Development of the Baby: Your Baby at Seven Months
Your baby could weigh about 2.5 - 4 pounds and measure 14 inches at this time. Here are some other baby facts for 7 months:
- Baby’s kicks are stronger and more purposeful.
- Baby's brain is developing rapidly at this time, and they can see and hear.
- Most internal systems are developed now, but the lungs may still be immature. The baby’s lungs start producing a lipoprotein surfactant that allows the lungs to inflate and stops them from collapsing and sticking together while deflating.
- Baby changes position frequently and responds to stimuli, including sound, pain, and light.
- Your baby’s intelligence and personality are becoming well-defined and unique.
- Baby is also developing a pattern in sleep and wake timings. Your baby begins to experience REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is a sign of dreams. Read good things to the baby and play calming music to make the memories of the day pleasant. Baby opens and shuts eyes during the day. Notice those lovely eyelashes.
- Baby’s bones start hardening. The skull, however, remains softer so that the baby can pass through the birth canal more easily. The plates of the skull slide over each other during birth, which is why some babies are born with cone-shaped heads. Nothing to worry about, though — the shape of your baby’s head will go back to normal within a few days.
- The baby may turn inside your uterus, and when the head goes away from your lungs, breathing may become easier.
- Eyelids slowly open, and eyes respond to light and darkness.
- The soft body hair, called lanugo, starts disappearing.
- Baby’s skin is still red and wrinkled, but fat deposits are beginning now.
- More taste buds develop where babies can distinguish different flavours.
- Baby might get bouts of hiccups. Nothing to worry about, though.
- You might even see the outline of a hand or foot on the outside of your stomach!
- The little one often sticks her tongue out, maybe to taste the amniotic fluid.
Physical Changes and Symptoms for Mum-to-be at 7 Months
It's nice to be aware of the symptoms so that you don’t panic at every little unusual feeling, right?
Blood circulation throughout the body increases 30 to 50% more than usual around the 7th month of pregnancy, so fatigue is expected.
Let’s take a look at what mum-to-be might face.
- Shortness of breath because your lungs are getting pushed by the big uterus.
- Frequent urination from pressure on your bladder
- Abdomen cramps from your muscles stretching and your uterus compressing your stomach
- Possibly, leaky breasts. The creamy liquid that leaks from your nipples is called colostrum. It is the beginning of your breast milk and usually, only a drop or two will leak.
- Heartburn and indigestion. Ease these symptoms by avoiding spicy, acidic, or fizzy foods and drinks and by eating five or six smaller meals instead of three larger ones during the day. The body is able to digest less food at a time better.
- Swollen hands and feet. Remember to drink lots of water. Water will help to flush excess fluid through your system to help minimise swelling. Wearing support stockings can also help.
- The amniotic fluid begins to decrease in amount.
- Stretch marks may increase around breasts, thighs, arms, or buttocks. Please do not use chemical-based creams even if they claim they can erase the marks. Use non-scented oils instead. They will lighten post-pregnancy.
- Now that your abdomen is quite big, you might feel unsteady on your feet. Wear comfortable footwear and walk slowly. Do not bend at your mid-section but at your knees when needed.
- Your breasts will grow and become even heavier. The veins on your breasts might become more visible, and the colour of your nipples might darken.
- Itchy skin: As your skin stretches, it might also itch. Bathe in warm water, not hot water, and apply coconut oil.
- Some mums-to-be complain of varicose veins at this stage.
- There are also reports of pain in the lower back due to the increased pressure of the bump and increased weight.
- The increasing metabolism makes the body warmer, and the mum-to-be might feel hot even in cold weather.
- Your white vaginal discharge will become increasingly heavy this month. Keep the area clean. You can try Yoni Dhupan, too.
- Every day, record 10 kicks, flutters, swishes, or rolls. You should feel at least 10 movements within two hours, but you will probably feel that many movements in a much shorter amount of time.
