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The sixth month of pregnancy

by cheree Published on 5 June 2008

When you’re six months pregnant, your baby measures about 22cm from head to tailbone, weighs 700g, and is considered viable, meaning he/she could theoretically survive outside the womb. You may start experiencing contractions, and start to feel the weight of your stomach on your back and legs. Time to really take it easy and look after yourself.

Your body
- You'll really start feeling the need to rest up now, which is normal because your body is reacting and responding lore and more to the life developing inside you.
- To make sure your baby gets enough oxygen and nutrition, your blood circulates at high speed through your body and your pulse quickens, but your blood pressure remains normal.
- Amongst some of the slightly unpleasant side-effects: your eyes can become irritated more easily; don’t forget to use a cream or oil to prevent and minimise stretch marks on your breasts, stomach and hips; and invest in maternity bras if necessary.
- Your uterus now measures 24cm from the top of your pelvic bone up. Taking up more and more space in your stomach, it might cause sharp ligament pain in your side. As your uterus expands, it also causes contractions that are totally normal and shouldn’t worry you as long as they remain irregular and don’t occur more than 10 times a day. As the uterus pushes onto your stomach more and more, it might also cause acid reflux.

Psychological effects
All these changes to your body can be difficult to deal with and it’s impossible to ignore the fact that you’re pregnant! Some women struggle to accept it while others see it as an added bonus. With your baby moving about a lot more, you might also start asking yourself questions about your ability to look after your baby, how you’ll manage, etc. Talk to friends and family about your worries: they’re there to offer you support!

Your baby’s development
- Your baby still has crumpled skin but gradually becomes viable, meaning he/she could theoretically survive outside of the womb (if born prematurely). Your baby's nervous system and muscles develop a lot, allowing for more movement. The lungs continue to grow but aren’t fully developed yet.
- Your baby moves a lot more, has clear sleep patterns, and swallows your sweet-tasting amniotic fluid. Your baby makes inhaling and exhaling movements with his/her thorax as if doing breathing exercises and sometimes gets hiccups!
- Your baby is more receptive to the outside world, sensitive to touch, music and mum and dad's voices, as well as loud noises!


Follow our guide to eating properly, taking gentle exercise and choosing the right type of sport during pregnancy in our article Pregnant and feeling great.

by cheree

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