Can you believe that you're nearing the end of the first trimester already?
It is possible that you will be starting to show slightly this week, although most women will not look pregnant this early on in a first pregnancy. As your ligaments and muscles stretch to make room for your expanding uterus, you may also start to notice some small aches, pains and twinges.
Changes to you and your body
A few mild aches and pains are perfectly normal at this stage and a good sign that your body is busy preparing for the months ahead. However, you should always contact your doctor or midwife if you feel any pain that is not manageable or experience any cramps or bleeding. Pain or bleeding can be a sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
You may still be feeling a little sick and very tired at this stage of your pregnancy so make sure you look after yourself and rest whenever possible. Some women also experience headaches and back problems as a result of pregnancy hormones, which again is perfectly normal. Just be sure not to take any painkillers without speaking to your GP or midwife first.
Changes to your babyYour baby is now around 3cm long and approximately the size of a large grape. The arms and legs are continuing to grow and the wrists and ankles are mostly formed. The fingers and toes are also visible. By the end of this week the outside part of the ears will have developed. Eyelids are developing, but they will stay fused shut for some time to come.
Around this time, the foetus becomes much more recognisable as a tiny baby. The head is still large in comparison with the rest of the body, but all of the body parts are in place though they still have some way to go before they are fully formed.
Your baby's genitals have started to form though it's still not possible to tell his or her sex from an ultrasound scan.
Your baby's genitals have started to form though it's still not possible to tell his or her sex from an ultrasound scan. The placenta has also developed and although it is still growing it is able to begin its job of supplying your baby with nutrients, removing waste and producing pregnancy hormones.
Tips for a happy pregnancyIt is important to make sure you drink plenty of fluids whilst you are pregnant, even though you might constantly need to visit the toilet! Fruit that has a high water content, such as melon and pineapple, can also help to keep you hydrated - pineapple is also said to help stave off those feelings of morning sickness!
The progesterone hormone causes the softening of gum tissue and you could be more likely to suffer from bleeding or swollen gums while you are pregnant. It's also a good idea to consider making a dentist appointment since dental care is free during pregnancy.
This might be the week when you have your booking appointment, which is your first antenatal appointment. Your midwife will take all of your details and medical history and probably supply you with a timetable of your future appointments. This is a good time to ask any questions you may have, such as how to stay healthy during pregnancy, options available for the birth in your area or when you will have your first scan. Your midwife should also be able to give you details of antenatal classes in your area.
At your booking appointment, your midwife might take a sample of blood, a urine sample, check your blood pressure and measure your height and weight. Internal examinations are no longer routinely given during pregnancy.
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