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Hello, hormones! As your baby is busy transforming from a cluster of cells into a full-fledged fetus, surging levels of pregnancy hormones signal to your body that changes and extra work are needed to nourish your developing baby. Pregnancy hormones carry out a vital job, but they can also bring with them some unwelcome side effects, including morning sickness, fatigue and moodiness. In other words, buckle up, because the second month can be a bumpy ride.
Over the next few weeks, intense development will continue to take place as your baby's main organ systems (nervous system, digestive system, circulatory system, etc.) quickly form and, by about eight weeks after conception, are all in place. They will develop and mature as the months progress. Some highlights of this time of rapid change and growth include:
Your baby has a beating heart by week 5.
Arms and leg buds appear, with fingers and toes visible by week 6.
Lungs, ears, eyes and all other essential organs begin to form by week 8.
By the end of the second month, your baby is about an inch long and weighs about 1/3 ounce.
Every woman adjusts to pregnancy in her own way, but one second-month symptom most moms-to-be seem to encounter? Fatigue. "The first trimester is exhausting for most pregnant women. It take lots of energy to grow a new baby, not to mention all the changing hormones," says Kelly Kasper, M.D., Obstetrics & Gynecology at Indiana University Health. As for a remedy for fatigue, Dr. Kasper recommends listening to your body's needs by taking naps, turning in early, and sleeping in late as much as you can. Trust us, get all the sleep you can now!
This month, you may also notice some outward signs of pregnancy beginning to appear. Changes you might detect include:
Blood vessels, especially on the breasts and abdomen, become more pronounced as the amount of blood in your body increases to bring nourishment to your growing baby. Your total blood volume increases by about 15 percent during the first trimester alone! By the end of pregnancy, your heart will pump about 40 percent more blood than it did pre-pregnancy.
Although you can't feel it, your uterus has begun to expand, growing from the size of a clenched fist to the size of a softball by the end of your second month. As a result, you might notice your jeans are fitting a bit more snugly these days—though, probably not enough to break out the maternity pants just yet.
Emotionally, you might be noticeably more moody—feeling exhilarated one minute and anxious the next. Other typical first-trimester inconveniences may also develop, including increased urination, morning sickness and food aversions.
Things to Start Thinking About
Get Educated. Childbirth may seem like a long way off, but as Lizellen La Follette, M.D., OB-GYN at Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, Calif., recommends, being an early bird when it comes to choosing and registering for childbirth prep classes has its benefits. "You might want to register now for childbirth classes now because sometimes these classes fill up early," she notes.
Got Milk? It's during the second month of pregnancy that your baby's skeleton changes from cartilage to bone, which means increasing your calcium intake to about 1,000 mg per day is a must to make sure your baby's bones (and your own skeleton) are healthy and strong. Good dietary sources for calcium include milk, yogurt and cheese. Non-dairy sources for the bone-building mineral include fortified soy milk, leafy green vegetables and sesame seeds.