Nurturing Your Physical and Emotional Health at 7 months
Several mums-to-be report unsteady moods at this stage. It could be because of hormones or the nearing of labour and parenthood. Here are some proven tips for managing your emotional health and physical health, too.
Have frequent conversations with loved ones: Find those two-three friends whom you can talk freely with and say anything on your mind. Just a good listening ear makes a big difference.
Take daily walks: Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and walk on even ground.
Keep an eye on your diet: The baby is putting on fat and internal organs are also growing rapidly now. Your energy requirement will increase as your baby is building layers of fat. You need about 2,400 calories per day from now on. Make sure your plate is varied and colourful.
Vitamin K is essential for blood to clot, which is important after childbirth. So it is recommended that in your third trimester, you eat plenty of food rich in vitamin K so that your body is not low on this critical nutrient at birth.
Keep the iron-intake going. Take fruits and vegetables rich in iron and vitamin C. Also include natural iron sources such as spinach, seeds, and other green leafy vegetables.
Pursue a hobby. Read a book, paint, sing, or try gardening. It will keep you calm, relaxed and take away any unnecessary thoughts and tensions.
Stay away from strong smells. Wear cotton clothes as they are comfortable and use deos or perfumes that are organic.
If you have sensitive skin or eczema, you might experience a flare up at this time because of hormones. So, please hydrate and use gentle oils. Don’t self medicate.
A first-time mum-to-be could experience anxiety over impending labour. A mum who has had a child before might feel scared about going through it again. Do continue exercises for labour preparation and breathing exercises.
Go for regular blood tests, especially if you belong to the Rh-negative blood group, to check your haemoglobin levels and discuss birthing plans with your doctor and partner.
Do not lift heavy objects as it can put pressure on the tummy and affect foetal growth.
Avoid loud music and exposure to excess noise. Your baby’s hearing is developed fully now, and anything loud could make the baby uncomfortable.
Increase fluid intake and avoid salt intake from canned foods, sauces, ketchup, chips, and pickles. It will help you manage water retention and swelling.
Check our blog on pregnancy vaccinations to know what is due this month.
Go on dates with daddy-to-be and talk about your feelings.
Staying Active Safely: Gentle Exercises for the Seventh Month
The 7th month is a transitional period, from the 2nd trimester to entering the 3rd trimester. Though it's important to work on pelvic floor and hip flexibility, there may be someone who feels like slowing down and resting. It's important to listen to the body and take proper rest with gentle exercises.
If your doctor has advised rest and against yoga, please follow those instructions.
Following are a few gentle exercises which can be done under the guidance of a prenatal yoga expert. Don’t attempt it all by yourself, please.
- Joint rotations - Full body
- Butterfly Pose
- Goddess pose and gentle squats
- Cat and cow stretch
- Setu bandha asanas
- Saauthalyasana and Variations
- Pelvic tilts
- Wall push-ups
A handy checklist for pregnancy at 7 months
Don’t feel guilty taking more rest: Your body needs rest and relaxation. Although you might find sleeping slightly tough as your tummy grows, try sleeping on your side with pillows supporting your tummy, and place a pillow between your legs.
Find out about preterm labour: Many mums-to-be tend to get worried about premature labour and can sometimes mistake it for Braxton Hicks contractions. So, learn how to time contractions. Don’t let just back pain send you into panic. However, if there is bleeding, please go to the hospital immediately.
If you experience any of these, please go to your doctor:
- Headache, fatigue, and dizziness
- Extreme pressure or pain in the lower back
- Reddish brown coloured vaginal discharge
- Bleeding gums
- Excessive mucus formation and saliva secretion
- Gastric problem and constipation
- Frequent forgetfulness
- Heartburn and hemorrhoids
Mums-to-be, enjoy your 7th month of pregnancy. Continue talking to the baby, playing calming music, and encouraging daddy-to-be to also bond with the baby.