The end of the second trimester is in sight now. You are nearly two thirds of the way through your pregnancy and have probably started counting the weeks away.
The baby is quite big and strong already and is now much easier to feel from the outside. Pregnancy is much more fun for the father now. If he gently rubs his hand over your bump he will feel the baby react, and the baby may also react to his voice.
The fetus is covered with fine, soft hair, called lanugo. His delicate skin is protected by a waxy film called as 'vernix.' This could still be on your baby's skin during birth but will soon be absorbed. It will usually still only be visible on premature or early babies. Babies born well after the 40th week are often completely 'clean'.
The baby's hearing is fully developed. He may respond to things going on around you, such as rows or hard noises. Your baby might not respond to external influences but will respond to your reaction. Try to avoid that kind of stress as much as possible, as it could make him or her very restless. You could notice a similar effect after birth, if your baby cries a lot, for instance.
Your baby has developed a pattern of sleeping and waking. This pattern need not necessarily be the same as yours. Often enough, in fact, it will be the exact opposite. While you are busy doing things, you rock the baby to sleep, as it were. Then, just as you finally sit down to relax or go to bed, the baby becomes highly active!
He will sleep for most of the time though, between 16 and 20 hours a day. The baby needs that much sleep to be able to grow as quickly as he does. Most of the vital organs are well developed by now; just the lungs are not fully functional yet. Inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid will help the lungs mature enough for the baby to survive outside the womb.
Your child's spine consists of about 150 joints and 1000 ligaments.
Up to now, the fetus has had very little fat and been very skinny. From this week on, fat will start to accumulate under the baby´s skin. This fat will enable your child to maintain the ideal body temperature after birth. That's why premature babies are often placed in an incubator until they have reached a weight (approx. 2500 grams) that will enable them to regulate their body temperature themselves.