Grow Baby Grow
Your baby is busy again this week! His or her tiny outer parts are forming. Little toes appear. A smidgen of a nose begins taking shape on a hefty head. Small bulges on each side of the neck indicate the position of the ears. The inner ear, developing now, will be essential for balance and hearing. Lips are barely present on a minuscule mouth that closes and opens only seven short weeks after conception.
Your baby’s elbows can bend now as muscles and bones have matured. The backbone and ribs are supple and bendable, which solidify into bone later on, even following delivery. Although tiny and not fully functioning, all internal organs are present. Amazingly, portions of the intestines housed in your baby’s umbilical cord will move completely into your baby’s abdomen when space permits. Clear, yellow tinged urine is now being produced and expelled into the amniotic fluid which does not disturb your baby whatsoever. Your baby may begin moving now. Your baby is about ¾ inch long.
One pregnancy complication affecting thousands of women and babies that has risen by twenty-five percent over the last twenty years is “Preeclampsia.” This serious medical problem affects 5%-8% of all pregnancies and 15% of these women develop HELLP (Hemolysis Elevated Liver enzymes and Low Platelets) Syndrome. Preeclampsia is a major source of maternal and infant illness and death. It usually occurs during the last half of pregnancy and rarely before Week 20; it may also strike in the postpartum period.
If this is your first pregnancy, the symptoms of nausea, vomiting and lower backache may be present. How do you distinguish these symptoms from the onset of preeclampsia? Early in your pregnancy speak with your health care team about preeclampsia as the symptoms of preeclampsia usually begin after Week 20. Your health care team may recommend the PreeclampsiaScreenSM l T1. This simple first-trimester blood test could help determine if you are at low or high risk for preeclampsia.