Height - 29-31 cm, weight - 600-700 g.
Your baby is actively accumulating subcutaneous fat and has already rounded a little by this week. Now he looks more and more like a newborn.
An important event - a special film forms in the baby's lungs, which will prevent them from sticking together when breathing. If the baby is suddenly born now, he can survive, since the lungs are more adapted to breathing than before. Of course, the chances are still too small, but nevertheless they are still not as rare as people think.
All parents should know that since January 1, 1993, new criteria recommended by the World Health Organization have been adopted in our country. This means that intensive and resuscitation care is now being provided to newborns weighing over 500 grams, born from the 22nd week of pregnancy.
We already wrote about this in the article about 23 weeks of pregnancy and now we re-draw the attention of parents to this. Whatever they tell you, from this week on your child has a chance to survive, especially if he is not left without good medical care (special incubators, mechanical ventilation, the steroid Betamezon and any other types of intensive care).
One of the main problems for a child born at this stage of pregnancy, in addition to weak lungs, is the lack of large reserves of subcutaneous fat. Special "brown fat" keeps the body temperature and provides thermoregulation of the baby's body. When burned, this type of fat generates a very large amount of heat (sufficient to maintain the required level) and ATP (a special substance involved in the most important life processes).
Subcutaneous fat deposits begin to accumulate in the fetus only now, so children born at this time find themselves in a critical situation - they lack thermal protection, they are sensitive to hypothermia, poorly maintain body temperature, and can catch a fatal cold in any wind. Therefore, the cases when the newborns did survive are associated with the use of a special warm incubator, in which they developed for about 14 weeks.
The baby's face is taking on personality this week - this is exactly what the baby will look like when you first see him in the delivery room. He has expressed emotions - he knows how to get angry and frown, wrinkle his lips, almost cry (at least, he twists his mouth just as if he wants to cry).
The baby has grown and almost completely occupies the entire uterus. Therefore, his movements become less active, but if he moves, then mother feels his movement from beginning to end. By the way, the movements become the same as in a newborn child, since the muscles of the arms and legs are already quite well formed. During this period, the child more and more studies the information that comes to him from the outside world.
He is frightened if mom is scared, he is happy if mom is easy and fun, he actively works with her and rests and sleeps with her. However, the phases of sleep in the baby and the mother do not always coincide, although most often the child is less active at night than during the day. Scientists say that when he sleeps, he already sees dreams! The only pity is that the baby will never tell us what dreams he had in his mother's womb.
This week your weight has reached +7 kilograms to pre-pregnant. The fundus is 24 cm high. The arms, legs and face become fuller as your body retains water. Watch closely for swelling (see recommendations for week 21). Areolas around the nipples darken more and more.
Bladder problems, nosebleeds, headaches, fatigue, and heaviness in the legs may occur. Excessive sweating appears. Buy yourself a super long-lasting deodorant and swap out synthetic clothes for clothes made from natural materials.
This week you need to visit your doctor and get the following tests:
- clinical blood test;
- blood biochemistry;
- general urine analysis.
During a blood test, your hemoglobin level and most likely your hematocrit will be checked. Both of these indicators report the presence or absence of anemia (lack of oxygen in the blood).
The body has a balance between the production and breakdown of red blood cells (blood cells containing hemoglobin). In a pregnant woman, this balance is disturbed: there is an active increase in blood volume due to plasma, and plasma is able to dissolve blood cells. That is why many people find physiological anemia.
The hemoglobin content falls, and the blood dilution rate (hematocrit number) increases. This is especially true between 22-24 weeks of gestation. If the pregnancy develops normally, then the hemoglobin balance is gradually restored.
The most common type of anemia in pregnant women is iron deficiency, it develops against the background of iron deficiency, which the baby takes from the mother's body.
The occurrence of iron deficiency anemia is facilitated by:
- multiple pregnancy;
- bleeding during pregnancy;
- problems with the stomach and intestines, as well as previous operations on them;
- taking acid neutralizing drugs;
- improper nutrition.
Iron is found in all vitamins for pregnant women. But often it is still not enough and then the doctor may prescribe an additional intake of ferrous sulfate or gluconate. You can also increase your iron levels by eating more liver and spinach.
The problem of anemia must be taken seriously, as it can create additional difficulties during childbirth. Around this stage of pregnancy, a possible birth is no longer considered a miscarriage, but is classified as a premature birth. There is nothing good in preterm labor, of course, it is better if everything happens on time. But still, every day there are more and more chances that your child will survive.
Therefore, it is necessary to know the signs of premature birth in order to either prevent them, or be in time to come to the hospital or call a doctor at home. According to statistics, in the summer there is a slightly larger number of premature births, which, apparently, is explained by the heat, stuffiness and dehydration of the woman's body. This is why it is so important to drink more and remember to always carry a small bottle of water with you.
You will remember that there are Braxton Hicks contractions (see week 23 article). These are harmless contractions and enlargements of your uterus as it prepares for labor. Braxtons last only a few seconds and occur irregularly no more than 5-6 times per day. If contractions (contractions, convulsions) occur regularly and more often than 5 times per hour, then these are not "braxtons", but one of the signs of premature birth.
In addition to contractions during premature birth, bloody, brightly scarlet discharge, sharp and pulling pain in the abdomen and lower back, pressure in the pelvis, drainage of water, a sharp increase in swelling of the face or limbs, and pain during urination are possible. If you see one or two of these signs, call your doctor immediately and call an ambulance.
What can cause premature birth? First, by direct physical impact (for example, my mother fell unsuccessfully).
Secondly, cervical insufficiency (ischemic-cervical insufficiency) - a specific disease in which an almost painless expansion of the cervix occurs, causing childbirth. It is difficult to diagnose cervical insufficiency, mostly it is done only after the first birth, if the baby was born suddenly and without pain. Doctors think that the disease may arise from abortion or other operations on the uterus, but the exact cause is still unknown.
With such a defect in the cervix, the mother may notice that she is in labor only when the child has already been born, so suddenly, quickly and painlessly, the rupture of the membranes and disclosure pass. Of course, this poses a serious threat to the life of both the baby and the mother. Treatment today is that sutures are placed on the cervix, which will narrow the uterine pharynx.
Thirdly, among the causes of premature birth are severe nervous stress and depression (see article on 23 weeks).
Other reasons include polyhydramnios, abruption or placenta previa, malformations or death of the fetus, an intrauterine device that has not been removed, infectious diseases and hormonal disruptions in the mother. The risk group includes women who have already had miscarriages, abortions or cases of premature birth in the past.
To combat preterm labor, you need a complete bed rest, as well as injections of special drugs that suppress uterine contraction. Once again, we emphasize that the first thing to do when signs of premature birth appear should be to call your doctor! In no case should you engage in self-medication!
The first task facing the doctor is to find out the reason for what is happening and make a decision on the need to maintain pregnancy or give birth. In doing so, they must check the timing of the pregnancy and how it proceeded. If you regularly visit a doctor, then there will be no difficulty in determining the term.
Note also that doctors can diagnose "Threat of premature birth" in any case if they do not like something or the patient's complaints seem too suspicious to them. They are reinsured and write out a sick leave, often even put in a hospital. In this case, one should not be particularly afraid or especially annoyed with doctors. They want the best and are responsible for the child in a way even more than you.
23 weeks - 24 weeks - 25 weeks