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