You're now halfway through your first trimester, and you're probably starting to experience all those "wonderful" early pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, irritability and sore boobs. But don't worry if you're not, a lack of symptoms doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you or your baby! Each woman, and each pregnancy, is different.
With the magical 12 week milestone finally within sight, there's plenty to look forward to in the upcoming weeks. You'll soon be having your first scan and midwife appointment, and you'll be hearing that little heart beating away. You may have to wait a bit longer to find out the gender though, as boys and girls both look quite similar for the first few months of pregnancy.
Baby: What's Happening?
By the end of week 6 your baby will be around 5mm long; about the size of a little bean or nut (which is where many parents get their cute baby nicknames from). It still doesn't look much a like a baby though. In fact, with its large head, big dark eye spots, webbed hands and feet and long tail, it sort of resembles a fish!
Don't panic though, your baby has much more developing to do within the next 34 weeks, so will look far more human by the time it's born! The ears, eyes and mouth are already starting to form, and those limb stumps that appeared last week are protruding from the body more and more.
Unlike week 5 when your heart beat and your baby's heart beat could easily be mistaken for each other, by week 6 there is a distinct and significant difference. Your baby's little heart is working hard to provide the rapidly growing body will everything it needs, and is pumping at a rate of a whopping 150 beats per minute. This can be detected using an ultrasound, and, in a few weeks, you should be able to hear this on a home doppler.
Your baby's heart will continue pumping at a rate approximately double that of your own heart right up until birth. Old wives tales suggest that baby boys hearts beat slower (less than 140 beats per minute) than baby girls, and that boy's hearts sound like a train, whereas girl's sound like a galloping horse. There's no scientific backing, but it's a fun game to play when you're bored!
You: What's Happening?
Even if you're usually a woman of steel, you may find you're suddenly a bit weepy watching TV commercials, or have a full on cry because you've run out of milk. It may be a touch embarrassing, but it's also completely normal. Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) levels are racing around your body, so it's only natural that your emotions are a little off balance. On top of that, the changes you're going to experience, not only over the next 7.5 months, but also over the next 18 years, are daunting. Remember: there's nothing wrong with shedding a few tears! It may make you feel better.
Around this time, you'll probably be getting a little taster of the third trimester in terms of toilet habits! A combination of increased blood flow to the pelvis, extra efficient kidneys and a uterus that seems determined to become one with the bladder means you might find you're having to wee all the time. It can be a right inconvenience, but it's nothing compared to the final few weeks. So you have that to look forward to!
If you usually sleep on your front, you might find that tender breasts are making this task difficult. It's annoying, but it's probably worth starting to adopt some alternative sleeping positions now before your rock hard baby bump makes it completely impossible. Although research findings remain unclear, it's suggested that sleeping on your side is better during pregnancy than sleeping on your back, but do whatever feels comfortable for you.
If you haven't made a note of the date of your last period, it's worth trying to figure it out now as you approach the date of your first ultrasound. Although it's not vital that you know, it's often comforting to find out that your baby is measuring correctly. Don't worry though if your calculations and the sonographers calculations are a little out, babies are unique and don't all grow at exactly the same rate.