Your babys progress - Week 21
Has baby given you a good kick yet? His nervous and muscular systems are finally developed enough to kick out his legs and stretch. Baby’s muscles, nerves and skeletal structures are continually developing in your womb, and you may even notice distinct periods when baby is awake and moving. Baby will have his own athletics programme going on in your belly, stretching, grasping and turning around to build up his muscles, improve his motor skills and strengthen his body in time for his entry into the world. It’s likely that slim women and second-time mums-to-be will feel their babies sooner than first-time mums-to-be. Don’t stress if you haven’t felt a kick yet – it should come in the next week or two.
Baby is now roughly the size of a banana, so he’s growing strong. He still spends the majority of time sleeping and his eyelids are still fused shut. His lungs and digestive system still need more time to come to maturity, and he is developing more brown fat under his skin to regulate his body temperature.
This is an important time for sensory development since each of the senses - taste, smell, hearing, sight, and touch - are also developing into their specialised area of the brain. We’re pleased to report the addition of rapid eye movement (REM); a key component to any healthy baby's sleep schedule, that indicates he’s now capable of dreaming.
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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