Every pregnant woman’s emotional reactions during pregnancy differ. In this phase, nausea, dizziness and discomforts similar to menstrual cycle start to lessen. If you went through a period whereby your stomach was sensitive and prevented consumption of some meals, you may be able to begin consumption of some of those food items. The feeling of fatigue will also lessen and as your womb continues its enlargement into the abdominal cavity, and the urge to urinate also reduces. While acid indigestion could still be a problem, muscle pain is normal due to the enlargement of the uterus and the probability of a miscarriage decreases.
The unease of the previous months gradually diminishes and rate of nail and hair growth could peak between 10 to 13 weeks of pregnancy. Increase in the pregnancy hormones could lead to an increase in the pigmentation of the skin, but fret not, all skin related problems will disappear after birth. You might have gained a little weight. Feelings of fullness and sensitivity in the breasts increase due to your glands producing breast milk. If your nipples get too sensitive and consequently painful, you can start using nipple creams.
The baby’s genitals develop in the last stage of the first trimester. Although your baby’s sex is determined on the basis of x and y chromosomes when you first become pregnant, he/she will have both male and female genitals until now. The face is now definitive and eyelids have formed while the forehead and nostrils widen. His/her vocal cords will also begin to develop. The liver is completely formed and the kidneys are in the process of developing. The whole body, starting from the face, is covered with fine hair called lanugo. Your baby is becoming active and may turn his/her head sideways, make hands into fists and can move his/her arms and legs. However, you cannot yet feel these movements. He/she has also has started experimenting with hiccups and swallowing. At this phase, foundation for your baby’s development has been laid and onwards, it is all about growth and development.
At the end of the 13th week, the baby is approximately 6 cm long and weighs 14 grams.
Between weeks 11 and 14, it is advisable to conduct a nuchal translucency measurement; a test for determining the risk of Down Syndrome. Detailed ultrasound examination results and the blood samples taken from the mother (via dual test) are used to identify the risk involved. The test’s accuracy of determining Down Syndrome is 85% and rate of false positives is 5%. In other words, it is possible to determine 9 out of 10 babies with Down Syndrome by means of these tests. Only 3 to 5 women out of 100 are subjected to further testing due to a false positive result.
If the result of the test is considered risky, then chorion villus sampling (taking a sample from the placenta under ultrasound) or amniocentesis is recommended. There are also other non-invasive Prenatal Tests based on the analysis of foetal DNA in the mother’s womb, as an alternative to the invasive tests. It is possible to determine the existence of Down Syndrome with a 99.9% test results.
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