Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pregnancy Calender: Week 23-27

Week 23
How big is your baby?
About 1 1/2 lbs and over a foot long from head to foot. So, like, a newborn Labrador puppy.
Babies can survive outside the womb at this point (barely, and only if you live in a first-world country and have access to good health care and are close to a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit. Even then, survival rates are about 50%). Personally, I'm a 3 hour drive from the nearest NICU.

This is a pretty recent development; NICU's didn't really exist until the 1960's.

Many scientists are of the opinion that this is the youngest we could possibly get a baby to survive on its own outside the womb. Any younger and the lungs (among other things) simply won't function.

Week 24
How big is my baby?
About the same as a week ago.
Your baby may be able to dream. This is the earliest age that rapid eye movements have been detected.

Week 26
You could start feeling Braxton Hicks contractions at any time. I've seen these described as your body "practicing" for labor. Yet, like the fact that the enzyme relaxin is release waaaay earlier than needed, and your breasts start producing colostrum waaaay earlier than needed (as in, a week after conception), this is probably just yet another stupid and useless side effect of hormones or something. Not all women even get any BHC's, and there's no evidence that there is any advantage during labor.

You could also start leaking colostrum at any point. Being a mammal is FUN!

Week 27 (end of second trimester)
Ho hum, more of the same.
Preterm survivability at this point is greatly increased (and abnormalities greatly decreased).

If you're like me, you can still go whole hours at a time where you forget you're pregnant. But those times are getting shorter and further between.

1 comment:

Caitlin Karplus said...

The doctor I'm working with is of the opinion that essentially 100% of women experience BHC after 30 weeks, but some aren't able to feel them or attribute the feelings to something else (very scientific). The midwife I've worked with agrees that there's no evidence that they help, but in her personal experience, women who consistently feel them later in pregnancy have a lower risk of needing to be induced. Just some thoughts from the front line :)