Safety and Wellness
Your Baby's Development
The wrinkly, tiny fetus you may have seen on earlier ultrasounds has given way to an almost plump baby. There is fat on your baby’s cheeks, and powerful sucking muscles also contribute to your baby's full face. Your baby now weighs a little under 6 pounds (2,721 grams).
The bones that make up your baby’s skull can move relative to one another and overlap each other while your baby’s head is inside your pelvis. This phenomenon is called molding, and it helps the baby pass through the birth canal. Don't be surprised if your baby arrives with a pointy or misshapen head! After a few hours or days, your baby's head will be back to a rounded shape.
Starting this week, you may begin to see your health care provider every week. Your doctor or midwife may give you an internal exam to determine if cervical effacement (thinning of the cervix) or dilation (opening of the cervix) has begun. You may experience engagement (also known as lightening), which is when the baby drops into the mother's pelvis in preparation for labor. Your appetite may return because the baby is no longer putting as much pressure on your stomach and intestines, and if you've been experiencing heartburn, the baby's descent may somewhat alleviate it.