Week Twenty Three: Sense of balance develops
Your baby does a regular ‘workout’ inside your womb. He or she turns from side to side and head over heels. Thanks to a fully developed inner ear, which controls balance, your baby may have a sense of whether he or she is upside-down or right side up in the womb.
Skin pigment is now forming. The fetus is now proportioned like a newborn except it is a thinner version of a newborn baby since its baby fat has not developed much yet.
The pancreas, essential in the production of hormones, is developing steadily. Baby has begun producing insulin, important for the breakdown of sugars.
If born now, your baby would have a 20% chance of survival, the odds going up with each passing day. By this week, your baby weighs a little over 1 pound (500g). Its crown to heel length is 11 inches (28cm).
Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she’s more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby’s increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won’t faze her when she hears them outside the womb.
Your baby is still small enough to move around freely in the womb, but by this stage many have already settled into a head-down position. This is the best position for birth but if she’s still head-up, there’s plenty of time for her to turn. You may have noticed that she already has regular waking and sleeping times, and she might follow the same routine after the birth. She might also become more active if you play loud music or eat a sugary snack, like ice cream, proof that she’s becoming more connected to the outside world.
Baby’s now the size of a papaya!
Baby’s little face is fully formed…minus the baby fat, of course. The next task at hand for baby: sprouting two teeny-tiny nipples!