Your baby still needs to grow. Their respiratory system has everything it needs to allow it to breathe, but it is still too immature to actually do so without a lot of help. Their lungs are divided over 17 levels, forming the bronchial tree, but air exchange would be very difficult if your baby were to be born now. However, at this point there is usually enough surfactant (a substance that lines the inside of the aveolar surface, facilitating the opening of the cells and preventing sagging) and enough blood vessels to permit gas exchange such that infants born prematurely at this age may survive with help from intensive care.
Have you been trying to picture how big the baby is so far? Well, they’re around 34 cm from the top of head to the ends of their toes. Imagine that their head is around the size of a small-medium sized orange. We’re willing to bet they are just lovely!
One of the best ways to meet your nutrition and calorie needs is by eating a variety of foods from Canada’s Food Guide. This means eating a variety of healthy foods each day including vegetables and fruits, whole-grain foods, and protein foods. Healthy eating habits contribute to the nutritional health of you and your baby. One helpful tip is to try to make half of your plate vegetables and fruits at meals and snacks. Experts recommend that you continue to take a daily prenatal multivitamin to the end of your pregnancy and for 4 to 6 weeks postpartum or as long as breastfeeding continues. Think back over the last few days and ask yourself if you have had any gaps in your healthy food choices. If so, put them on your shopping list and keep them at the front of the refrigerator or pantry.
Even for an experienced mom, it can be helpful to take prenatal classes . Every pregnancy is different, and there may be new information that you will find helpful or interesting. Perhaps you are delivering at a new hospital or birthing centre, or there have been changes in procedures where you delivered before. It might be reassuring to have a refresher class on the changes occurring in your body during labour and delivery, and reviewing some good relaxation techniques for limiting anxiety when the time comes.
Health Canada. Canada’s Food Guide: Healthy eating when pregnant and breastfeeding. Healthy eating when pregnant and breastfeeding - Canada's Food Guide Accessed September 2021.
SOGC. Pre-conception Folic Acid and Multivitamin Supplementation for the Primary and Secondary Prevention of Neural Tube Defects and Other Folic Acid-Sensitive Congenital Anomalies. SOGC Clinical Practice Guideline, No. 324. JOGC. 2015;37(6):534-549.
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