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Pregnancy Calendar: Months 3 & 4

  • By Emily Amelia Inglis
  • Published 06/28/2012

The third month of your pregnancy

By the end of the third month of your pregnancy calendar your baby is fully formed and will spend the next six months maturing, growing and gaining weight dramatically. Its eyes are now completely formed and facing forwards and its bones are growing, although still formed from soft cartilage. With its hands now complete, and fingernails growing, your baby is starting to move its fingers. Still a few weeks to go before you’ll feel your baby moving because it’s so tiny!

The placenta now takes over as your baby’s life-support system and the centre of hormone production. From now on it will filter vital oxygen and nutrients from your bloodstream via the umbilical cord and into your growing baby.

Your uterus will rise above your pelvic bones as it’s now too large to remain in your pelvis, and you’ll begin to develop a distinct bump. You may also notice the linea nigra (a dark line of pigmentation) appearing from your pubic bone to your tummy button.

It’s important to keep up a healthy diet throughout your pregnancy calendar as nutrients from your blood are now flowing into the baby via the placenta. You’ll also feel faint if you skip a meal. Try to eat little and often, rather than relying on a couple of big meals a day. It may come as a surprise but you only need about an extra 300 calories a day during pregnancy, so eating for two isn’t about double portions, but making the right food choices for the two of you.

The fourth month of your pregnancy

Until now your baby’s head has grown quicker than anything else, but its body is catching up and is beginning to look more in proportion. The skin, still so translucent that the blood vessels can be seen underneath, is protected with fine downy hair called lanugo, which disappears in the last few weeks of pregnancy.

A period of rapid growth sees the skeleton hardening, taste buds forming and the heart pumping about 50 pints of blood per day. Your baby is beginning to sense more about the world – both inside and outside of the womb. As well as sucking its thumb and grabbing the umbilical cord, baby will hear its first sounds and will be able to listen to your heartbeat, your digestion and your voice.

In a straightforward pregnancy, these are the weeks when you will feel at your best. Your heart rate has now increased by about 20%, so you are benefiting from an increased flow of blood throughout your body, which can result in firmer and smoother skin and a welcome healthy glow. You may also notice your hair can become thicker and glossier than normal due to hormonal changes which affect oil production and your hair’s regular growth pattern. Hurray!

A less welcome symptom of pregnancy is constipation, which can occur as the hormone progesterone slows down your digestion and your growing uterus pushes on your bladder and bowel. Drinking two litres water each day should help, as will including extra fibre in your diet.

About the Author : Emily Amelia Inglis is a fan of a pregnancy calendar.



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