Your baby is increasingly using her hands and feet to explore her surroundings. All limbs have a full and unobstructed range of movements and the fingertips especially are extremely sensitive. Most of her movements are reflex responses at this stage.
Because water can travel through the skin and the baby is floating in amniotic fluid, her water content is really high, nearly 90 percent. As your baby's skin thickens and becomes less permeable, and her kidneys better regulate the amount of water lost in the urine, her proportion of water will reduce to 70 percent at delivery and again to about 60 percent by the age of 10 as kidney function continues to improve.
Fluids conduct sound waves but the inner ear is still immature and it will be three weeks before a startle response to sounds can be reliably seen on a scan. As both the uterine wall and the ear drums become thinner, she will gradually respond to higher frequencies and quieter sounds.
Pregnant women used to believe that not drinking enough water would make the baby dirty!
While it is important to stay hydrated during pregnancy, the amniotic fluid is not affected by what you drink.
Placenta previa is when the placenta is either partially covering (minor) or completely covering (major) the cervix. In major placenta previa, the baby cannot be born vaginally. Major/complete placenta previa poses a high risk of heavy bleeding, either in the later stages of pregnancy or during the actual labor, which is treated as an emergency.
If a low-lying placenta is detected at your 20-week scan, you may be offered another scan at about 34 weeks; the placenta may "move up" as the uterus grows, and by about 34 weeks no longer be low. With major placenta previa, you may be admitted to the hospital for bed rest in late pregnancy.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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