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8 WEEKS, 6 DAYS

218 days to go...

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ultrasound of human embryo at 8 weeks and 6 days

Your baby today

This 3D ultrasound scan shows a baby lying on its back, in exactly the same orientation as the image opposite. It is just possible to pick out the limb buds on an ultrasound scan taken at this stage.

It's not long until you have your first prenatal appointment and will see your doctor.

In a couple of weeks' time, you will have your initial appointment (see You are 10 Weeks and 1 Day) with the doctor. If you haven't made an appointment for this yet, contact your doctor now to arrange it. You may or may not have a choice of hospitals. If you do have options, talk to women you know locally who have had their babies at those hospitals to find out about their experience. For example, some hospitals may have a birth center attached, and have a less medically managed approach to childbirth.

Start thinking now about the kind of questions you want to ask your doctor. It's a good idea to write these down. Also make a note, in advance, of the key details of your medical history and any pregnancy symptoms.

Tackling colds

Cold medicines contain a variety of ingredients, including antihistamines, that are best avoided in pregnancy. Check the label and talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medications.

Try natural remedies, such as steam inhalations or saline nasal sprays before resorting to medication.

Ask A... Panel about home birth

It's my first pregnancy. Can I have a home birth?

Midwife: if you're in good health with no complications, giving birth at home is an option. Many women enjoy the experience of giving birth at home, because they may feel more comfortable with familiar surroundings and people. Some women find labor easier when they get into water, either a familiar bathtub at home or a birthing pool that has been purchased or rented.

Obstetrician: there is no problem with this in general, but take advice from your doctor. You should avoid taking risks. If there is a history of long or complicated labors in your family, your baby is breech or very small, there are issues about the location of the cord or the placenta, you are very overweight or unhealthy, or you suffer from conditions such as diabetes, it might be worth erring on the side of caution. If you have your baby in a hospital, quick and early intervention can take place if needed. You may want to have a home birth; however, it is sensible to listen to the experts. Delivery of a healthy baby is the most important thing.

Mom: I had my first baby at home, and it was wonderful. I was nervous about what might go wrong, but my midwife reassured me that she would be monitoring me, and would get me to the hospital if there was a problem. She also explained I could change my mind if I didn't think things were going well, and go to the hospital for the birth (and some pain relief!).

woman discussing home birth with doctor

Find out from your doctor if a home birth is a possibility for you.

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