Your baby’s hearing develops at between 15 and 20 weeks. And even if life in the womb is quiet, it is not soundless, and now your baby can enjoy this. The baby hears the flow of your blood, it hears your heartbeat. And it hears when your intestines gurgle and when you sneeze, cough, burp or laugh. Your baby will be conscious of your voice at an early stage. And in the brain the nerve cells that are connected to taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing are becoming specialised and forming more complex connections. A layer of grease, it looks like paste, is protecting the growing skin from amniotic fluid. This is called “vernix” and it sticks to the lanugo hair. Illustration by Karoline Lenhult
Many pregnant women get small bruises from broken blood vessels on their face, shoulders and arms. Some also have very red palms. The pigment spots which can appear, particularly on the face but also on other parts of the body, are more obvious. These spots normally disappear after the birth, but you must take care when out in the sun. Use creams with a high SPF so that you don't get sunburnt or the pigment spots could become permanent. More about your skin here.