Your developing baby
It probably feels like you have been pregnant forever, especially when you think back to when you saw that first positive pregnancy test. Don’t worry you only have (about) ten weeks to go!
This week your baby measures around 40cm and can distinctly recognise your voice. When she is born she will turn her head towards you when you speak. She’s busy practising her breathing in preparation for when she has to use her lungs properly, but sometimes she swallows amniotic fluid down the wrong way and hiccups.
You may have already noticed your nipples becoming larger, much darker and your breasts may be veiny, but some women also notice a small amount of white substance leaking from their nipples, which is called colustrum and is the first milk your baby will drink if you plan to breastfeed.
It might surprise you to learn that breastfeeding is a skill that has to be learnt and not always as simple as just brandishing a nipple near your baby’s mouth to get the whole thing going. Once you have a few basic skills under your belt (or your bra), you will find it a rewarding and natural experience. Often though, women feel frustrated and upset because they have found breastfeeding very difficult to master, mainly due to a lack of support and sensible advice. The really important thing is not to give up.
Unfortunately, breastfeeding is not always a piece of cake from the start, but on the positive side, that is usually only due to some minor adjustments being made and when they are rectified, so is the ability to breastfeed properly and happily.
Some babies (and women) take to it easily and others find it far more difficult. If you have the right support from your partner, healthcare providers and family or friends, you are going to find it a whole lot easier.
This week, ask your midwife if there are any breastfeeding workshops you can attend before the birth of your baby if you are planning to breastfeed.