Monday, June 06, 2005

Twenty Three Weeks

Your baby is now about 8 inches (20 cm) crown to rump and hovering around the one-pound (500 grams) mark. Her body is well proportioned, but it still slender, with little fat.

She's also sporting new developments from head to toe. Meconium, the baby's first bowel movement, is forming in her intestines. The lanugo that covers her body is darkening. Your baby's lungs have begun to develop surfactant, a substance that will help the lungs to expand following birth. The nerve cells are all in place now. Soon they will begin to join together to form a full nervous system. The dental buds are in place now and the enamel that will create the milk teeth starts to construct itself. Tiny lines begin to appear on the fingers and palms. These will become the future fingerprints. And her fingernails are now completely formed.

You're probably feeling a lot of movement and may even notice some early, relatively painless contractions, called Braxton Hicks. Don't worry -- these contractions don't mean you're going into labor, and your baby is unaffected by them.

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