Pregnancy by the Month: Month 1 & 2

Congratulations! You’ve just found out you’re pregnant. Every week, your baby will be growing within you, while you experience changes. It’s an exciting time for your family too, as you look forward to welcoming a new member of the family into your life.

Week 4

Baby updates

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Your baby is an embryo the size of a poppy seed.

It’s the beginning of the embryonic period and over the next six weeks, your baby’s organs will start to develop, with some beginning to function. This makes this period the one that baby will be most vulnerable to anything that may hinder her development.

The placenta is also developing. Its cells are tunnelling into the lining of your uterus, creating spaces for your blood to flow and allow the developed placenta to provide nutrients and oxygen to your growing baby by the end of the week.

Also present are the following:

Amniotic sac – where your baby will be housed

Amniotic fluid – providing the cushion for baby as she grows

Yolk sac – produces baby’s red blood cells and helps deliver nutrients to baby until the placenta has developed.

Mummy updates

This is when you will find out that you are expecting a new addition to the family. Though you can schedule your first prenatal appointment, they will advise you to see them with you are eight weeks into your pregnancy.

As the next six weeks are critical to baby’s development, you should be taking a prenatal vitamin that contains at least 600 micrograms of folic acid a day.

 

Week 5

Baby updates

Your baby is an embryo the size of a sesame seed.

She’s made up of three layers – ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm – that will eventually form all of his organs and tissues.

Ectoderm (top layer): This is where the neural tube, where baby’s brain, spinal cord, nerves and backbone will sprout out from, is starting to form. This layer is also where her skin, hair, nails, mammary and sweat glands, and tooth enamel will come from.

Mesoderm (middle layer): The heart and circulatory system is beginning to form in this layer. During this week, the heart will begin to divide into chambers, and beat and pump blood. This layer will also form your baby’s muscles, cartilage, bone and subcutaneous (under skin) tissue.

Endoderm (bottom layer): This layer houses the lungs, intestines, rudimentary urinary system, thyroid, liver and pancreas.

Mummy updates

You may be experiencing some discomforts, including sore breasts, fatigue, frequent urination and mild nausea.

It’s important to keep active and it you haven’t been, this is a good time to start as you’ll need extra strength and endurance to manage the extra weight you’ll be carrying, and your recovery after pregnancy will be faster.

Remember to put a stop to any alcohol intake and smoking, as these can potentially harm your baby.

Week 6

Baby updates

Your baby is an embryo the size of a lentil bean.

His nose, mouth and ears are beginning to take shape, as are his arms and legs. The heart will be beating at about 100 to 160 times a minute and blood will be pumping through his body. Also developing are the intestines, lungs, pituitary gland, brain, muscles and bones.

Mummy updates

Mood swings may be experienced due to fluctuating emotions. Spotting is also common, affecting up to 25% of pregnant women, though it may be the first sign of miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, so contact your doctor if you are unsure.

Week 7

Baby updates

Your baby is the size of a blueberry.

Hand and feet are emerging from baby’s development arms and legs. She will also have a small tail, which is an extension of her tailbone. This will disappear within a few weeks.

Both hemispheres of the brain will be growing and the liver will be churning out red blood cells until the bone narrow is fully formed and can take over this role. The appendix and pancreas is also present. A loop from the baby’s growing intestines will be bulging into the umbilical cord that will have distinct blood vessels to carry oxygen and nutrients to and from her tiny body.

Mummy updates

Your uterus will have doubled in size and morning sickness would have fully kicked in by now. Your toilet trips may have also increased because of the increasing blood volume and the extra fluid that is processed through your kidneys. The pressure on your uterus because of your growing uterus is also the cause of more frequent visits to the washroom.

Week 8

Baby updates

Your baby is the size of a kidney bean.

Webbed fingers and toes will be poking out of baby’s hands and feet, and his tail would have disappeared by now. The eyelids would have fully formed over the eyes, breathing tubes will have extended from her throat to the developing lungs, and nerve cells will be connected with one another.

Mummy updates

Your breasts should have grown substantially bigger, and you may need to get a new bra. Don’t worry. This is all in preparation for lactation for your baby. Your breast size may continue to grow, so you might have to get larger bras further along.

You may also be feeling sluggish because of the hormonal changes to your body as well as morning sickness.

The above information is courtesy of NUH Women’s Centre. For more information on your growing baby, click here. Do note that every baby develops differently and this is a general guide to your baby’s growth. If you have any concerns, please speak more to your doctor.

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