The baby is now around 4.5 cm long and the heart is beating 140-150 bpm, just as it should be. This rate is necessary to give that little body everything it needs to be able to grow and develop. Right now, the head is as big as the rest of the body, but that will sort itself out later. The liver is also big now, filling nearly half of the abdominal cavity. At this point, it has the important task of managing and eliminating waste. The testicles or ovaries are in place and the external sex organs are also visible now. The baby can open its mouth and the tongue is already fully developed.
If you’ve been feeling sick, that may start to resolve now. Finally! If you’re still feeling nauseous, just hang in there – unfortunately, it’s not impossible for this to linger longer into your pregnancy. Your mood may be on a roller coaster; a lot of people feel more sensitive than usual. Hormones are one reason, along with the fact that so much energy is going towards thinking about the future. A transformational period awaits and you might be afraid of losing what you have. Maybe you’re worried about how things will be? If you have a partner, then talk about your feelings. If you don’t, then talk to someone you’re close to. However your future family looks, it’s completely normal at this phase of pregnancy to think about whether you’ve made the right choice and if you’ll be able to make it work. Try to find a sense of security in the fact that you’ll get there soon, and suddenly you will see things from the bright side again! One way to handle difficult thoughts or worries is to get moving. Even if you don’t usually exercise regularly, try taking a walk or going swimming. Moving a little bit every day will make you feel better and can prevent some of the side effects of pregnancy. And of course, it’s very important not to push your body, which is managing an enormous task right now. Listen to what you feel like you can manage: if you want to fall asleep on the couch by 7 pm several nights in a row, that’s probably exactly what you need right now. You also need to drink extra water – your body needs tons of water for the production of both blood and amniotic fluid. Your body is also starting to burn more calories and therefore needs a little extra nourishment. An extra piece of fruit, a sandwich and a glass of milk, or a vegan option, per day will be enough.
Mood swings in your partner may feel like a daily occurrence now, and the two of you will have to hang in there for a while longer – but this should calm down within a few weeks. These swings are due to the hormones rushing through the body, but also because of thoughts about the future and childbirth, which take up a lot of energy and can cause moods to rise and fall. Are you also experiencing mood swings, and spending time thinking about what the future will hold? Our best advice is to talk to each other. Share your thoughts, worries and ruminations, as well as your joy, enthusiasm and delight. You can also talk to a midwife or doctor about your feelings and get some feedback on how to handle them. Dreams are common when you’re expecting a baby, for both you and your pregnant partner. They will often be surreal: the baby is born while in a queue to order food; it comes out half bicycle and half baby; you’ve left it alone in the worst place imaginable. This is just how the brain processes the major event awaiting just beyond the door: becoming a parent.