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8 WEEKS, 3 DAYS

221 days to go...

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ultrasound of human embryo at 8 weeks and 3 days

Your baby today

In a matter of days, your baby's eyes have developed from slight ridges to clear depressions, on each side of the face. The face is developing rapidly at this stage, and your baby's heartbeat would be seen on an ultrasound scan.

It's a few weeks before the hormone responsible for morning sickness subsides, but the nausea will pass soon.

You may be wondering when you'll wake up and no longer feel sick. HCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) levels, which may be responsible for feelings of nausea will begin to fall in about three weeks' time and most women begin to feel better then. For some women the sickness may continue beyond this time.

You may have just started to feel nauseous or your sickness may have begun weeks ago and now be worse, but by around week 12 you should be over the worst. Nausea that happens daily, especially if it is associated with fatigue, can be very wearing so try to remember that it's temporary. It's normal to have some morning sickness and you should be able to keep some foods and fluids down. However, for a small minority of pregnant women-about 1 percent-the vomiting is severe, occurring regularly and lasting over a period of weeks. This more serious form of morning sickness is called hyperemesis gravidarum and can lead to dehydration. Hospital treatment with intravenous fluids and anti-nausea drugs may be required to rehydrate you.

Seek advice from your doctor if you're concerned about the amount of times you're vomiting or if you're struggling to keep fluids and food down.

As A Matter Of Fact

About 70-80 percent of pregnant women suffer from morning sickness.

If you are one of the 20-30 percent who don't be thankful. You may get anxious if you're not feeling sick because it is such a common symptom, but don't worry and just count yourself lucky.

Acupressure wristbands

A simple solution to help relieve feelings of nausea is to wear acupressure wristbands. Available from pharmacists, these bands have been clinically tested in the treatment of pregnancy-induced nausea. Unlike anti-nausea drugs, they don't have any side effects and are easy to use.

The elastic bands, one worn on each arm, work by applying pressure on the Nei Kuan acupressure point (known as P6). They can be washed and reused as necessary.

acupressure wristbands for pregnancy nausea

Focus On... Health

Fit-not sick

If you're feeling particularly nauseous, try going for a brisk walk in the fresh air while concentrating on your breathing and posture. Sometimes frequent sips of water help these feelings, and will allow you to exercise longer. Regular exercisers may find that nausea is absent during exercise, although it may resume after the session.

Extreme nausea and vomiting can be a sign of overexercising. Always drink water before, during, and after any physical activity.

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