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11 WEEKS, 3 DAYS

200 days to go...

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Your baby today

As the baby floats in the amniotic fluid, her limbs are now more fully developed, allowing her to make many movements. The lips and fingers-which are now completely separated-stimulate sensory feelings.

Does your face resemble the pimply complexion of your teenage years? Don't worry, it's those hormones again and it will pass.

Your skin is likely to change during pregnancy. Some women find that they develop pimples or acne, due to the high levels of progesterone. Conversely, you may get dry skin, also due to pregnancy hormones. The dryness may become worse over your abdomen as your belly grows and the skin is stretched.

Freckles and moles may get darker. You may also notice tiny red lines on your chest or legs: these are called spider nevi and are due to the increased blood supply to the skin which makes the vessels dilate and become more visible.

Other women find that the high levels of estrogen mean that their skin is in a better condition than before they were pregnant. The "glow" of pregnancy is due to the increased blood supply that occurs in pregnancy, which gives you a rosy healthy looking complexion.

Ask A... Doctor

Since going to the scan my partner is very overprotective. Is this normal?

Your partner is now realizing his responsibilities and affection for the baby, and is showing these feelings by taking care of you. If you're finding that his pampering of you is a little too much, you might want to discuss other ways he can feel involved in the pregnancy and prepare for the baby. Try to embrace his involvement and enthusiasm-it's a great way for you to strengthen your relationship and prepare for parenthood together.

Your skin may become dry and flaky, on your face, as well as elsewhere on your body. Using a good moisturizer should help.

Time To Think About

Telling your employer

As soon as your employer knows you're pregnant, you should be protected by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which says that pregnant employees must be treated the same as other employees with disabilities or limitations. Most parents-to-be wait until 12 weeks when the risk of miscarriage is lower. Some wait longer.

  • Each company has its own policy on maternity leave. Some offer paid or unpaid leave for a set period. Others let employees use sick leave or vacation days. Meet with a human resources representative to learn your options.
  • You can discuss when your maternity leave will start. If your baby is born early or your maternity leave starts earlier than planned due to illness, the arrangements can be altered at short notice.
  • Your employer should respect your right to confidentiality. If you want the news of your pregnancy to remain under wraps until a certain date, make this known.

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Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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