At this time the uterus, which is usually the size and shape of a small pear, has become swollen and slightly enlarged. Increased blood flow to the cervix goves it a purplish tinge and also becomes softened. Care The baby is most vulnerable in these first weeks, so you need to take precautions.
- Discuss any regular medication you need to take as soon as your pregnancy is confirmed.
- Make sure that your work conditions are not hazardous to your baby’s wellbeing.
- Stop smoking or drinking alcohol.
- Check for rubella (German Measles) immunity before you conceive.
- Keep high standards of hygiene with pets to avoid toxoplasmosis infection.
Changes in your body
- You may experience Nausea, Fatigue, Breast Tenderness, Micturation, Miseed Period(s), and of course, Unusal Food Craving at any time of the day.
- Breast becomes tender and heavier.
- No control on your moods. Your emotions may be unpredictable because of hormonal changes.
- Feeling lethargic and tired is something very common.
- The embryo, which may now be called foetus has all the developing internal organs in place and is about the size of a small strawberry.
- The foetus moves around a lot, though you cannot feel these movements yet.
- In the 8th week, the foetus has a face with a nose, mouth and tongue and the heart and internal organs are established
After about 12 weeks of pregnancy, symptoms of morning sickness ease out. You should start gaining weight now. The amount of blood in your body increases steadily from now on so your heart and lungs have to work harder. Kidneys increase their work too. You may experience some constipation as the bowel slows down. Changes in your body
- Nausea diminishes and you start feeling better
- Constipation may become a problem
- You may be able to feel the top of the uterus just above you pubic bone
- The genital organs can now be seen clearly with ultrasound
- The eyes are completely formed and the fingers and toes are developing though they are still joined by webs of skin
- The internal organs are now working
- Baby’s movements are becoming stronger because his muscles are developing.
You will start feeling better and more energetic. Your waistline will disappear and your muscles and ligaments slacken. Weight gain will be rapid now. Start wearing comfortable clothes. Go out and buy a good bra with adequate support. Medical tests
- A screening blood test checks the level of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) in your blood. If there is a higher or lower level than usual, this may indicate Down’s Syndrome or spina bifida in your baby.
- If you have had problems with an incompetent cervix before, a suture will be inserted at this stage under a general anaethetic
Changes in your body
- Your hair becomes thicker
- Your nipples and areola become darker
- Your waistline has disappeared and there is a visible bump
- You may notice a skin pigmentation on your face, breasts and arms
- You may have more energy at this stage
- The foetus’s skin is transparent
- Tiny fingernails are visible
- As the tiny bones in her ears harden, the baby can hear sounds
- Her movements become vigorous
- Fine hair, called lanugo appears all over her body
- The head appears large in proportion to the body
Now you can feel your baby’s movements as light, butterfly-like ripples. You could go in for an ultrasound at 20-22 weeks to check if the baby is growing normally. Changes in your body
- You start feeling your baby move light flutters
- Your breasts may produce colostrum, the first milk and gums may bleed
- Breasts increase in size
- Your skin may darken
- You may also experience heavy vaginal discharge
- Stretchmarks may appear on your abdomen
- The baby’s teeth start forming in the jawbone
- He begins to move around more vigorously in the womb
- The baby’s hands can form fists
- Hair may appear on her head
Your most rapid weight gain takes place at this stage. You need to conscious of you posture. Ensure that your shoes are comfortable and rest with your feet up when possible. Your increased fluid levels may cause you to sweat more. Changes in your body
- You need to wear loose fitting clothes as you are visibly pregnant
- Your face may appear puffy because of water retention
- Increased circulation may cause increased sweating
- You may experience rib pain as the baby presses upwards towards you ribcage
- Creases start appearing on baby’s palms and fingertips.
- She can suck her thumb in the womb
- The body is now more in proportion with the head
- The skin has lost its translucent quality
- The nostrils open and she tries to make breathing motions
You should be taking plenty of rest and sleep. You need to go for antenatal checkups more regularly now. Changes in your body
- Stretchmarks in your stomach or thighs become bigger
- You may experience lower back pain which is caused by the enlarging abdomen and loosening of pelvic joints
- As the uterus expands you may feel heartburn or indigestion
- Veins on your breasts become noticeable
- The womb has risen halfway between your navel and breastbone
Changes in your body
- Micturation, or urgency to urinate may increase as uterus expands, putting pressure on your internal organs and diaphragm
- Your lower ribcage may feel sore due to the baby’s pressure
- Your uterus starts to contract in practice for labour
- Your navel is inverted and looks flattened
- The placenta has reached maturity
- Most babies now turn head downwards (cephalic position) in preparation for birth
- Her face is now smooth with most of the wrinkles gone
By now you shall start preparing for birth. The mother’s instinct becomes strong in the third trimester. You can shop for your baby and buy breastfeeding bras for yourself.Changes in your body
- As the baby’s head drops, breathlessness and heartburn should decrease
- Your large abdomen makes it difficult for you to sleep, so you need to find a comfortable position
- You may have backache and stiff joints
- Pelvic pain may increase with the pressure of the baby’s head Baby’s Development
- The baby is gaining weight
- She has shed most of her fine hair
- Her fingernails grow to reach the end of her fingers
- The irises of her eyes are blue
The expected date of delivery is near and you would be feeling very heavy and tired.Changes in your body
- You feel tired and moving around takes a lot of effort
- Your lower abdomen feels very heavy and your skin is tight and uncomfortable
- Your cervix is softening in preparation for labour
- The baby is now full size
- If the baby is a boy, the testicles will have descended
- Most of the vernix has gone, but some may still be present in skin folds
- Her fingernails are long