The hands are well developed at this stage, but, as can be seen here, the skin is very thin and transparent, which means the developing bones of the fingers and the blood vessels can be seen.
Around this point in the second trimester, the bones of your baby's inner ear have formed and he starts to hear. Previously, your baby would have been able to feel the vibrations created by noise, especially when you talked, even though he couldn't hear sounds. Research has found that when an unborn baby hears something, his heart rate might change or he might move. You may be able to feel your baby move in response to a certain noise or type of music.
Your baby can now hear you when you talk to him, or when your partner talks to him (in fact, babies are thought to be able to hear deeper male voices more clearly than female ones), and when you give birth he will already be familiar with the sound of your voices.
Constipation is a common symptom of pregnancy, mainly because the hormone progesterone slows down your bowel function, making everything more sluggish. Many women exercise less than usual during pregnancy, which can also cause things to become blocked. Finally, iron pills, which may be prescribed for anemia, are notorious for causing constipation.
There are, thankfully, many ways to relieve the problem:
Recent research shows that living with a cat or dog in early childhood may reduce the risk of your child developing asthmatic symptoms. The study found that children residing with cats were more likely to have allergy-related antibodies to felines. Never leave your baby alone with a dog or cat.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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