Your developing baby
Congratulations, you have made it to the third trimester! From now on your baby will continue to put fat on and grow and your tummy will reach magnificent proportions! From now until 30 weeks your baby goes through a very active phase, somersaulting and kicking in his cramped environment.
As he grows there is less room to move, but when he does you’ll feel it. Adding to this is a decrease in the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding him, and that helps you to feel every blow he aims at your bladder!
Don't worry if you can't feel your baby all the time as babies sleep in sleep cycles in the womb just as they will once they are born. Unfortunately this means your baby may sleep a lot during the day and be active at night.
He’ll be busy practising his sucking reflex by sucking his thumb and getting ready to use his mouth for breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. The sucking reflex is essential after your baby is born and is usually activated when something touches the roof of his mouth. This reflex ensures that he has a good latch on the bottle or breast, so important for feeding and putting on weight. Some infants have a very strong urge to suck and may find a thumb or need a dummy to comfort them.
Your developing body
This week there is another increase in the volume of blood being pumped around your system as it reaches five litres. The increased rate may mean you have a slightly raised blood pressure if it is tested, but this is normal at this stage in pregnancy. If it gets too high the doctors will assess you for possible pre-eclampsia, a dangerous condition that affects pregnant women.
The other signs of pre-eclampsia are sudden swelling in the hands, feet, ankles and face, although at this stage in pregnancy most women experience mild swelling due to extra fluids in the body. Another pregnancy ailment women can suffer from in the later stages of pregnancy is varicose veins. Varicose veins happen because of the extra blood pumping around your system, putting pressure on all parts of your body and because your circulation has slowed down.