26
During the first half of this month, your baby will grow to a full 2 pounds in weight and more than 9-inches in length. The hearing is fully developed, and as your baby hears noise, his heart rate increases. You may notice that music makes your baby move more, and he is developing patterns of waking and sleeping. You should feel reassured by the increased movement. Weight gain will be around 1 pound per week. As the baby grows, you may feel some rib cage pain.
Week 27 to 28
By the end of the seventh month, your baby weighs about 2.5 pounds and has grown up to 16 inches . Your baby can now suck his thumb, which strengthens the muscles of his jaw and mouth. He can now cry as well and can detect changes in light and dark. As your uterus grows, stretch marks may be visible. Most importantly, your baby has settled into the proper position for birth with his head facing downward. Also, your center of gravity has shifted with the growing belly and pain may increase in the lower back.
Things to Think About
Since this is the third trimester, it is a good idea to begin discussing with your doctor or midwife about the various options of childbirth, including medications for the labor pain. Your doctor should inform you and your partner of signs of labor. It is advisable to begin planning what do once the you start going into labor. It may be wise to assign a close family member or friend to make phone calls so you don't have to worry about it. You'll start seeing your doctor more often now, likely every two weeks. Visits will include a urine test and cervix check; and your doctor will listen to your baby's heartbeat and check for any swelling you might have, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
Going into Month Eight
As month eight comes around, your baby will continue to grow and you will continue to gain weight. You may have early contractions, particularly if the you are on your feet much. These are likely just Braxton Hicks contractions, which are your body's way of starting the preparations for child birth. They can be brought on by dehydration, sex, a full bladder or if you're very active, according to the American Pregnancy Association. As long as they aren't continuous or strong, your doctor may continue to allow you to work. Contact your doctor if Braxton Hicks contractions don't ease up after taking a warm bath, changing positions or drinking extra water.
Now is a good time to research and begin childbirth classes. Also, because the baby can respond in utero to singing, talking and reading, you can read books or sing songs close to your belly. A 3D ultrasound at this stage of pregnancy will show many distinguishable features of your baby, so you could opt to have one performed during the seventh month.
- "What to Expect When You are Expecting," Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, Sandee Hathaway, 2008
- "Great Expectations," Sandy and Marcie Jones, 2004
- American Pregnancy Association: Braxton Hicks Contractions
- American Pregnancy Association: 3rd Trimester, What to Expect at Your Doctor's Visits