The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy : Weeks 8 - 12
Week 8: Vaginal discharge increases and this is completely normal provided it is not painful and it is odourless. The baby's internal organs are all present but yet need to develop further before they can function completely. The eyes and ears are visible and the face is beginning to resemble a human face. The baby is now nearly 2-5 cms long.
Week 9: This is the week which generally brings on the skin changes. Most women take on a pregnancy glow as their wrinkles and dark spots start to fade and be less visible due to the hormonal changes. The gums start to soften and this may lead to sensation and / or bleeding. It is important to ensure good dental hygiene and to visit a dentist early in the second trimester to ensure that there is no development of plaque and tarter. These have been known to contribute to preterm contractions. In the baby, fingers and toes are now visible. The baby starts to move around to get some exercise but the mother will not be able to feel these movements. The weight of the baby is that of a grape.
Week 10: The uterus is growing rapidly and is now almost as big as an orange but is still within the pelvic cavity hence pregnancy is not prominent and visible to others. Start wearing looser clothing and buy undergarments which offer good support to prevent sagging and discomfort. The baby's ankles and wrists are formed and the fingers and toes are clearly visible. The baby is now around 4-5 cms long.
Week 11: The feeling of nausea and sickness starts to wane off as you approach your second trimester. This is a good time to think of a child birth education class as these will guide you through the coming months of pregnancy, labour and the first few months of parenthood. It is also a good idea to involve your partner in the same as it will help him to be more connected to the pregnancy. The baby's testicles or ovaries have formed so it is possible to determine the sex of the baby. Although in our country it is considered a crime to determine the sex of an unborn fetus and is punishable by law. All major organs have been formed and henceforth they will only continue to grow during the baby's stay in the uterus.
Week 12: This week is very important in your prenatal visits to your care provider. The doctor will conduct a complete medical examination including blood and urine tests. These tests are indicative of your overall health, the possibilities of birth defects and other risk factors such as HIV, Thalessemia etc. to the baby. This is the time to ask as many questions from your doctor and to allay any fears and doubts that you may have. The baby now has a roundish head and its eyelids have developed. It is now about 6 cms long but could weigh as little as 18 gms.
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