This week, your baby measures about 1 1/2 inches from top to bottom–about as big as a cocktail shrimp and similar in shape. Tooth buds are forming, bones are growing, and hair is starting to sprout. Her eyelids are fused shut and will remain closed until week 27, but she can hear you now since the inner workings of the ear are complete. Neurons appear at one end of the spinal cord, and the basic divisions of the brain are present. She can also bend her arms at the elbows and has distinct fingers. Genitals continue to form, but your doctor would not be able to determine the sex yet, even by sonogram.
Your emotions may be in flux, sending you on a wild emotional ride punctuated by gleeful highs and frustrating lows. Pregnancy hormones are driving the mood roller coaster. It doesn’t help that you may have spent much of the past weeks queasy, exhausted, or anxious (possibly all of the above). But the second trimester is just around the corner, and with it may come welcome emotional relief as hormonal fluctuations even out.
Do’s and Don’ts
Do eat for two–just don’t eat twice as much! Add an extra 300 calories to your diet. It may sound like a lot, but it’s actually the equivalent of only about two and a half cups of low-fat milk. Make those calories count by choosing healthy snacks like yogurt and fruit that will boost your calcium intake and help you get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. But there’s no more health risk to the occasional slice of cake than there was before you were pregnant.
Talk to your doctor or midwife about whether you should get a chorionic villus sampling (CVS) test. CVS, usually performed between weeks 10 and 12, checks for genetic abnormalities and is comparable to amniocentesis. Women who choose CVS usually have a family history of genetic disease and are 35 years old or older.
Mom to Mom
“You’ll get plenty of pregnancy advice from books and from your doctor, but you should also talk to the real pros–the women who’ve been there. Parents will be eager to offer tips on everything from curbing morning sickness to shopping for maternity clothes.”–Pamela Kramer, Colorado mother of two
Shopping for a new pregnancy wardrobe won’t break the bank if you head for discount retailers such as Target or Wal-Mart. Many of them have lines of hip, affordable maternity wear, including those created by maternity fashionista Liz Lange.
“Om” your way to good health with prenatal yoga–it tones your upper body and thigh muscles, making it easier to carry the extra weight. It also strengthens your pelvic floor muscles, which will make a difference when it comes time to push, and eases lower back pain.
When you need to research baby-related purchases such as the best cribs and strollers, ask your partner to take the lead. Divvying up the duties that come with pregnancy will help you learn to share the parenting load later on.
Want to move your body and have fun at the same time? Hop on a swing alongside your child or chase her around the yard. She’ll enjoy your undivided attention (a soon-to-be-rare commodity) and be pleased that Mommy’s spending time with her doing what she loves–playing.
Good news for older moms: According to a study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, twins born to women over 35 don’t have a higher risk for complications at birth than twins born to younger moms.