The sixth month of a pregnancy marks the earliest period in which premature babies have a decent chance at survival. According to 2004 data from the National Center for Health Statistics, prepared by the March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center, about 80 percent of babies born after 26 weeks-gestation survive in the United States. However, less than 1 percent of babies are born at this point. During the sixth month, an unborn baby is still quite small.
Your unborn baby is considered to be 6 months during the 23rd through 27th weeks of gestation, although information concerning a fetus of 6 months remains valid for many pregnancies through the 29th week. This is the last official month of the second trimester and is a period of rapid growth and many changes.
At the beginning of your sixth month of pregnancy, you can expect your baby to weigh about 1 1/2 lbs. The fetus grows rapidly in this period, so it is very common for your baby to reach 2 lbs. quickly in this month. The unborn baby grows in length as well, and will measure about 12-inches from head to heel.
The sixth month of pregnancy is when a fetus begins to put on a significant layer of baby fat. This fat increases the weight of the fetus and changes its appearance. Instead of a thin fetus with wrinkled skin, the fat makes your unborn baby more closely resemble a newborn. The skin also grows tighter because it stretches from the added fat.
Mothers feel the effects of an unborn baby’s greater weight at 6 months. The uterus grows to roughly the size of a basketball during this month, with attendant physical issues. The skin on the mother’s abdomen often aches and itches as it stretches. Other common symptoms in this period include indigestion, cramps, swelling, back pain and headaches. A significant amount of the mother’s weight gain may appear by this time. Most women gain between 25 and 35 lbs. over the course of the pregnancy.
Keep in mind that all pregnancies are individual and that the standard fetus weight at 6 months may not be exactly what you experience. The average allows for a range of weights with 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. being the most common. Despite this, some unborn babies will be smaller and some will be larger. If you have concerns over the size of your unborn baby, be sure to consult a doctor.