Your baby will be about 1 centimetre long by the end of week 5 and is growing more than a million new cells each minute! By the end of week 7 your baby will be about 3 cm and will have a heartbeat. Around this time the nerve cells in your baby’s brain are branching out to form primitive nerve pathways.
Your body: Take another pregnancy test if you didn’t get a positive result last week. A positive pregnancy test means that you are pregnant. You do not need any tests or treatments immediately but you should start to find out about the maternity services that are available to women in your area and start looking for a Lead Maternity Carer midwife or doctor.
Try to make an appointment to meet an LMC midwife or doctor*/obstetrician during weeks 6 – 8. (*In Auckland very few doctors provide LMC services so you will need to make an appointment with a midwife or specialist obstetrician in the first instance.)
Before you meet a potential Lead Maternity Carer midwife or doctor, make a list of :-
- the qualities that are important to you in the person who is going to support you through and share, what is probably, the most important event in your life.
- what you need from a Lead Maternity Carer.
- your beliefs about pregnancy, labour and birth
- make a list of the things you believe or think or know about pregnancy at this point in time and a list of the things you want to know that you could ask a midwife or doctor. After you’ve met a prospective LMC midwife or doctor, decide whether you feel that your ideas and beliefs are compatible and whether you feel that that LMC will be able to provide the care and information you will need during your maternity experience.
The LMC you register with will do some routine testing and monitoring e.g. height, weight, blood pressure and give you a referral to a medical laboratory for some blood tests. Make sure that you understand what your blood is being tested for and why. For further information about the screening test that you will be offered in the coming weeks read the sections on this website Informed Choice and Consent, Antenatal Screening and Diagnostic Tests and Testing for Congenital Abnormalities. For further information you can go to the Maternity Services Consumer Council website or, the Screening Programmes section of the National Screening Unit website at www.nsu.govt.nz
Announcing your pregnancy. If you have been planning to become pregnant you may not be able to resist telling family and friends as soon as you have a positive pregnancy test. When thinking about the appropriate time to announce your pregnancy you may want to consider that 1 out of every 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage before week 12 of pregnancy. Sometimes it can help if your friends and family have known that you are pregnant and can support you and your baby’s father through the grief. However, some women/couples find it even more distressing to have to “untell” the news of their pregnancy if they miscarry.
Eat regularly and well. (Get your husband/partner/ flatmates etc to cook if cooking smells make you feel nauseas.) Try to drink 2 litres of clear fluids – water, herbal teas (anything with ginger in it can help relieve nausea), dilute unsweetened fruit juice (apple juice helps to restore your electrolyte balance if you’re vomiting), miso soup etc. Your body’s levels of progesterone are higher than usual, relaxing the muscles in your intestinal tract, so if you don’t stay well hydrated you may become constipated.
Get plenty of rest. Your baby is growing rapidly and his or her organs are beginning to develop. Your body is undergoing enormous hormonal changes and growing blood vessels etc to support your pregnancy. These hormonal changes are what can cause the common symptoms of early pregnancy e.g. nausea, exhaustion, frequent urination, tingly breasts etc and also contribute to the emotional “swings and roundabouts” that many women experience during the first months of pregnancy. Make sure that your partner/husband is aware that all these symptoms are normal and that s/he can help by being supportive, assisting with the preparation of healthy drinks and meals, inviting you to go for walks etc.