25 weeks and 7 days pregnant
The space between the two frontal bones of the forehead (the dark line) has now nearly closed. The bones on the left and right sides come to lie very close to each other with a small gap to allow for further growth of the head and brain.
Dreaming is a natural and healthy part of your sleep cycle, but at this stage of pregnancy unsettling dreams can be common.
Vivid dreams are common among women in the third trimester. You may, in fact, not be dreaming more than usual, but difficulty in finding a comfortable sleeping position and waking often to go to the loo may mean that you remember your dreams more than usual (you normally would not wake during the dreaming phase of your sleep cycle, so often do not recall your dreams in the morning).
It is common to dream about babies and small children in distress or danger. It is not uncommon for women to feel anxious about such dreams, but you should know that they are in no way insights into what is in store for you. Dreaming is a way of filtering any negative emotions so that you do not have to experience them at first hand. Rest assured that, although disturbing, these dreams will help you to cope with your natural concern for your baby’s welfare.
As part of the build-up to your baby’s birth, you may be offered a tour of the hospital. Not only will you be able to see first hand where you’re likely to deliver your baby, and what the wards are like, but you can also work out the practical details, such as parking, admission procedures, what you’ll need to bring, and what facilities there are, such as cafés and shops for visiting friends and family.
Ultimately, a hospital tour offers you a reassuring chance for you and your partner to prepare yourself mentally for the big day and what will follow your baby’s birth.
Use the opportunity as a fact-finding mission. Ask how the hospital uses birth plans, and when and why they might have to be adapted. Ask how many other mums there will be on the ward, and, if you wish, how you can arrange a private room. There is usually a fee for this. Find out what support you’ll have in the first 24 hours. Most hospitals now expect the mother to keep the baby with her during the night. Ask about visiting hours, and the number of visitors you can have at any one time. You could also ask how many babies are born at the hospital each year, and how many of these are born by Caesarean (emergency or otherwise). Request information about who might be delivering your baby, how long the staff shifts are, and what is done to provide continuity of care during labour and birth.
Are there birthing pools or baths available? Do they have TENS machines or any other form of pain relief you may be considering? What support is there for breastfeeding, and are there breast pumps available?
Finally, although you probably won’t need to use it, you may wish to see the special care baby unit (SCBU). If your baby needs this sort of care, it can help to have seen the equipment and gained a basic understanding of what it’s used for.