Your baby is now 2-3 cm long and the shape is looking more and more like a person, and less and less like a little pink lump. On the nose, you can now see two tiny holes, which will become nostrils.The head is almost half as big as the body as your baby develops more and more. We also wave goodbye to the tail, which has now become a coccyx instead. The nervous system, the brain cells in particular, are developing and maturing. Most nerve cells are formed where the brain develops, about 100,000 per minute. The baby’s internal genitalia are formed and look identical for both sexes. The arms and hands are quickly emerging, and growing faster than the legs and feet. The baby is now moving its elbows and joints, because the muscles have started to form.
Your blood volume is now increasing. Have you noticed a bit more bleeding from your gums when brushing your teeth? Are you getting nose bleeds a little more easily? This is because blood flow is increasing in all of your mucous membranes. Maybe you’re feeling less sexual desire? Or more? It’s very common for sexual desire to change during pregnancy – both for the person carrying the baby and for their partner. It’s important to know that sex is perfectly safe during pregnancy, but as always, you should honour your own sense of desire. It’s also super common to experience mood swings. Cute animals might make you cry; one look at your partner and you may be furious for no reason – or you might have a huge craving to just be left in peace. This is because your body is being flooded with so many strong emotions and thoughts that are coming one after the next and need to be processed. And it doesn’t help that you’re feeling sick and are completely exhausted all the time. Fun? Hardly, but hang in there! For most people, this will resolve within a few weeks. You’ve surely already had your first visit with your doctor or midwife – and if not, it’s time to get in touch and schedule an appointment. If you’ll be running foetal diagnostics, NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing) can often be done from week 10 where these tests are available. As with a combined ultrasound and blood test, this test checks for any chromosome abnormalities, but the difference is that you’ll have a clearer and more definitive answer. NIPT is a blood test and is completely risk-free. But as with all foetal diagnostics, you should consider the purpose before running the test, and how you will process the result if it isn’t what you had hoped for.
It’s often generally understood that the pregnant person has a decline in sexual desire, but in fact, it’s quite common for the partner’s sexual desire to decline, too. It could also increase – as is the case for the pregnant person. It’s impossible to know how it will be for you and your partner, and either way, it will likely vary a great deal throughout the various phases of pregnancy. The solution to this is communication, of course. Talk to each other regularly and honestly about how you feel and what you’re in the mood for. Closeness is as important as ever, but that’s something you can create at a variety of different levels if sexual desire has declined. Whatever you do, it’s nice to know that sex during pregnancy won’t harm your baby.