Pregnancy - 21-24 weeks
By Adela Stockton. About the author
What is happening to mother
You are likely to become more aware of your baby's growth around this time as your belly expands some more and your breasts become fuller and darker around your nipples. Other people may start to congratulate you on your pregnancy.
If you have decided to have your 20-22 week anomaly scan (see previous entry) you will be able to see your baby in some detail on the screen and the ultrasonographer should remind you to look away when she is screening her genitalia, unless you specifically wish to know if she is a boy or a girl. It is important to keep in mind that, first and foremost, this scan is to check for any possible problems with your baby's development however.
What is happening to baby
Your baby's internal organs are now organised into their lifelong positions. Her large intestine and cerebral cortex are recognisable and her nostrils have opened up. She will have times of sleep alternating with activity and may respond to sounds. She may also begin sucking her thumb at this stage! By week 24 your baby measures around 20cms and weighs around 635g.
Things to think about
Your MATB1 certificate is available to you from 20 weeks, although you can use it from whenever you choose to take your maternity leave thereafter. This form provides proof of the date your baby is due to be born and you will need it in order to claim any maternity pay or benefits that are/become due to you.