The baby is getting ready to interact with the world around it – the nerves in the skin that enable touch and sensitivity to touch are now developing. In the baby's mouth the buds of the permanent teeth are forming above the buds of the milk teeth. Meanwhile the mother notices a change in her centre of gravity and, related to this, a feeling of clumsiness. She may experience cramps in her legs.
During this month your baby will grow to a length of around 37 cm and will weigh about a kilogram. Preparations start for one of the most important skills a baby needs to survive – suckling. The nerves around the baby's mouth and lips become very sensitive. This will allow the baby to sense the mother's nipple immediately. The baby's sensitive skin is full of nerve endings that already serve to transfer information – to the extent that even now your baby could already feel your touch. The umbilical cord, which supplies the foetus with blood from the placenta, is already very thick. The blood vessels in it are protected by a gelatinous substance which prevents knotting of the umbilical cord. In rare cases it can still happen that the baby's acrobatic movements in the amniotic fluid cause a knot to form in the umbilical cord, which halts the flow of blood. It is therefore very important for the mother to pay attention to any change in the regular movements of the baby, right up until the end of the pregnancy.
Just so that you don't only blame hormones for bad things – if you notice that your hair is more luxuriant and shiny than before, that is also due to hormones. They also make sure that your hair falls out more slowly – although this only works up to the birth. Apart from this you are probably feeling increasingly clumsy and you may be suffering from mild back pain. By this stage the uterus is so big and heavy that your centre of gravity has probably changed slightly, while at the same time the action of hormones has slightly loosened your ligaments, and your joints are under increasing strain.
Continue to exercise regularly, but be careful not to overdo it. Listen to your body and stop if exercise becomes too tiring. Now it is a great time to encourage your partner to offer you a relaxing leg and foot massage, since leg cramps will probably also become an increasingly common phenomenon.
When did you feel your baby's first movements?Write it in your diary!