Your baby measures about 1.5 inches (4 cm) from crown to rump. Your baby looks more and more like a tiny human—the head becomes rounder, the skeleton hardens, and the fingers and toes have divided. The baby is moving more and more in your uterus and can smile, wrinkle her brow and suck her thumb.
Your baby can now swallow amniotic fluid.
The digestive system is able to process sugar (glucose) and the umbilical cord transports nutrients and waste products between the placenta and the baby. Everything the mother eats and drinks passes to the baby via the placenta.
You may notice that your nausea has started to subside, or it may stick around a few more weeks. If it does start to subside, it usually feels like you’ve got your life back—one of the small milestones worth celebrating on your journey toward finally welcoming a little brother or a little sister.
It is normal to have put on between 2.2 to 11 pounds (1 to 5 kilos), but if you’ve experienced severe nausea and vomiting you may actually have lost weight. This is normally nothing to worry about—weigh yourself at your prenatal visits and discuss it with your midwife. How much weight women gain when expecting varies from woman to woman and some of the causes are the baby growing in your uterus, the growing placenta, swelling breast tissue, higher blood volume and more fatty tissues in general in your body.
At this point, you may be asked if you want to have a first trimester screening. Did you decide to have the test during your last pregnancy or not? It’s completely up to you whether you want the test. A little refresher concerning terminology:
The first trimester screening is a combined ultrasound and blood test that is performed on the mother-to-be at the end of the first trimester. It is a risk assessment method to determine how high or low the probability is that the fetus has a chromosome abnormality. In other words, first trimester screening does not indicate with certainty that the baby has a chromosome abnormality or not. The test is offered when there is a higher risk of a chromosome abnormality—such as when the woman is older than 35 or if there is any indication of a particular risk. First trimester screening poses no risk to mother and baby, and is completely voluntary. If the test indicates a higher risk, you can proceed with more tests—an amniocentesis, a chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or a non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) are the alternatives available for further analysis.
The NIPT test is another form of non-invasive fetal diagnostic testing. This means that the test does not increase the risk of miscarriage (both an amniocentesis and a CVS are associated with a higher risk). The NIPT test is a regular blood sample and can be done as of week 10+0, though it is typically done (and in line with recommendations) week 12+0. This test also screens for chromosome abnormalities in the fetus. If the test reveals the absence of any abnormality, the result is highly accurate, and you can feel confident with the answer. However, if the test reveals the presence of any abnormality, the result is not as accurate and more diagnostic testing will be required to confirm the result. In other words, a positive screening result does not necessarily mean that anything is wrong. This test can also tell you the gender of the baby if you choose to find out.
Diagnostic testing is always voluntary. It’s a good idea to get information about what a test and a possible positive result means, and how you want to act on the result. If you do not have enough knowledge beforehand, a result indicating a higher risk could trigger a great deal of worry, anxiety and questions.
Pregnancy is all about change. Physical change, obviously, but also mental change regarding thoughts and emotions, and most likely changes to your everyday life and relationship. You and your pregnant partner might recognize the various phases:
Weeks 3–5: The time when you slowly realize that her period is late and you’re going to have a baby.
Weeks 6–11: The mother-to-be often feels ill, with nausea and aching breasts.
Weeks 12–27: The golden period when you’ve reached the halfway mark.
Weeks 28–39: The last few weeks, the mother-to-be’s belly is enormous. A mixture of emotions and anticipation of meeting your baby for the first time.
Why not keep a diary during the pregnancy to chart your experiences? You’ll find it interesting to read later and recall all the things that happened. To do so directly in the app, click on Diary/Images on start screen.