Your little baby is growing rapidly! He or she is approximately 3.4 inches in length this week or the size of a naval orange, measuring from crown to rump. By the end of this week, your baby will weigh close to 2 ounces. There are quite a few things happening this week with your baby-on-the-way. He or she already has all twenty teeth waiting just beneath the gums. It will be a while yet before you have to worry about teething troubles, though! Your baby’s neck is now complete and continues to get longer. The chin no longer rests on the chest at this point. If you haven’t heard your baby’s heartbeat yet, you will get to this week, if you have a prenatal appointment. Your doctor or midwife would use a device called a “Doppler”, because it’s still too early to hear the heartbeat using a stethoscope.
Your baby is making more and more cute facial expressions now and besides facial muscles, many other muscles are working (with the help of the brain and joints), to allow your baby to move about in the amniotic fluid. Your baby is very active in there, but you most likely won’t feel the first movements (called “quickening”) until closer to 18 weeks or more, especially if this is your very first pregnancy. These sensations feel almost like fluttering butterflies or even similar to a gas bubble. A few women claim they have felt quickening beginning as early as this week, but if you don’t feel anything now, it’s because it’s just too early and your little one is too tiny. Soon, you will be aware of your baby kicking, stretching out and even hiccupping!
Your baby practices breathing movements, and in turn, his or her chest rises and falls in a regular pattern. Your little one “breathes” amniotic fluid in and out of the lungs. Another very exciting thing your baby is beginning to do is suck his or her thumb! This is because your baby’s sucking reflex is developed now. If you have an ultrasound, starting this week, you may even catch your baby sucking his or her thumb on the screen. That’d make for a neat photo to take home with you!
This week, your baby’s hair has begun to sprout! Very fine hair is beginning to form on his or her head. Some newborns have a full, thick head of hair and some look bald, while others are in between with only a little bit of hair. You’re probably wondering which it will be for your little one. Downy hair (called “lanugo”) is also growing all over your baby’s body, which protects the skin. This hair will continue its growth until just before your baby is born, when most of it will disappear. Your baby is developing eyebrows above his or her eyes now and eyelashes are growing on the eyelids, as well.