Your embryo now measures about 0.5 inches (1,5 cm) from crown to rump. Eyelids cover almost the entire eye, the nose sticks out, and arms and legs are growing quickly. The embryo is now moving carefully and exercising its muscles. The tail disappears.
During this period the reproductive organs start to develop into male or female. If the embryo has an X and a Y chromosome, this will result in the formation of testicles, a penis and a scrotum. If the embryo has two X chromosomes, fallopian tubes and a vagina will form.
The heart completes its development during this week. The baby still receives some nourishment from the yolk sac, but the placenta is increasingly taking over and the yolk sac starts to recede.
All the pregnancy hormones that are now rushing through your body can cause your skin to change. At times your skin will become smoother, and other times you will get pimples. Because every pregnancy is unique, your skin may react differently to the last time. Your mucous membranes might become more delicate. It’s not uncommon for gums to become sensitive and bleed more easily, for instance. If you are eating a little and frequently to keep nausea at bay, good dental hygiene is particularly important since snacking can result in cavities. Nasal congestion is also common, but avoid using nose drops if you can. Instead, try using an OTC saline nasal spray that can be found in the drugstore.
Tiny, raised nodules known as the areolar glands, or Montgomery glands, may appear around your nipples. These tiny glands give your areola a bumpy appearance. Their function is to produce an oily substance that lubricates the skin and has antibacterial properties.
Craving odd types of food? Do you feel like you’ve acquired unexpectedly different food habits or that you’re craving a particular food? Maybe you’ve gone off coffee completely though you’re otherwise a die-hard coffee drinker? You are not alone. You may be craving something completely different than you did last time you were expecting.
Pica syndrome is the term used to describe a sudden craving for unusual items with little or no nutritional value such as clay, soil or paper. It may be connected to certain trace element deficiencies, such as zinc or calcium, or an indication of iron deficiency. Pica comes from the Latin word for magpie and alludes to “eating almost anything”. It appears that our bodies are capable of signaling what they need if there is a deficiency. For those craving coffee, the recommended amount is no more than two cups a day or roughly 12 ounces of coffee. Too much caffeine can increase the risk of a miscarriage.
No matter how strong and independent the mother-to-be usually is, she’ll probably need more support and attention from you during her pregnancy. Find ways to show her that you care and are there for her.
But this does not mean you should forget yourself and your own feelings. Co-parents can sometimes feel a bit left out. So many things focus on the mother-to-be, such as medical appointments, other people’s attention, and the physical changes. But remember, the two of you are having a baby together, and your role is important and significant too.