By Neus Ferrando Gilabert BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 11/11/2014

This week you’ve reached half of your pregnancy, since it’s estimated that deliveries take place around the week 40. Although, every pregnancy and every woman are different. You will have put on 5 kilos and from now on you’ll gain half a kilo every week.

The different sections of this article have been assembled into the following table of contents.

Changes in the pregnant woman

The uterus has grown and it’s located where the navel is. It’s not uncommon that your heartbeats are higher since the heart has to pump more blood so that it reaches the foetus and the placenta. This causes deeper breaths, too.

The increase in weight and the blood flow make you feel your legs heavy, inducing the apparition of varicose veins. It’s advisable that you rest your legs regularly, apart from using loose comfortable clothes and proper shoes. If you want to wear high-heels, these must not be higher than 4 cm.

Another thing that must be taken into account is the quantity of iron you consume. Iron is of vital importance during pregnancy, since it plays a vital role in the oxygenation of blood. You should include in your diet food with high quantities of iron, such us red meat, legumes, fish, and spinach, and if the doctor recommends it, a multivitamin.

Fetal development

In the embryo the nipples will develop and if if it’s a girl also the mammary glands.

During this week begins the formation of the vernix caseosa, which is an oily substance that begins to locate under the skin, being protected from the amniotic fluid. At the moment of birth the baby is covered in vernix.

At the end of this week the foetus is 25 cm long and weighs approximately 280 grams. From this moment on the baby is measured from head to toes. Before, as the baby’s legs weren’t developed enough and were really close to the body the measurement was done from the head to the notochord.

During this week the first ultrasonography in high definition can be performed. It’s a technique that offers an image with more sharpness than normal ultrasonography.

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Authors and contributors

 Neus Ferrando Gilabert
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biology from the University of Valencia (UV). Postgraduate Course in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH). Experience managing Embryology and Andrology Labs at Centro Médico Manzanera (Logroño, Spain). More information
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