Your baby today
This image shows the yolk sac at the 12 o'clock position with the placenta seen as a thickening to the lining of the uterus on the left. The baby is in the lower part of the uterus and is positioned lying on her back.
The dating scan is reassuring because it's an opportunity for your baby's progress and development to be thoroughly checked.
At your ultrasound scan, the pregnancy is dated according to your baby's length from crown (head) to rump (bottom) because he is-and will remain-quite curled up. This is known as the CRL (crown-rump length).
Since your baby can flex his spine and stretch his neck, this measurement needs to be taken with your baby in a specific position so it can take some time to achieve. The measurement is used to estimate your baby's date of delivery and this may be different than the EDD you calculated (see When will your baby be born?).
This first ultrasound scan should be able to recognize all four limbs, your baby's hands and feet, the spine, some aspects of brain development, the fluid-filled stomach, and the bladder. From now on your baby's kidneys will be producing small amounts of very dilute urine and the bladder will start to fill.
As A Matter Of Fact
Dating scans are only an estimate. The chance of delivering on your due date is only around 5 percent.
So keep the estimated due date in mind but don't expect your baby to abide by it!
Ask A... Doctor
Not all women adapt well to pregnancy and for some dealing with the symptoms and worrying about issues such as weight gain, makes them feel out of control. The best way to cope with these feelings is to embrace the changes and remain in touch with your body by exercising and taking time to focus on what is happening inside you. We spend most of our lives listening to all the things that happen on the outside, but very little time focusing on the inside.
Take a few minutes each day to practice deep breathing and relaxation and consider learning some pregnancy yoga and meditation techniques.
The dramatic changes happening to your body may be mirrored in the wide swings of emotions and feelings you experience throughout your pregnancy. Some days you may feel excited and elated at the prospect of becoming a parent, and on others you may feel overwhelmed and anxious.
Perhaps the nine months' gestation period is nature's way of giving us time to get used to the idea of becoming a parent, and allowing us time to deal with our emotions and prepare for the birth. So try to relax but if you're feeling really anxious, speak to your doctor.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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