Your babys progress - Week 15
Aw – so cute! So, umm, hairy. Baby is now covered in fine hair called lanugo and will be sprouting thicker hair on her head and eyebrows over the coming weeks. The lanugo helps regulate her body temperature and actually grows in unique patterns like fingerprints all over her body. Most of that hair will fall out in the later weeks of pregnancy, and end up being swallowed by baby as she inhales and exhales the amniotic fluid!
The tiny bones inside baby’s ears are now starting to harden and she is beginning to hear sounds, though it is unlikely she can make sense of them. Her brain’s not yet mature enough to process sound correctly, but over the coming weeks she will start to hear your digestive sounds, heart beat and voice (although it will be muffled by the amniotic fluid she’s swimming around in).
Baby now has her taste buds and some studies suggest the fetus can savour the flavour of your adult meals which contain strong ingredients like garlic – although it’s probably not as tasty for baby as the meal you have managed to eat as baby can only take in the flavours transmitted through the amniotic fluid rather than that pasta sauce! The amniotic fluid increases around your baby as she grows and moves more freely, floating like an astronaut in space.
Baby’s umbilical cord is now completely mature. The cord contains two arteries and one vein, enclosed and protected by a thick gristle-like substance called 'Wharton's Jelly'. The umbilical vein gives baby the oxygen-rich, nutrient filled blood from the placenta, with the umbilical arteries returning the depleted and deoxygenated blood back to your body.
Many of your baby's major organ systems are increasing in capacity - especially her amazing tiny heart and circulatory system.
Just like adults, all babies are different and develop at varying rates in the womb. This information gives a general idea of your baby's development and progress.
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This article was written by Alex Brooks for Kidspot, New Zealand's best pregnancy resource.
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