Welcome to Week 24
Your Baby: Body Heat
Your baby weighs 1 pound, 2 ounces (530 g) and is 8.4 inches (21 cm) tall. She can hear everything now, and also has a sense of balance. She can tell what's upside down or right side up, even in such a small space! Now that she's almost completely formed, your baby will build up body fat to help her retain heat.
Your Body: The Highs and Lows of Pregnancy Lovemaking
Every expectant couple's sexual appetite, and attitude differ. For some, pregnancy is filled with emotional and physical upheavals, which can put a damper on desire. For others, pregnancy is a time to enjoy sex without having to worry about either becoming pregnant or trying to conceive.
Despite these differences, many women follow a similar pattern of sexual interest during the three trimesters. During the FIRST trimester, certain pregnancy symptoms that can put a damper on desire. These may include:
- Extreme breast tenderness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased need to urinate
- Hormonal-influenced mood swings
Some couples have a feeling of increased closeness that may influence their sexual desires.
During the SECOND trimester the initial symptoms have gone away, and may women feel more interested in sex. This may be due to the increased blood supply in the pelvic region. Some women find freedom from birth control adds to a special sense of closeness with their partner.
The desire for sex may change again in the THIRD trimester. Your abdomen is much larger, and it may make sex more awkward. Some women feel unattractive physically. Others may feel more feminine, and this may increase their sexual desire or the desire of their partner.
What's normal for sex during pregnancy is whatever feels right to you. The key is to understand the physical and emotional factors that can affect your libido. Try to be flexible and keep an open-mind.
The best way to deal with changes in sexual desire is to communicate with your partner. Share your feelings with each other. Even with the changes in sexual desire during pregnancy, some women crave closeness like physical affection, gentle touching, and cuddling.
NOTE: If your pregnancy is considered high-risk, talk to your doctor about how to have sex safely.
On a Different Note: Cool Cervix Tool
As your due date draws nearer, you may think a lot about your fears and questions about labor and delivery. Check out the cervical changes during labor tool to find out about the birth process and to see how the cervix dilates during labor.
Now that you've passed the halfway point, it's time to study up on childbirth. You'll want to learn about the whole process -- birth education, epidurals, episiotomies, and so on. Talk to your health care provider, get information from your hospital or birthing center, and quiz friends and relatives who have recently had babies.
Reviewed By: LaQuita Martinez, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Alpharetta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.