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7 WEEKS, 5 DAYS

226 days to go...

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Your baby today

This ultrasound scan of the baby in side view shows that the head (at top) is relatively large compared to the rest of the body. The lighter, elongated area at the center of the baby's darker body is an upper arm bud.

Life goes on even though you're pregnant, but make sure you seek the right help if you're becoming overly tired.

You may find work a strain at times. If you have symptoms, such as fatigue, and still haven't told colleagues you're pregnant, it can make for a stressful and difficult day. If you've told some colleagues, or your boss, you're expecting it may be easier but you might feel you have to prove you can still do your job as efficiently as before.

Traveling can be tiring so explore the possibility of doing more flexible hours, so that you can commute when it's less busy. Be reassured that even though you aren't feeling your best, your unborn baby is unlikely to be affected. Do, however, take care of yourself.

If you find that you're struggling to deal with your workload, consider speaking to your boss (you can ask him or her to keep your pregnancy a secret until you are ready to tell), or someone in the human resources department, to give yourself a little breathing space. If you have colleagues who are close friends, lean on them for support in these early weeks.

Are you nesting already?

There's nothing like a new arrival to inspire you to get all those do-it-yourself (DIY) jobs done around the home. For most women, the nesting bug occurs in the later weeks of pregnancy, but if you're itching to get your house in order before then, make sure you exercise a little caution.

First of all, avoid putting yourself and your baby at risk: don't stand on tall ladders, and don't bend and crouch for long periods since this may affect your circulation. Avoid contact with oil-based paints, polyurethane (used for flooring), spray paints, turpentine, and other paint removers, and avoid inhaling plaster dust.

Ask A... Doctor

I'm going on an overseas, pre-paid vacation to a tropical climate. Can I have vaccinations now that I'm pregnant?

In principle, it's a good idea to avoid traveling to parts of the world where there is a high risk of disease unless you really need to. Local health care might not be adequate and food and water may be contaminated, which poses dangerous risks.

If it isn't possible to change your destination or postpone your vacation, be aware of the following:

  • Oral vaccines to protect against yellow fever, typhoid, polio, and anthrax, for example, are contraindicated during pregnancy, although your doctor may decide that if you need to travel, the risk of having the vaccine is lower than the risks associated with contracting the disease.
  • Some vaccines (polio and typhoid) are safe when given by injection. Mefloquine tablets, taken to prevent malaria, are considered safe after week 16.
  • It's safe to have a tetanus vaccination if you're pregnant; check whether yours is up-to-date.

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