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Updated 21 November 2014

Week 5: 35 weeks to go!

The embryo develops into three layers and you might start noticing some changes to your body.

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What is happening to the baby:

Well done! Your baby is now officially called an embryo and is the size of an apple seed. The embryonic period lasts for about six weeks and is a time of rapid growth and development.

The embryo is protected by the amniotic sac and nourished by the placenta. The umbilical cord connects the placenta with the embryo. (The mother and embryo do not share the same blood system.)

The embryo develops into three layers:

  • The ectoderm (top layer) – from which will develop the nervous system, the skin and other organs.
  • Mesoderm (middle layer) – from which will develop the bones, muscles, kidneys, reproductive organs, heart and circulatory system (the latter system is the first organ system to function).
  • Endoderm (inner layer) – from which will develop the digestive system, lungs, thyroid, thymus and the beginnings of the urinary system.
What is happening to you:
  • Your breasts may change. They may become swollen and tender to the touch. The skin around the nipple (areola) may darken.
  • Your appetite may increase or you could be affected by nausea and vomiting.
  • You may crave certain foods or develop a sudden dislike for foods that you previously enjoyed.
  • You will probably find that you have to run to the toilet to urinate more often.

What to do:
If you haven’t had a pregnancy test done yet, do a home pregnancy test. If you test positive, make an appointment with your doctor to confirm the diagnosis. Ask about nutrition and an ante-natal. If you are taking any medication discuss this with your doctor as your treatment may need to be altered. Your doctor will do “booking bloods” - to determine your blood group and to test for syphilis, immunity to rubella, Hepatitis B, HIV, haemoglobin, signs of infection and protein in the urine. A “Pap” smear of the mouth of the womb may also be performed.

Dads-to-be often feels excluded during pregnancy. Make every effort to get them involved.

 
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