This week your baby’s heartbeat can be heard with a heartbeat Doppler, and it is starting to resemble a baby, rather than the tadpole shape it begins life as.
Your developing baby
This week in your pregnancy, your baby almost doubles in size to somewhere between 4 and 8mm. If you could see him, you would see a huge head in proportion to his body as the head grows faster to accommodate the growing brain. This week the eyes start to develop and look like big black circles and passageways to the ears will start to form. Buds that will become arms and legs will develop on the body and blood starts to circulate around the tiny blood vessels. As he floats gently in the amniotic fluid, a tiny umbilical cord attaches itself to the placenta, and your baby’s life support system starts to grow.
Your developing body
Some women don’t feel pregnant at this stage, while others will be reminded of the ‘pleasures’ of pregnancy, such as morning sickness, which seems to happen all day (and night), extreme tiredness (almost like jet-leg) and needing the loo more often. These can all be tricky ailments if nobody knows you are pregnant at work. Try to rest as much as possible when you get home from work and consider telling one trusted colleague you are pregnant, who can help with excuses when everybody goes for after work drinks.
The reason you feel so tired is because your body is under enormous pressure not only helping your baby develop but also making the placenta that will be your baby’s support system throughout the pregnancy. Early nights, a healthy diet (see a healthy diet for mums-to-be) and a supportive partner can really help. This stage does not last forever and as your body gets used to being pregnant you will start to feel less tired. Indeed, some women report having more energy than normal during their second trimester.
Most pregnancies and babies are perfectly healthy but occasionally pregnancy infections can occur. Read up about them so you can recognise any early warning signs.
If you haven’t already booked your childbirth preparation classes and want to attend, do it right away as they become very booked up and it is best to complete them before week 34 of your pregnancy in case your baby comes early. See Antenatal tests for details on your Antenatal appointments.