Sing, shout, laugh -- your baby can hear you! As of the end of this week, her hearing will be well established, thanks to the bones of her inner ear, which have hardened and are able to detect sound vibrations. She can pick up noises from outside the womb and from within -- the rush of your bloodstream, the thumping of your heart, and even the gurgling of your stomach. At birth, baby recognizes mom's voice by its frequencies and patterns, so don't be shy about talking to her often during her time in utero. And dads should chime in, too. In fact, research shows that low-frequency sounds mimicking a male voice penetrate the abdomen and uterine wall better than the higher frequencies of the female voice.
The baby is taking on the shape of a full-term baby at this point, but her bones and organs are visible underneath a thin layer of translucent reddish-pink skin.