Pregnancy Week 28 – The Baby’s Progress

Pregnancy Week 28 is a wonderful milestone, as this is the week that typically most babies will open their eyes for the very first time. Your baby’s eyes were developed early on in the embryonic stage but were then sealed shut to allow them to develop. Although the eyes are now open and can rotate from side to side, they are still to mature a little further yet. Their sight is advanced enough not though to make out shapes and color as opposed to the earlier contrasts of just light and dark.

28 week fetus with eyes open

The iris will be slate grey in color and blue by the time he is born. The pigment in the eye will only take on their final color once they are exposed to natural light, usually within a few weeks of being born. Their vision range will be limited as well, it is usually only the distance to the edge of the womb at the time of birth but will gradually increase thereafter. Full 20/20 vision is not acquired until they reach the age of a toddler.

It is also noted that a baby will begin dreaming during this week although it is not clear as to what exactly they dream about. All of the small airways and tiny alveoli (air sacs) will have developed by now but this complex organ will still not be entirely viable outside of the womb yet as they still require a vital substance called ‘surfactant’ to prevent them from collapsing when breathing. The production of this surfactant will usually begin around next week.

By pregnancy at 28 weeks your baby still requires a lot more subcutaneous fat to be able to steadily regulate their own body temperature. This fat is still currently depositing itself all around your baby’s body and as it continues to increase, the lanugo (fine body hair) that currently maintains his temperature (and wards off infection) will begin to disappear. Some of the lanugo may still be present at birth and further evidence of prematurity is the presence of a lot of this hair.

There can be quite a distinct variance in the size and weight between different babies once they enter into the third trimester with male fetus usually maturing and gaining weight a little slower than females however, typically by the end of pregnancy week 28 he should now measure an average of around 16” (40.6cm) and weigh in at approximately 2.5 lbs (1.14 kg).

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(See 28 Weeks Pregnant – The Mother’s Progress)


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