Your baby can suck its thumb and now has a wide range of movements and co-ordination. Weighing about 280 grams, its dental development continues as the buds for permanent teeth are already forming behind its milk teeth. Inside your womb, your baby twists and swims and is able to change position as it wishes. The foetal kidneys are constantly producing urine every 40 minutes or so. Most of the foetal waste products go through the placental membrane into your circulation though some pass into the amniotic fluid.
At times, your baby swallows mouthfuls of amniotic fluid, taking in its own urine. This is not harmful. (Bizarre at it may seem some naturopathic teachings advocate drinking your own urine to relieve skin conditions). By now, your energy levels may be rising and at the same time you may be gaining extra weight on your buttocks and abdomen to cushion and support you. It’s a good idea to start practising deep relaxation and steady, rhythmic breathing.
You are now halfway through your pregnancy. The baby has probably more than doubled in size since the start of the second trimester and its body has now reached its correct relative proportions, measuring up to 20 -25cm long. Most of your weight gain occurs between the fourth and seventh months.
Your navel may suddenly pop out and protrude until after the birth. Hormonal changes in your body may produce a warm and alluring scent and trigger a rampant libido. (Or it may not! Appetites vary hugely). Sex will not harm the baby though you may find it necessary to experiment to find more comfortable and enjoyable positions.
Your baby’s muscles are now more developed. Weighing about 390 grams, you may notice there is more activity when you are resting and less when you are moving around. This is because your movement creates a soothing, rocking sensation coaxing your baby to sleep.
The top of your womb, called the “fundus” should almost reach your navel. At your antenatal appointments, your health professional may measure your bump from the pubic bone to the fundus. As a guide, it should measure 1cm for every week of your pregnancy.
As your uterus begins to move above the navel, the skin stretches and may be itchy. This is a normal reaction, though if you notice an abnormal itchiness all over your body at any point contact your health professional to rule out the possibility of obstetric cholestasis, a rare liver-related condition.