Up until now, only one person’s weight has mattered: yours.
Still waiting for your ‘baby bump’? You might have to wait a little longer. Your uterus is now about the size of a grapefruit, but still sitting below your pubic bone, so most of the physical changes you’re experiencing are likely due to hormonal changes.
In fact, your hormones are probably still causing a range of symptoms; from the unpredictable mood swings of the first trimester, to bloating, constipation, morning sickness, and even the appearance of visible veins under your skin (although this can also be blamed on the increase in blood volume).
It is important to continue to look after yourself. Try to eat a healthy diet focused on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins. You should be gaining weight slowly and steadily at this point, not too quickly! If you haven’t yet gained any weight, perhaps because morning sickness has made it difficult to eat regular meals, don’t worry. Many women do not put any weight on during the first trimester. You’ll catch up later in your pregnancy. Remember that pregnancy is not an excuse to regularly binge on unhealthy snacks such as ice cream and milkshakes. Try to eat fruit, nuts and seeds when you are feeling peckish instead of junk food. Maintain your fitness levels, even if that just means a walk every afternoon or evening.
Finally, consider getting vaccinated against the flu. This inactive vaccine is recommended for all pregnant women, as the flu can be particularly nasty for pregnant women and, in rare cases, cause serious complications such as hospitalisation and miscarriage. Whilst the risk of serious health complications caused by the flu is low, it still vastly outweighs any immunisation-related problems, and the vaccine has been deemed safe for pregnant women and their developing babies. Ask your gynaecologist or midwife if you would like to know more.
Your baby’s foetal age is now 8 weeks, and the baby is about the size of a walnut. The good news is that, by around week 10, the odds of miscarriage begin to drop and from a developmental point of view, one of the most nerve-racking parts of the pregnancy are almost over. Developmental defects are most likely during the first few months when the organs are forming. After this period, the risk of spontaneous birth defects goes down. However, be aware that exposure to drugs, certain high levels of radiation, alcohol, certain medications, and trauma can still have a negative effect on your baby.
With most of the major organ systems formed, now is the time that your baby will start to gain weight. Right now, your baby weighs about 5.7 g; considering the average weight of a newborn is 3.5 KG, there is quite a lot of weight to be gained in the next 7 months!
At this time, many of the major changes happening to your baby are skeletal. The elbows and knee joints are forming, so your baby will start to flex and bend his or her arms and legs. Whilst the baby is this size they still have plenty of room to move around and practise these early movements. The first teeth buds are also starting to form under the skin of the gums.
“The flu vaccine is recommended for all pregnant women.”
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