Your developing baby
This week is a landmark week because all the internal organs are now formed and fully functional. Now all they need to do is get bigger along with your baby. Your baby’s heart is almost completely developed this week and tiny tooth buds are forming in his mouth that will become his milk teeth sometime in his first year. This week his senses are developing and he can taste the amniotic fluid he is swallowing.
His senses are also developing; as he floats gently in amniotic fluid his fingers feel the liquid around him and his lips come into contact with the fluid. He swallows tiny amounts of amniotic fluid which his now functioning digestive system passes out as urine and his first wee! Be careful what you eat, because amniotic fluid tends to taste like the food you have eaten. Research shows that babies prefer sweeter tastes rather than sharp or sour tastes like onions.
Your baby's brain is fully formed now and a quarter of a million neurons (nerve cells that transmit signals to and from the brain and nervous system) are produced each minute.
Your developing body
Morning sickness tends to peak around this time, as a result of high levels of the pregnancy hormone HCG, but don’t worry, for most women it starts to curtail from now onwards and usually disappears by week 12. For some women it unfortunately goes on for longer and this can be frustrating.
For those who have spent the last few weeks feeling sick and exhausted, console yourself with the fact that the second trimester, when most women tend to feel much better and even ‘bloom’, is just around the corner. Remember to eat little and often because morning sickness seems to get worse on an empty stomach. Keep healthy snacks like bananas or dry biscuits in your desk drawer for a quick fix.
Your uterus is now the size of a grapefruit and expands at a quickening pace as the weeks go on. You probably still can’t tell you are pregnant from the outside, but from the inside your moods may swing from being ecstatic about your pregnancy to weeping uncontrollably. Mood swings are perfectly normal and will calm down very soon.
You may be worried about weight gain and how much you are likely to put on. Although there is a average amount of weight most women put on during pregnancy, lots of women stay the same except for the bump out front and others seem to put on weight the minute they see the line on the pregnancy test. See our clever Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator for information on how much weight you are likely to put on depending on your height, your pre-pregnancy weight and your stage of pregnancy now. It is important to remember that each woman is different, but you can help your body (and baby) by doing gentle exercises like swimming, walking and very gentle yoga. Be sure to tell your yoga instructor that you are pregnant before the class starts.
You may have noticed your gums bleeding when you brush your teeth, again something completely normal that happens because of the high level of progesterone that makes your gums react more to the bacteria in plaque. Did you know that while you are pregnant and for one year after your baby is born you have free dental health check-ups? Ask your midwife for more information at your next appointment.