Your baby’s spinal cord and the brain are now almost complete and the head is beginning to look more human-like. Measuring about 1.3cm long, its limb buds have grown into tiny arms and legs with small ridges that will develop into fingers and toes. Tiny rudiments of the kidneys, eyes and lungs are forming.
By now your breasts will be noticeably larger and your nipples may be more prominent with small nodules called Montgomery’s tubercles appearing on the darkened surrounding areola area. You may feel overwhelmingly tired in the first trimester as your body adjusts. Eat small meals regularly to maintain your blood sugar levels. Your energy levels should pick up in the second trimester. Alternatively, there is also a possibility that you feel great!
Your baby’s tiny heart has started the pumping of blood that will continue for a lifetime. It now has all its main organs, correctly positioned, though in a rudimentary form and a brain is already visible through the rice-paper-thin skin revealing every little branching blood vessel beneath. Measuring about 2cm, its body may have uncurled a little and its head, larger than its body, is attached to, and resting on its chest. Facial features are becoming more defined with a mouth and tongue, eyes, ears and small openings that will become nostrils.
This is the time your second period was due. There may be a slight vaginal discharge, considered normal. If you experience vaginal bleeding at any stage throughout your pregnancy contact your doctor immediately.
You may find yourself changing your eating habits as soaring hormones act as a natural screening process against foods that may not be good for you. Fatigue will continue as your body’s workload has expanded.
Your baby’s heart now has all four chambers and beats twice as fast as yours – at times up to 180 times a minute. Its arms and legs can be seen on a scan and the fingers have separated but the toes are still stuck together. The embryo’s liver is producing red blood cells that are pumped around its body by its tiny heart.
Your skin may show changes due to the hormones in your system. Increased secretion of melanin may produce patches of darker skin called chloasma, on your nose, cheeks or forehead. You may also notice small blood vessels becoming visible on your face. These changes will disappear after pregnancy. If you notice moles appearing or existing ones changing, have them checked by your medical professional. Your gums will soften and become vulnerable to infection, and may even bleed when brushing your teeth. See your dentist as gum disease has been linked to premature labour.
Your thyroid gland in your neck, the hormonal gland responsible for growth, development and reproduction, may seem more prominent. Meanwhile, you will probably notice your waist thickening.