Congratulations! You may have just found out that you’re expecting and the news may be a little shocking. Pregnancy symptoms are starting to become more obvious and you may experience morning sickness. Some women have a severe type of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum, characterised by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss and possibly depression. Thankfully, this condition only affects about 0.3% to 3.6% of pregnant women.
Between week 6 to 9 of your pregnancy, your baby will grow from the size of a sweet pea into the size of a peanut.
Week 6: Sweet Pea
At six weeks pregnant, your gynaecologist may be able to pick up your baby’s heartbeat using an ultrasound probe. Foetuses are measured crown-to-rump, and at six weeks old, 4.5mm. Your baby’s face is starting to take shape.
You may be starting to experience full blown pregnancy symptoms including nausea, fatigue, breast tenderness, bloating and gas. You may have heard that pregnant women need to “eat for two”. However, that doesn’t mean you need to consume two adult servings each meal. Rather, it means that you should be consuming more nutritious food to support your pregnancy.
Week 7: Blueberry
A mucus plug is a protective barrier that forms at the opening of your cervix, sealing and protecting your womb from bacteria. This makes its appearance at Week 7 and will stay until it falls off during labour. Your baby’s brain has developed and the arm and leg buds are present. Arm and leg buds are webbed feet and hands which will separate as baby develops further into fingers and toes.
The amazing thing is that even at the size of a blueberry, your baby is already 10,000 times larger than at conception! You may find yourself frequenting the toilet more often than usual due to hormonal changes, but this doesn’t mean you should cut back on water! Instead, aim for at least 10 cups of fluids daily to stay hydrated especially with the hot weather in Singapore.
Yoga can be relaxing and calming for pregnant women. Consider attending a prenatal yoga class to learn yoga poses safe for pregnant women.
Week 8: Raspberry
Week 8 sees the development of all your baby’s essential organs. Pigment is forming in your baby’s eyes, giving them colour. Your baby is growing quickly, about 1mm per day. This measurement includes the growth of your baby’s hands, legs and other body parts. Your womb is expanding to accommodate the gradual changes in your womb.
Eating right in pregnancy is key. For a start, “eat a rainbow” to maximise the essential vitamins and nutrients that your body requires. Eating a colourful variety of fruits and vegetables also aid in smooth bowel movements and combats against constipation, a condition that many pregnant women suffer from.
You’ll notice that what you used to like now makes you want to retch, and even start to crave food that you never used to enjoy!Your taste buds might also turn bland making you lose interest in eating.If they are not foods to avoid during pregnancy, it’s okay to indulge a little to satisfy those cravings. Do watch out for high sodium or high sugar foods and go easy on them especially if there is a family history of health risks.
Sushi and sashimi are best avoided during pregnancy as they contain raw ingredients which may increase the risk of food poisoning.
Week 9: Peanut
This week, your baby looks less like a blob and more like the shape of a baby. It somewhat resembles a peanut and is also the size of one. Your baby’s muscles are forming and gaining strength, but you won’t be able to feel your baby kick for at least another month or two.
The good news is that for most pregnant mums,morning sickness starts fade over the next few weeks until the placenta is completed. If standard meal portions make you lose appetite, try splitting your meals into several nutritious bite-sized snacks throughout the day. Keep your arsenal of healthy snacks such as nuts, grapes and berries, small cubes of pasteurised cheese and low salt crackers close by. Eating well to obtain balanced nutrients help support healthy development of your foetus and promote a healthy pregnancy too.
Your gynaecologist may also have prescribed prenatal supplements to support your diet and baby’s growth. Folic acid, DHA, and calcium pills are some common supplements pregnant mums take from the early weeks of pregnancy.
You’re nearing the end of your first trimester! What is your preferred method to combat pregnancy symptoms? Let us know in the comments!