Your baby's neck is growing, and he's now looking more and more like a human being. Internally, the thyroid gland first develops at the base of the tongue but gradually moves down to lie in the neck, overlying the trachea (windpipe). The thyroid gland is producing the hormone thyroxine, using iodine transported from your body across the placenta. The baby's kidneys are starting to function. The nephrons in the kidneys are lengthening and maturing: these essential units enable the kidney to function by filtering the blood and eliminating waste from the body.
New nephrons will be produced up until the 37th week and the kidneys continue to lengthen by around 1 mm a week during the entire pregnancy.
This line is called the linea nigra, which occurs due to changes in skin pigmentation. It's extremely common, affecting 90 percent of all pregnant women in some way or another, and is often more noticeable if you are darker skinned.
You may also notice a darkening of the skin around your nipples and a darkening of freckles, moles, or birthmarks. A few women may also experience brown patches on their face called chloasma or the "mask of pregnancy" (see ... Doctor and Increased pigmentation). These changes are caused by the extra amounts of the hormone estrogen during pregnancy, which affects the melanin-producing cells of the skin-these cells produce the pigment that darkens the skin. These color changes are normal and will usually fade once the baby is born.
The majority of employers are supportive when they find out an employee is pregnant, and hopefully this will be the case for you. However, should a problem arise, there is employment law in place to protect pregnant women:
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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