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5 WEEKS, 5 DAYS

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human embryo at 5 weeks and 5 days

Your baby today

This is a view of the right side of an embryo with the fronds of the chorionic villi in the background. The curled shape of the embryo is clearly demonstrated. The umbilical cord attachment to the early placenta can just be seen.

Are you feeling up one minute and down the next? Be reassured that this is a perfectly normal response to pregnancy hormones.

It may not happen quite yet, but be forewarned that you may become very emotional or irrational during pregnancy and suffer from mood swings. You may cry at things that had previously not affected you. This is due to a combination of your rapidly fluctuating hormones and the fact that pregnancy is a major life change.

Mood swings can be difficult for both you and your partner-try to keep communicating with each other and explain how you are feeling, no matter how irrational it may seem.

Focus On... Your health

Tackling fatigue

Fatigue is a common pregnancy complaint and you might find you have a sudden loss of energy in the early stages as your body adapts to the changes caused by pregnancy. This often lasts throughout the first trimester, but after about week 13 you should start to feel more energized. When you're not resting, try to stay active.

Another cause of fatigue is anemia. When you see your doctor you will be offered a blood test to check your iron levels, and if these are found to be low you will be offered supplements. To avoid anemia, eat iron-rich foods, such as dark green leafy vegetables, red meat, whole-grain cereals, and legumes, and drink prune juice. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron so try drinking fresh orange juice with meals. Limit caffeine intake (see ... Nutritionist) since it inhibits iron absorption.

exhausted pregnant woman
6 week embryo or fetus

The embryo is developing rapidly, although still only 4 mm long. The spinal column is in place and the eyes have formed. The yellow yolk sac on the left is larger than the embryo which it is nourishing.

More veggies please!

Be creative to stimulate your appetite and get essential nutrients:

  • Try raw veggies with a dip.
  • Throw in a few vegetables when you make your morning smoothie-cucumber, celery, peppers, and carrots are mild in flavor, but deliciously nutritious.
  • Try grating zucchini or carrots into soups, pasta sauces, and stews, or throwing a handful of squash, frozen peas, broccoli, asparagus, or green beans into a risotto.
  • Add vegetables to a cheese sauce. If you cook them in the sauce, it will absorb all of the nutrients that would normally make their way into the cooking water.
  • Make your own pizza topped with crunchy and colorful vegetables.
  • Choose vegetarian dishes when you get takeout.

excerpted from:

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Buy this book now!

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