The embryonic stage is over, and from now on the embryo is known as a fetus (we’ll refer to it as “the baby”). Your baby now measures almost 1 inch (2,5 cm) from crown to rump, and the neurons are now developing exponentially. The baby’s ankles and wrists have formed, and fingers and toes are visible. The buds of twenty tiny teeth are forming in the gums.
The sac in which the baby is now located contains about 100 ml of amniotic fluid that allows your baby to move around and exercise its arms and legs. This fluid also provides insulation to help the baby to maintain an even temperature and cushioning to protect baby against bumps and blows. It also provides the baby with nourishment.
Amniotic fluid is produced in the fetal membranes and the entire volume of amniotic fluid is renewed over 24 hours. There is normally up to four cups (one liter) of amniotic fluid present by the end of the pregnancy.
Expecting a child is often an emotional roller coaster, much like during our teenage years. You may recognize elements from before, or it may feel completely different this time. You may get upset and irritated about things that wouldn’t necessarily bother you. This is due to the high pregnancy hormone levels in your body. Add to that any natural anxiety over your pregnancy and becoming a mother again, and it’s easy to see that it could affect your mood and well-being. Be kind to yourself. It’s important and valuable to give yourself a loving pat on the shoulder now and then. If you are feeling more melancholy than normal, tell your midwife or physician. You can get help.
It’s common to feel exhausted in the evenings and to want to call it an early night. If you have young children at home, you may not have time to give this much thought—which is both a blessing and a curse.
Your breasts may change shape and appearance this time too. You will likely go up one or more bra sizes during your pregnancy. A firm bra that provides plenty of support is a comfortable alternative. Breasts are often most tender during the first half of the pregnancy.
If you’re not taking vitamin and mineral supplements already, now is a good time to start. You could also add an iron supplement. Consult your midwife or physician.
It’s a good idea to include your partner, if you have one, in the changes you’re experiencing. Not only will this make them feel part of your pregnancy, it will make it easier for them to support you and understand what you are going through. People can’t read our thoughts so the more you communicate about how you’re feeling, the more support and help you can receive.
Your baby has now passed the first of the most sensitive developmental stages, and everything will continue to develop from now on.
Do you feel the time has passed quickly or slowly so far? Parents-to-be often find that their perception of time passing varies. With all the physical changes happening to her body, the mother-to-be might feel that the first few weeks go quickly, while her partner may find the time drags on. As the pregnancy progresses, you’ll probably find that the weeks go more quickly and that it becomes a richer experience for you.