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8 WEEKS, 5 DAYS

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Your baby today

The development of the baby's lower limbs always lags slightly behind that of the upper limbs. At this stage, the toes are not distinct and the legs are not yet bending at the knee.

It's understandable that your pregnancy will be on your mind. Try to find ways to communicate this to your partner.

At a time when you want to feel close to your partner, you may find that your relationship is changing, and it may be quite fraught with issues. Often men say that their pregnant partners are more sensitive or now react to things differently and that this can be difficult for them to handle.

Your relationship will inevitably change-going through pregnancy together is momentous-but as long as you keep communicating, you will be able to support each other. Being united now will stand you in good stead for the first year of parenting.

During the early stages of pregnancy, your partner may find it hard to relate to the fact that you're expecting a baby; the physical changes to your body won't be that visible at this stage and he is yet to see his baby on a scan. Conversely, you will be very aware of the pregnancy and undergoing many physical and emotional changes.

Your partner may need more time than you to adjust to the idea of becoming a parent. He may be concerned about practical issues, such as the changes to your lifestyle and the financial implications of having a baby. Talking openly to each other can help ease anxieties for you both. Remember, that although many changes are happening to your body, your partner does have feelings and this is a big life change for him too. If you've told your family and close friends about the pregnancy, all the attention may be on you. Your partner may be feeling left out and this is something that often gets worse as the pregnancy progresses and after the baby arrives.

Take time to find out your partner's concerns and look for ways to involve him more in the pregnancy, if that's what he wants. If you have a good support network of friends, encourage him to spend time with male friends who have been through the expectant dad experience.

Support each other as you both go through the different emotions attached to becoming parents. Don't lose sight of your relationship and be understanding of each other's needs.

Ask A... Mom

I'm worried we won't have space in our small apartment, but is a house move inadvisable while I'm pregnant?

We started the process but thankfully it fell through since it was proving quite stressful, and it's not advisable to deal with those kinds of pressures while you're pregnant. We stayed in our apartment until our baby was one and it was fine. Remember that small babies have very few needs, other than being fed, loved, changed, and stimulated, and much of the paraphernalia that you think you need is unnecessary. If you have room for a crib, a stroller, a drawer for your baby's clothes, and a corner for toys, you'll be fine in a small space for the time being.

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