The 6th month of pregnancy (22-26 weeks) is the last month of second trimester and the relaxing period for the mom to be. Soon the weight gain, bulging belly and the nearing childbirth is going to end the honeymoon period the mother enjoyed during the second trimester.
The baby is speedily gaining enough life skills to begin a life outside the uterus. The baby is more active and kicking around the uterus freely. In case of birth, some babies are known to survive at this stage with intensive care and medical help.
Changes in the baby
During the sixth month, we can say the baby is completely alive and almost ready to survive if born now. The baby begins to practice walking action by pedaling his/her feet and kicking the mother sometimes right in the cervix. Though it hurts at times, it reassures the mother that everything is fine with the baby.
- The baby is sensitive to light, which is expressed by opening and closing of eyes.
- The baby is ready for that all important first cry at birth with well developed and active vocal chords.
- The baby is developing firm grip.
- The baby is having hiccups due to swallowing amniotic fluid
- The baby is developing the blood vessels of the lungs, and the nostrils begin to open.
- The baby is now hearing and registering the voice of its parents when they speak to the bump.
- The baby is producing meconium in the intestines, which is black, tar like substance that will be seen in the baby’s first stool.
- The baby weighs nearly 700 gm and measures 28-34cm in length.
Changes in the mom to be
The mother will go through the routine checkups during the sixth month of pregnancy as it is important to continue with the regular prenatal care regime, even though the mom to be is feeling fine. The belly begins to protrude now, and as a result, the mom changes posture to maintain balance.
- The mother can feel not only the strong movements of the baby but also identify the pattern of activity by this stage.
- Braxton Hicks contractions may set in.
- Hands and feet may become itchy.
- Leg cramps may appear when walking.
- The emotional turmoil continuous, with doubts about whether she will be a good mother or not.
- The uterus now is up to nearly 2 to 2½ inches above the belly button.
- Some women experience nasal congestion, backache, bleeding gums, fuller breasts, and increased appetite.
- Headaches, dizziness, leg cramps, varicose veins, itchy stomach, hemorrhoids, protruding naval, skin changes, carpal tunnel, tingly hands, and clumsiness are all the part and parcel of the journey, though luckily some may not have severe symptoms.
Tips for the 6th month
Though rest and relaxation is required for pregnant women, it is also important to indulge in some prenatal exercises that will aid easy and safe delivery. For those who want to attend childbirth classes, now is the right time to enroll.
- Increase potassium and calcium intake to reduce cramping in legs.
- A warm glass of milk before bedtime is relaxing and good.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits, especially grapefruits, oranges and bananas which are rich in potassium.
- Keep the stretching skin moisturized and hydrated to prevent itching.
- The dad or the siblings can now bond with the baby by listening to its heartbeats.