Now past the embryonic stage, the most critical period of development is over and your baby is far less vulnerable to developmental dangers. Right now your baby is about the size of a prune.
This week your baby is going through a large amount of changes, but most impressive are the changes occurring in the rapid brain development, with an astonishing nearly 250,000 neurons forming every minute! Your baby is really starting to adopt a far more human-like appearance, cartilage structures of bones are developing, with small indentations on the legs soon to become knees and ankles. The arms have gained more movement and can now flex due to the full development of elbows.
The facial characteristics are enhancing; the basic optical structure of the eyes has formed and the eyelids are starting to cover the eyes. The ears are growing, currently sitting low down either side of the baby’s head, but their position will correct itself as your baby grows. Even though your baby’s teeth won’t come through until about six months after birth, the teeth are beginning to form in the gums as the jaw bone develops. The organs are also developing at an increasingly speedy rate, the stomach is starting to secrete digestive juices and the kidneys starting to produce urine.
Your body is ever changing, and each woman’s body reacts differently to the hormonal changes during early pregnancy. For example some women may get a flattering maternal glow to their skin, whereas others might experience skin blemishes and spots. Not only has the amount of hormones increased but you’re also now pumping around fifty percent more blood around your body to increase the amount of oxygen and nutrient flow to the placenta.
Due to this increased blood flow, you might be able to see a map of blue veins all over your body, especially your breasts and stomach, depending on the fairness of your skin. Your hands and feet may appear larger than usual due to this increase in blood, and it’s important to maintain light activity, sleep on your left side and not sit cross legged to prevent poor circulation. Depending on your natural frame and weight, you may be starting to see the beginning stage of your bump, but it is still early days for that!
It is usual during this stage of the first trimester for your emotions to be erratic. You may be feeling gleefully happy one minute and grumpy and irritable the next. Pregnancy hormones are driving this up and down feeling and it does not help that you may have spent much of the last few weeks feeling exhausted, anxious and queasy. Don’t worry the second trimester is not far away now and your hormones will even out bringing some welcome relief.
If you have any symptoms that concern you it is important to consult your doctor as soon as you can.