From now until the eighth week, the term embryo is used to describe the baby, after which is refer to as the foetus.
By the end of the fifth week the neural tube develops. This tube is where the brain and spinal cord will form. Your baby’s heart also starts to take shape, though it is so small it may not be seen on an ultrasound scan. Soon it will begin to beat, though at a much faster rate than your own heartbeat. His intestine forms as a hollow tube from where his mouth will be to what is currently his tail and other major organs such as the kidney and liver are starting to develop.
Although you may have only just found out that you are pregnant, your hormone levels are changing and many adjustments are being made in your body to accommodate your pregnancy. Some women may not notice any symptoms at all while other may already be feeling tired or nauseous.
You will be producing high levels of the hormone progesterone, which makes the mucus from the cervix very thick. Your level of progesterone will be higher than the normal and so the mucus thickens even more to form a plug in your cervix. This plug helps keep your womb a sterile environment, protecting the uterus and baby from any infections spreading up from the virginal during pregnancy.
The earliest sign of pregnancy needing to urinate more frequently than previously, and it can feel like you need to go all the time! This is called urinary frequency. Even at the early stage, your growing womb puts pressure on your bladder, which cannot expand and hold as much urine as previously.
Protecting your baby
- Quit Smoking: - Smoking during pregnancy affects the development of the placenta; your baby may not receive the oxygen and nutrients he needs, resulting in growth restriction. It also increases risk of premature.
- Quit Alcohol: - it’s currently recommended that women should avoid consuming alcohol in the first three months of pregnancy. It is harmful to the developing foetus and can cause foetal alcohol spectrum disorders or foetal alcohol syndrome.
At this stage of the pregnancy many women find themselves preoccupied with countless questions, concerns and fears. The initial reaction to being pregnant or shock may be replaced with worries: ‘will my baby be okay?’ ‘Will I have a miscarriage?’ the first thing to do is stop and take a deep breath. It is perfectly okay, and normal to feel overwhelmed or scared.