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21 WEEKS, 3 DAYS

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ultrasound of human fetus at 21 weeks and 3 days

Your baby today

In this 3D scan the baby's skin looks quite lumpy in parts. This isn't really the case. If the baby suddenly moves during a scan, the image can have difficulty "keeping up" and creates this unusual effect.

In addition to using fat for essential growth and development, your baby is now beginning to store it.

Up until this time, your baby has had little opportunity to store fat, because growth has been the most important priority. But now your baby starts to lay down a layer of fat beneath her skin and it becomes less translucent. The placenta is responsible for supplying fats to your baby.

Fat circulates in your bloodstream and within the placenta it is broken down into three free fatty acids, as well as cholesterol, which are passed into your baby's circulation. These fatty acids then recombine to form fats for storage or growth.

Fats are important for adequate nerve and brain development. A layer of fat covers each nerve cell, insulating it from adjacent nerves and improving its connections with other nerve cells.

Ask A... Mom

Should we tell people the name that we've chosen?

I would advise you not to. We told people at first and found it upsetting to find we had so many negative reactions. People freely told us how they had negative associations with the name or that they knew a cat or gerbil called that-a fact that we didn't need to know! Older relatives told us it was "odd" and went on to give us a list of alternatives.

So I would say keep it to yourself until the baby is born and it's all a fait accompli. It takes a bold person to question your choice once your baby has been named.

Focus On... Twins

Bill and Ben?

Choosing one name can be difficult enough, so if you're expecting twins, start thinking now. If you want to avoid people making jokes at your twins' expense, avoid obvious pairs such as Jack and Jill, and Holly and Ivy. Consider how the names might sound when abbreviated (William and Benjamin, for instance, becomes Bill and Ben).

Finally, it might be a good idea to opt for names of similar length and complexity. For example, young Christopher may be discouraged as he struggles to spell his name, while his twin Jack has no trouble.

As A Matter Of Fact

In Hawaii parents often choose names that are associated with beauty.

Some examples of these are: Nohea-"loveliness"; Leia-"child of heaven"; Maka Nani-"beautiful eyes"; Hiwalani-"the attractive one"; Pualani-"heaven's flower"; and Nani, meaning "beautiful, pretty one."

excerpted from:

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Buy this book now!

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