WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH YOU
Congratulations -- you are halfway through your pregnancy! You're probably feeling wonderful now that you've regained your energy. Finally people are beginning to notice that you are indeed pregnant, as your uterus pushes your abdomen out at the belly button. The uterus now reaches the level of the umbilicus (plus or minus a fingersbreadth). Your care provider has probably been measuring the level of your fundus, or top of the uterus, with a tape measure. It should now be approximately 18 to 22 cm. if you are having one baby and your dates are accurate. Your abdomen may start to itch a bit as stretching occurs. Let your care provider know about this even if though it's probably perfectly normal. (Better to be safe ...)
It is now possible to hear your baby's heartbeat with a special stethoscope, called a Delee stethoscope. Some providers begin to use this type of listening device instead of a doppler. It may now be possible for your partner to hear your baby's heartbeat by placing his or her ear against your bare lower abdomen. If you can't hear it right away, try the other side. Listen every day and you will be rewarded with a tiny, fast, rhythmic beat.
You may be having some trouble taking deep breaths on occasion, particularly if you are short in stature, or overweight. Call your care provider if you exhibit signs of asthma, such as coughing, wheezing when you exhale, or difficulty breathing at any time, especially during, or following, a cold or respiratory tract infection. One in every 100 women suffers from asthma during pregnancy. A recent study published in the British Medical Journal found that women with a history of asthma, who are pregnant with girls, were more likely to experience an increase in symptoms, possibly due to hormonal differences. Asthma can be easily treated, and medications safe for use during pregnancy are a vailable. If you have asthma, it is very important to get a prompt diagnosis so you can avoid distress and complications.
WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH YOUR BABY
Your baby measures about 16.5cm from crown to rump and is steadily gaining weight. A whitish coat of a slick, fatty substance called vernix caseosa begins to cover your baby, protecting her skin during its long immersion in amniotic fluid. It also eases birth. Your baby's swallowing more this week, good practice for her digestive system. After your baby takes in amniotic fluid, her body absorbs the water in the liquid and moves the rest into her large bowel. In her bowel, a sticky by-product of her digestive system, called meconium, accumulates. It'll appear in her first nappy after she's born.