THE SIXTH MONTH (Weeks 21-24)
The sixth month of pregnancy marks the last month of your second trimester. By now, you’ve noticed your belly getting much larger—and maybe other parts of you, too. As your baby continues to grow, your body does too. Let’s take a look at what’s going on this month.
What Happens with Your Baby in the Sixth Month of Pregnancy
By the end of this month your baby is nearly fully formed. However, his organs are still developing and his lungs are not yet developed enough to breathe on his own.
Your baby’s head is nearly proportional to his body and his face is fully developed, right down to the eyelids and eyebrows. Although your baby’s eyes are still fused shut, he can sense light and dark.
Your baby’s skin is no longer translucent and he’s starting to gain fat to help keep him warm. His muscles are getting stronger, which you might be noticing as he kicks and squirms. He is also producing white blood cells which will help him to fight diseases.
Your baby is now just over a foot long and weighs one to one and a half pounds.
What Happens with Your Body in the Sixth Month of Pregnancy
By now, backaches, leg, and foot cramps have probably become familiar—if unwelcome—parts of your life. If you’re on the fence about getting a pregnancy body pillow or maternity support belt, know that the discomforts don’t get easier in the last trimester.
You may also have noticed that your ankles and feet are swelling. You might even go up a shoe size. Get used to your bigger feet, they are here to stay. Unlike your tummy, after your baby is born your feet won’t get smaller again (or if they do, it will take years). At least now you have a good reason to buy new shoes!
By now, you might have also noticed that you’re secreting a clear to yellowish fluid called leukorrhea from your vagina. Indigestion, heartburn and hemorrhoids are common complaints now, too.
On the upside, your uterus is moving upwards and not putting as much pressure on your bladder, so you probably aren’t having to use the bathroom as much. You may also start to feel Braxton Hicks contractions. These small contractions are helping your body prepare for labor.
What You Need to Know in Your Sixth Month of Pregnancy
You’ve probably gained 10-15 pounds by now. Remember to keep eating a healthy pregnancy diet, stay hydrated, and take your prenatal vitamins.
If you’re suffering from hemorrhoids, make sure to eat a diet rich in fiber to keep from becoming constipated.
By now, you’ve probably noticed stretch marks on your legs, breasts, and abdomen. These will fade after birth, but will probably not go away completely. If you don’t have stretch marks, be aware that they often show up in the last months of pregnancy—some women get them only in the last week or two! Consider using a pregnancy skin care products like belly butters and oils to help fade any existing stretch marks and to help prevent new ones later one.
How is your baby’s nursery coming along? Have you found a car seat yet? As you get bigger, you may have less energy to get these things in order. Now is a great time to collect things (or register for, if you’re expecting a baby shower) on your baby layette checklist.
You’ll also want to prepare for baby by deciding…
- Will you breastfeed or bottle feed?
- Will you use cloth diapers or disposables?
- If you are having a boy, will you have him circumcised?
Read More About the Different Months in Pregnancy:
- First Month
- Second Month
- Third Month
- Fourth Month
- Fifth Month
- Sixth Month
- Seventh Month
- Eighth Month
- Ninth Month