Your baby measures about 10.2 inches (26 cm) from head to foot and weighs about 13 ounces (370 gm) at the start of the week—and about 15.9 ounces (450 gm) at the end of the week.
Your baby is alternating between sleep and wakefulness and already has her own diurnal rhythm. When you’re resting, your baby may be most active; being up and about will rock baby to sleep. The part of your baby’s brain that manufactures brain cells is developing exponentially at this time.
Pregnancy hormones can cause your gums to swell so good dental care is essential. High pregnancy hormone levels may also affect your skin and freckles, birthmarks and your areolas may darken and become more prominent. It’s usually a good idea to avoid strong sunlight since your skin is extra sensitive. You might have experienced this already with your previous pregnancies.
Your blood sugar level will be checked when you register and then again during several prenatal visits. Gestational diabetes is when your blood sugar level rises during pregnancy. You will most likely not notice yourself that your levels have increased. Instead, this will be detected during a routine prenatal checkup.
If you had gestational diabetes during any of your previous pregnancies, you will have a glucose challenge, or glucose screening test, between week 24 and 28. You will also have this test if you gave birth to a baby weighing more than 4.5 kilo (10 pounds) or if your BMI is 35 or higher.
In most cases, gestational diabetes can be prevented and treated with the right diet and exercise. If you have thoughts and questions about the issue, or if you are worried you may be at risk, we highly recommend that you speak with your midwife or physician.
Libido varies from person to person, and from pregnancy to pregnancy—though some women notice an increased libido in the second half of their pregnancy. With all the changes your body is going through, expecting a baby can be an incredibly sensual experience.
It might be impossible to find the time and place with other children around, or maybe your partner is holding back out of fear of hurting or disturbing your baby inside the uterus? Penetration can neither hurt nor disturb the baby, but if you orgasm you may notice that your uterus contracts and gets hard. This might feel a little uncomfortable, but it is completely safe.
You could also have low or no sex drive at all. There is no right or wrong; everything is normal. What is most important is that you are honest with yourself (and your partner, if you have one) about how you feel. Cuddling and massage are often pleasurable options to sex. All forms of physical contact release our ‘peace and quiet hormone’, oxytocin, which helps us to feel more relaxed and safer.
Many people feel this is a wonderful time in their pregnancy. The mother-to-be often feels great and is hopefully past earlier symptoms such as fatigue or nausea. Enjoy this time together and do something fun! Why not register for a couple’s yoga class or experiment with new recipes in the kitchen.
Tip: As far as food is concerned, the baby and mother-to-be (and you, of course) benefit best from eating a nutritious diet. Aim to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, slow-burning carbs and lean meat or protein. Of course, it’s fine to treat yourselves to desserts or the occasional “less healthy” option—just use your common sense.