This week, the foetus triples in size and that little heart beats for the first time. Development at this point is intense to say the least. The internal organs begin to form – stomach, intestines, liver and kidneys – along with what will become the lungs. The skin can also be seen more clearly, and the brain grows quickly to fill out that growing head. Every minute, a dizzying 100,000 nerve cells form within the baby! During week six, you can also discern eyes, a mouth and a nose, and the beginnings of ears become visible. So do the arms and legs, which stick out a bit from the body like little wings.
Do you feel sick when you wake up? Does your coffee taste yucky? Does it feel like someone’s knocked you out when you go to bed at night? There are wonderful aspects of pregnancy (we promise!), but in the beginning, there are some slightly less delightful pregnancy symptoms. Maybe heartburn sounds familiar, or tender and tense breasts? It’s common to have a sluggish, gassy tummy, since your hormones think your intestines can take it a little easier when it comes to letting food pass through, and you might feel hungry all the time. The body is beginning to do all kinds of things right now, and even if it’s a total hassle sometimes, it’s important to remember that it’s temporary! This will all pass. It passes at different paces, but for most people, the incredible fatigue and constant nausea are at their worst now, in the beginning. During weeks 6-8, most clinics will probably want to see you for your first visit. You schedule this appointment yourself when you realize that you’re pregnant. During this first visit, you will talk about pregnancy, expectations, and any concerns you might have. The doctor or midwife will be there for you throughout your pregnancy, both to monitor the pregnancy and to help you feel confident as a parent. So if you aren’t happy with your doctor or midwife, you can switch to a different person or clinic. If you have a partner, it’s best for you to both attend. It’s nice to be able to share as much as possible of the pregnancy. Plus, a lot of information will come out in this conversation – and four ears hear better than two.
Maybe only you and your partner know right now that you’re expecting a baby – and maybe you want to keep it that way a little longer. Or maybe you want to tell everyone. Right now! Everyone chooses to do things differently and there’s no right or wrong. Some people want to wait until they’ve taken it all in and feel fairly secure in the pregnancy. Others are keen for everyone around them to know what they’re going through in order to provide support as early as possible. There are no requirements when it comes to telling or not telling – but it’s good to be a unified front. So talk about what you want to do! Heads up: nausea can be really intense right now. For many people, it’s a constant sense of seasickness. Try to listen to how your partner is doing. Remember: both of you are having a baby, and as the person who isn’t carrying the pregnancy, you can give your partner a little extra care and help where you can, for example by shopping for foods and beverages that alleviate nausea.