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Third Trimester 1stTrimester     2ndTrimester

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31 WEEKS, 2 DAYS

61 days to go...

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Your baby today

Your baby's hand coordination continues to improve as her brain is better able to make sense of the feedback it receives. The eyes will often open but only for short periods at a time, reducing the chance of a stray finger coming too close.

By this stage, your baby is the length she'll be at birth, but she's still very thin and needs to gain fat and muscle.

At this stage of pregnancy, your baby's muscle mass and fat are continuing to increase. Her skin is now thicker and less translucent, and begins to look pink rather than red as the underlying blood vessels are overlaid with more flesh. Growth hormone is being produced by your baby's pituitary gland but before she's actually born this does not influence her growth. Instead insulin and insulin-like growth factors are key. As your baby's skeleton is now close to its final size, her overall length is established. Your baby is still, however, very skinny.

A sonographer can make a good estimate of your baby's weight from an ultrasound scan but her final birthweight will very much depend on when she is born. She'll continue to grow throughout the pregnancy, although in the last few weeks growth is mainly due to fat deposits rather than to muscle mass.

If you're trying to guess how heavy your baby will be at birth, the latest research indicates that the size of your baby has a lot to do with "imprinted" genes. These are genes that are marked as having come from the father, which promote the baby's growth, or the mother, which are growth limiting and attempt to preserve her resources.

Focus On... Twins

Dressing your babies

Twins look adorable when they're dressed alike, so you may be buying-and certainly will be given-lots of sets of matching clothing. But it's much easier to tell identical twins apart when they're dressed differently. It also helps everyone relate to them as individuals, which is good for their development.

Also keep practicalities in mind: every time one of your twins gets dirty, are you going to change them both? You may find it pays to be flexible: if there are only two clean onesies, then that is what they'll have to wear, regardless of style or color match. Newborns don't care what they wear, but if you get in the habit of dressing them the same, they may become conscious of it in the toddler years and get distressed if they're wearing something different.

How you dress your babies is your decision, but you could:

  • Dress your babies in matching outfits but different colors, or the same colors but different styles.
  • Only dress them identically on certain occasions, for instance for a family photograph or special occasion.
  • Give any identical outfits you receive to one twin. The next batch of identical outfits goes to the other twin.

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Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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