5-8 weeks pregnant
At 5-8 weeks after the initial excitement and jubilation, like most women at this stage, you’re probably discovering that being pregnant has its down side. Morning sickness, constipation, sore breasts and tiredness are all likely to be setting in now…
Things to do
|Like most women at this stage, you’re probably discovering that being pregnant has its down side.This is the time when you may start to suffer from what are known as the minor discomforts of pregnancy.
In the scale of things, they are minor, though they may not feel it while you’re going through them. It might help to bear in mind that they will all pass. You may have already begun to experience some of these discomforts, such as nausea, breast tenderness, urinary frequency and cravings. If you haven’t, some or all of them may develop now.
Other problems that you might have include constipation, gum problems and nasal problems.
You may also notice an increase in vaginal discharge. If you do and it makes you very itchy, or is smelly, go and see your doctor – it could be thrush.
Many women feel unbelievably tired at this stage. This is quite normal and will pass, but for now try and rest as much as you can. Some women also find that the hormonal changes in their body make them very emotional, and they feel weepy or bad-tempered or sometimes even depressed.
Both you and your partner may find these feelings puzzling and distressing – especially if you have been trying for a baby for a long time. It may help to keep in mind the probable causes of you mood (your hormones!) and tell yourself that things will soon get better. Often it helps to simply talk about your feelings to somebody who understands. You are not alone! A few women do become clinically depressed during pregnancy. If you think this is happening to you, do tell your midwife or doctor. They will be able to help.Your midwife will also be able to direct you to other people who can help you sort out things that may be causing extra stress during pregnancy – be it housing problems, violence at home, or difficulties with older children.
|Your baby is growing rapidly, and the placenta is developing too.
By the end of week 5, your baby’s brain and spinal cord have begun to form, and the heart is beating.
Over the next two or three weeks, the basic structures of the body will develop. The head begins to form, followed by the chest and abdomen. The basis of the skeleton is forming. Tiny limbs are growing, with hands and feet that have ridges in them which will become fingers and toes. The eyes, ears and nose, and the internal organs, start to develop.
By week 8, your baby is about 2cm long (about the size of the top joint of your little finger).
|Visit your midwife or doctor to get your pregnancy confirmed, and discuss what your options are for antenatal care and where your baby will be born.
In the UK, ask for a copy of form FW8, which will entitle you to free prescriptions while you’re pregnant. If you’re unsure about the date of your last period, your midwife or doctor may suggest an ultrasound scan at the hospital to check when your baby is due.
Talk to your doctor about possible antenatal testing too. If you’re going to have a CVS test or nuchal fold scan, you need to arrange these now.
Visit your dentist as well, to let him know that you’re pregnant and to get your gums checked. In the UK you qualify for free dental treatment while you’re pregnant and for a year after your baby is born.
If you attend an exercise class tell your teacher you are pregnant so he or she can adjust you exercise routines.
Get advice from your midwife, doctor or coach if you take part in regular sport.
You may also want to tell your employers that you’re pregnant, so that you’ll be allowed time off for antenatal appointments. However, you may prefer to wait until the pregnancy is more advanced before letting them know.
Talk to your partner about when and how to tell your family and friends.
All pregnancies are different, so don’t worry if you’re not experiencing everything exactly as it says here.