Pregnancy Articles

Week 5: The Heart of it All!

Your Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy

Your Baby This Week

They say the heart is the center of who we are, and baby's growth reflects that! The area that will house your baby's heart is the first to develop. This is followed by the start of what will become your baby's brain and spinal cord, along with the beginning of his or her skeleton. Although these changes seem miniscule, they signal the beginning of an extremely important period of time when your baby is most susceptible to damaging influences. For this reason it's extremely important that you try not to smoke, drink alcohol, or expose your baby to any harmful chemicals, drugs or even herbs. If you are concerned about your prior use of such substances, discuss your concerns with your health care provider.

Your pregnancy is still in its very early stages, and your baby is growing very slowly. At this stage, most embryos are about 0.05 inches (1.3 mm)-still smaller than a grain of rice!

Your Body This Week

You're still not showing, but you have probably missed your period and may have the first inkling that you could be pregnant. A pregnancy test will show positive at this time. Although some tests claim to reveal pregnancy as early as 10 days after conception, the false negative rate is about 50 percent, so it's best to wait until you have missed a period to take a pregnancy test. If you have missed your period, make an appointment to see your health care provider. The earlier you begin prenatal care, the better it will be for you and your baby.

The Birth of Motivation

In all the excitement of your new job as expectant mother, it's hard to believe that you could lose your motivation to exercise or even eat right. Stress, time crunches, sour moods, or even burnout can sap your momentum and tempt you into making bad decisions that you'll regret later. It may have already happened. There's no standard magic pill for recovering that motivation and staying on track, but there are a number of strategies to choose from. The key is to find the motivators that work for YOU, and wring everything you can out of them. Julie Isphording is a former Olympic marathoner who knows a little something about sustaining motivation. Read some of her tips for starting and sticking with it.

But I Already Weigh Too Much!

Everyone--your doctor, your friends, your mother, even BabyFit--is telling you that weight gain is important for your baby. But what do you do if you're already overweight? How can you manage that weight gain so your baby can develop without letting the weight spiral out of control, making things tougher later on? The answer can really be boiled down to a few simple steps: Know your weight gain goals; track your gain rate; choose a smart nutrition plan; and, with your doctor's permission, stay active. For more details about how to do this, check out these tips for overweight moms-to-be.
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