Your baby is now about one and one half inches long and weighs 0.3 ounces—approximately the size of a small apricot. The spine is becoming stronger, and the baby’s body and limbs are starting to grow faster than the head. Although still very thin, the skin is developing layers, and hair follicles are starting to grow. The lung tissue development is nearly complete, and the thyroid and gallbladder are in place. The baby is starting to have sleeping and waking cycles. The ovaries or testicles have formed, and the external genitals are developing as well, although it is still too early to see clearly if you are having a boy or girl.
Another effect of rising hormone levels is that your sense of smell may become very sensitive, and you may notice odors more than you ever did before. If this is the case for you, avoid strong odors—even scented body products and perfumes may be too much for you. Some women also report a metallic taste in their mouth. Your saliva reflects the chemical content of your blood, and as hormone levels rise, this can affect the way you taste. You may develop cravings for certain foods as well as aversions to other foods, so don’t worry if your favorite foods suddenly don’t appeal to you. These symptoms may get better after the first trimester, but in many cases won’t go away completely until the baby is born.
You will probably continue to experience a wide range of emotions, especially during the first few months of pregnancy. The hormonal changes, physical discomforts, and emotional stresses all contribute to this so-called roller coaster of emotions. You may find yourself irritable and you may get upset at the smallest detail. Try not to be too hard on yourself; make allowances for the demands of pregnancy whenever possible. Even if you are usually very independent, pregnancy is a time to accept help when offered and be willing to ask for help when you need it. Also, give yourself time to get used to the changes of motherhood as you consider your plans for the future. You have several more months to go through pregnancy—you don’t have to figure everything out at the beginning.
Hot Topic: Twins
Do twins run in your family? Some signs you may be having twins:
- Family history of twins or multiple births
- You just “feel like” you’re carrying more than one baby
- You experience more nausea (other pregnancy symptoms may be exaggerated as well)
- You measure large for gestational age, and/or you gain weight rapidly in your first trimester
- You have rapidly rising hCG levels and/or you have elevated levels of AFP
- Your doctor or midwife may order an ultrasound if twins are suspected. If so, you may want to immediately change your dietary strategies and specifically, that of your weight gain patterns, to ensure that you babies are born at term and not too small.
- You are forty years or older
- You have undergone infertility treatments (For information about nutrition for twins, see: “Nutrition for Multiples” and “Eating for Three.”)
A Mom’s Suggestion:
If you haven’t started a regular exercise program, now is a good time to begin. Check with your doctor, but here are some suggestions:
- Walking (start by walking ten minutes a day, then add five minutes every week)
- Swimming (use a kickboard, if needed)
- Prenatal fitness class (in or out of water)
- Prenatal yoga
Eating For Two: Healthy Lunch to Go
This easy salad can be packed the night before to take to work for a light, healthy lunch!
Christie’s Chicken Club Salad
- 2 cups mixed salad greens (washed and dried thoroughly)
- 3 slices chicken breast or 1/4 cup cooked chicken cubes
- 1/4 cup sliced cucumbers
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons whole-wheat croutons
- 2 tablespoons walnuts
- 1 tablespoon bacon bits
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large portable bowl, add first four ingredients; pack grated cheese separately.
2. Add topping and dressing to salad when ready to eat. (You can substitute bottled balsamic vinaigrette dressing, if you want.)
<< Read Week 10
Read Week 12 >>