Human foetus in amniotic sac at 28 weeks. The umbilical cord is wrapped around the foetus's neck. This is not uncommon at this stage and does not pose much danger to the foetus as the umbilical cord is stiff and will straighten with any movement. At 28 weeks the foetus measures approximately 37 centimetres. Most of the organs have developed, but require growth. The genitals have formed and the sex is determined. The nervous system is starting to function, the heartbeat is audible.

Week 28

Mum

This is the beginning of the third and final trimester. You may find it uncomfortable to sleep at night as your tummy swells. Soon you may find it difficult to lie on your back. Health professionals advise sleeping on the left side during the last trimester as it improves circulation to the heart and allows for the best blood flow to the baby. Also, lying on your left side helps keep the uterus off your liver. Experiment with putting a pillow under your tummy to support it, and another one behind your back to help you sleep on your side. Tucking a pillow between your bent knees helps take the pressure off your lower back. If you have heartburn, try an extra pillow or two to raise your head while sleeping. You can use regular pillows or check out body-length pillows, C-shaped pillows and U-shaped pillows.

Some women may experience what’s known as restless legs syndrome which is a weird sensation in the lower legs and an irresistible urge to move them while lying down. Nobody knows for sure what causes it, but iron supplements can sometimes help.

Dad

Your partner may find it more difficult to relax at bedtime. Offer her a glass of warm milk in bed. Many experts claim that the amino acid L-tryptophan found in milk raises the level of a sleep chemical in the brain called serotonin. You can also try reading her to sleep (the baby will like hearing your voice), or even sing a lullaby for mum and bub – good practice for when the baby arrives.

Baby

Hello, eyelashes! That’s the new feature this week. Other than that, you continue to put on fat, which is crucial for developing more neurons in your brain. You are now as big as a large eggplant.

Photos in the bumpandbaby.co.nz/week-by-week/ are by Lenart Nilsson. Lenart's series was bought to fame when his photo, considered the greatest photo of the 20th century, appeared on the cover of Life magazine in 1965. “Everyone interprets images differently, depending on their social, cultural and religious background. In the digital era, I believe it is more important than ever to go back and take a look inside ourselves. What better way of doing that than with these photos?” ~ Jane Stene, art gallery director and curator of Lenart's definitive black and white series, told the The Guardian in 2019. It is Lenart Nilsson's wish that his images are never used for political debate about pro-life.

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