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human embryo at 6 weeks and 5 days

Your baby today

This 3D ultrasound scan shows the embryo and its yolk sac, attached to the wall of the uterus. The yolk sac provides nourishment for the embryo until the placenta is fully functional, and produces blood cells until the liver can take over this role.

By this stage, you may have experienced bouts of dizziness. It's all part of your body and brain adjusting to the pregnancy.

If you feel lightheaded, especially when you get up from lying down, be extra careful. Dizzy spells are common, especially as your pregnancy progresses and you get bigger, since your heart has to work harder against the forces of gravity to get blood to the brain.

Try to stand up very gradually, in stages, from lying to sitting to standing. Dizziness can also occur if you have been standing for a long period of time, since blood may collect in your legs. Keep moving to encourage the blood to be pumped back to your heart.

Alternatively, you may feel dizzy due to low blood-sugar levels. Other symptoms of low blood sugar include feeling sweaty, shaky, and hungry. Even if you're feeling or being sick, try to eat little and often to ensure that your blood-sugar levels remain stable.

If you regularly feel dizzy, speak to your doctor, who will carry out some basic health checks.

Keep on moving

The last thing you may feel like doing is exercising, but it can play a significant role in alleviating and preventing pregnancy symptoms. Although a run through the park or a walk downtown may not sound as inviting as a cozy nap on the sofa, exercise is invigorating and the effects will last. Try to think of it as being active, rather than "exercising."

If after completing a physical activity you feel even more fatigued, decrease how hard and long you exercise. Always listen to your body. As you become more fit and your pregnancy progresses, these feelings of fatigue should diminish, usually by weeks 12-14.

pregnant woman stretching before exercise

The Lowdown

Being a teetotaler

Your baby's health is the most important consideration, so before you've announced your pregnancy, you may need to take steps to discreetly avoid drinking alcohol.

  • Buy the first round and get yourself a carbonated mixer and ice and a slice without the alcohol. Once everyone else has had one drink, they're less likely to notice that you're on the wagon. For the next round, say you're pacing yourself and ask for a mixer.
  • Claim you're detoxing or hungover and order a juice or a Virgin Mary.
  • Discreetly swap your full glass with your partner's empty one.

As A Matter Of Fact

Exercising regularly can help you sleep more deeply.

Insomnia is common in pregnancy, due to anxiety or difficulty in getting comfortable. Exercise is a destresser and will tire you out, increasing your chance of a good night's sleep.

excerpted from:

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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