By this first week of the third trimester, your baby looks similar to what he or she will look like at birth, except thinner and smaller The lungs, liver, and immune system still need to fully mature, but if born now, your baby would have a very good chance of surviving. As hearing continues to develop, your baby may start to recognize your voice as well as your partner’s. Sounds may be muffled, though, because the ears are still covered with vemix, the thick waxy coating that protects the skin from becoming chapped by the amniotic fluid.
Your body instinctively nourishes and protects your baby during pregnancy, but caring for a newborn is a learned skill. Consider signing up for childbirth classes through your local community center or hospital to learn about topics such as labor, options for pain relief, what to expect after delivery, common newborn problems, babyproofing, breastfeeding and formula feeding, and infant CPR. Learning all you can about birth and babies will help you feel more confident, especially if you’re a first-time parent.