Now that the nostrils have begun to open, your baby will make periodic muscular breathing movements as its body prepares to draw air into the lungs at birth. These breathing movements stimulate lung development and can be detected by ultrasound.
Within the next two days, air sacs (alveoli) will begin to develop in the baby’s lungs. Alveoli continue to form for about nine more years. Your baby is still a lean 820g, or almost two pounds. Its skin is wrinkled and pink to bright red because blood is visible in the tiny blood vessels called capillaries.
By the end of this sixth month of pregnancy, your baby will measure at least 230mm (9 inches) and weigh at least 780g (1 3⁄4 pounds). By this time, eyebrows and eyelashes are usually present. Over the next couple of days, your baby’s fingernails will become noticeable.
Monitor your sun exposure carefully. Any changes you are experiencing in your skin’s pigmentation (especially blotchiness) will be darkened by sun exposure.
While the baby’s nails are growing, yours may be growing well, too. Strong, long, healthy nails often accompany pregnancy because of improvements in circulation and metabolism.
It’s important to monitor your blood pressure during pregnancy for signs of elevation. Increased blood pressure that is accompanied by edema (swelling) is called preeclampsia; the more severe form of high blood pressure during pregnancy is called eclampsia.