Number 1 priority: book an appointment with your doctor or midwife before the 12th week
- You will have a basic check-up which involves the doctor/midwife feeling your tummy, listening to your baby’s heartbeat and measuring your weight and height.
- Your blood pressure will be measured and you’ll have urine sample taken.
- If your midwife is based at a hospital, you may have your first scan at the same time.
- You will be asked questions about previous pregnancies, miscarriages or abortions, the date of your last period, your lifestyle and your family’s medical history.
Your baby’s development
The nervous system, lungs, liver, stomach and pancreas develop considerably. The spine and kidneys begin to form, and the first muscles, those that allow your baby to move, take shape. Sensory organs like the optic nerve, ears, tongue and end of the nose continue to form and are visible through an ultrasound scan. But the embryo can't hear or see yet. Your baby’s little heart has just two chambers at this stage, one on the right and one on the left-hand side.
At the end of the 2nd month, the embryo measures about 3cm and weighs 2-3g.
Practical steps to take
- Book an appointment for your first scan.
- Ask your doctor or midwife for the forms that entitle you to free prescriptions and dental care.
- If you have morning sickness, drink a glass of water on an empty stomach then try to eat some breakfast while lying on your bed, and wait 15 minutes before getting up. Drink ginger or camomile tea instead of normal tea or coffee.
- If you suffer from inflictions like hot flushes, a frequent need to urinate, tender breasts, heartburn, headaches, light-headedness, nosebleeds, itching or vomiting on a daily basis, gentle therapies such as homeopathy could help you without putting your baby at risk.
- See a doctor if you have any heavy, greenish or foul-smelling discharge.
- If you’re tired and you’re able to sleep during the day, a little 20-minute siesta will help you to recuperate.
- Your breathing and heart rate might increase. If this happens, take it easy, but don’t lapse into a state of lethargy.
- Abdominal cramping is normal and shouldn’t be confused with uterine contractions. Take a rest and take deep breaths.
- Do gentle exercise such as walking and swimming or even some gentle aerobics, yoga and dance.
- Drink at least 1.5 litres of water a day to lower the risk of urinary infections.
- Prioritise fresh over frozen products and eat a variety of different foods. Eat plenty of protein, which is essential for the development of your baby’s muscles, and up your calorie intake with starchy foods rather than the sweet foods you may be craving. Avoid eating too much fatty, sugary or salty food.
- For your wellbeing and health, keep an eye on your weight gain, which ideally should be 10-12 kilos over nine months (less if you’re full-figured and more if you’re slim).
Take care of your skin to minimise stretch marks, which are normal but irreversible. Choose stretch mark bio oils and creams that are specially designed for pregnant women and that, by definition, are safe to use.
- During your pregnancy, you’ll be vulnerable to doubts, experience mood swings and unexpected cravings. Your partner will need to be loving, affectionate and understanding.
- You’ll be afraid of sudden changes in your body, of having complications or delivering an abnormal baby. These fears are all normal and all mums-to-be experience them.
- Don’t be afraid of talking through your worries with your midwife or someone close to you: they can help boost your confidence, strengthen your resolve and calm your fears.