You've made it into month two, or weeks six through ten, of your pregnancy. By the end of this month, your baby will have outgrown her embryonic development and matured into a fetus. Your body is changing rapidly. You may start to feel pregnant now, if you didn't feel so before.
Month Two Checklist
- Start developing a maternity wardrobe.
- Make room for your baby.
- Create a baby-safe car environment.
Your Baby This Month
Your unborn child has now advanced from raisin to raspberry size—about a half inch in length. By the end of the month, she will be about an inch long. Your baby is lengthening and straightening from the curled form she held last month. The tail she was sporting disappears around week eight, and her closed eyes start to move from the sides of her head to their permanent location. The face is further defined by a nose an jaw, and the buds of twenty tiny baby teeth are present in the gums by week ten. The palate and vocal cords also form around this time. Important organ systems are nearly complete by the end of this second month. The right and left hemispheres of your baby's brain are fully formed, and brain cell mass grows rapidly. Soft bones begin to develop, and the liver starts to manufacture red blood cells until the bone marrow can take over the job in the third trimester.
Your Body's Changes
Check off which of the following symptoms you experience this month to look back on the progress of your pregnancy and talk to your doctor or midwife about any that make you especially uncomfortable:Frequent urination
Tender, larger breasts
Increased vaginal discharge
Occasional dizziness or faintness
Indigestion or gas
Nasal congestion and/or runny nose
On Your Mind
Now that you're feeling more symptoms of pregnancy, the reality of impending parenthood may suddenly hit home. Understanding and recognizing your emotional changes can help you better control your stress levels and mood swings.
It's easy to get stressed out over what may seem like an overwhelming amount of preparation for your new family member. Your body is already working overtime on the development of your child; try to keep your commitments and activities at a reasonable level to prevent mental and physical overload.
As you rush to get everything "just so," remember that your little one is not going to care if the crib matches the dresser, but he will feel the effects of your excess tension. Take steps to decompress when you do feel the pressure building by practicing relaxation and meditation techniques (e.g., progressive muscle relaxation, yoga with your doctor's consent), adjustments to your work or social schedule, or carving out an hour of "me" time each evening to decompress.
At the Doctor's or Midwife's Office
If you had your preliminary appointment last month, your prenatal office visits will now start to slip into a routine. At the start of each appointment, expect to:
- Step on the scale
- Give a urine sample
- Have your blood pressure checked
- Be asked about any new or continuing pregnancy symptoms
- Have your provider feel the outside of your abdomen
Bring along that list of questions that have come up since your last visit. Write these down at the conclusion of each chapter when they come to you and your partner so they are easy to find and you won't have to rely on your memory at the office.