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human embryo at 5 weeks and 6 days

Your baby today

Development in the upper body usually precedes that in the lower body-this image shows the bulge containing the heart and liver, and the very earliest sign of development of the upper limb buds, but as yet there is no sign of the lower limb buds.

You may notice a marked increase in your breast size, even at this early stage of pregnancy.

The first part of your body to change shape is likely to be your chest. Your breasts may increase in size quite rapidly, looking bigger and feeling heavier. They may become quite tender to touch.

The nipples will change, the areola (the darker skin around the nipple) may become darker in color and your nipples may tingle. As your breasts get bigger, you might notice blue veins appearing. All these breast changes are due to the hormone estrogen.

Focus On... Safety

Detox yourself

Once you know you're pregnant, it's only natural to want to keep your baby safe, so...

Be careful when you're cleaning. Studies suggest there may be a link between pregnant women using bleach and spray air fresheners, and babies developing asthma. Plus, commercial oven cleaners contain toxic chemicals that experts believe could damage unborn babies.

  • Don't use "toxic" products.
  • Keep rooms well ventilated.
  • Steer clear of fumes.
  • Wear gloves.
  • Make your home sparkle with a solution made of bicarbonate of soda, distilled white vinegar, lemon juice, and essential oils.

Get someone else to clean your cat's litter box (or if that's not possible, wear rubber gloves and wash your hands afterward). Cat feces may contain parasites that can cause toxoplasmosis (see Protect yourself), an infection that could harm your unborn baby.

pregnant woman cleaning safely

Read the labels on cleaning products carefully to make sure they are not toxic, and always wear rubber gloves. Pregnancy can be a good time to ask your partner to clean the bathroom!

As A Matter Of Fact

Each breast will increase, on average, by 2 in (5 cm) and 3 lb (1.4 kg) during pregnancy.

That is why it is important to wear the right bra, even in the early stages of pregnancy.

Ask A... Doctor

How can I ease the soreness in my breasts?

Wearing a supportive bra can help with both the feelings of heaviness and soreness in your breasts, which are common in pregnancy. If your breasts are very tender at night, try wearing your bra at night while you sleep which may help. Try to avoid sleeping on your front if this causes discomfort. You may find that rubbing in a cream containing aloe vera is soothing.

excerpted from:

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

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