Healthy Pregnancy, Month by Month

Changes to expect in the second month of pregnancy

Baby’s Growth

In this second month of life, your baby continues to develop internal organs and other major structures of the body. There is also continued growth and development of the brain and spinal column. Your baby’s heart is developing along with a primitive circulatory system. By the end of this week your baby’s heart will begin beating! For the next few weeks your baby will be at the Embryo stage of development.

Week 6

Your baby has tripled his size this week, measuring ¼ inch (4-6 mm) from head to bottom, also called crown to rump. Babies are not usually measured head to toe before being born because of the difficulty in measuring the curled up legs. If you could see your baby now you would see arm and leg buds on the sides of the body, eyes forming on the sides of the head and an opening for the mouth being formed.

Week 7

If you could see your baby at this point, you would find the arm and leg buds have lengthened and the arm is divided into a shoulder section and an arm/hand section but there are no fingers yet. Your baby’s eyes and nostrils are developing, but the eyes look large and are always open and the nostrils are just nasal pits not a nose yet. His heart bulges out of his chest and the umbilical cord is continuing to lengthen.

Week 8

Internally, your baby is continuing to develop organ systems. Her bronchial tubes (main passages of the lungs) are beginning to branch out and her bones may begin to harden (ossification). Her heart rate is about 150 bpm, which is about twice the speed of an adult heart. She is also developing her pituitary gland, and the gonads are developing into ovaries or testes. By the end of the eighth week, all the organs are present. There is also continued growth and development of the brain and spinal column. At the end of the eighth week your baby will be around 1 inch long and weigh 0.1 oz.

Mom’s Changes

By this point your body is in full pregnancy swing, and you may be feeling some major changes happening. Pregnancy hormones have caused your breasts to grow and mature, which may cause breast tenderness or soreness. These same hormones may be to blame for the morning sickness experienced by about half of all pregnant women.

As your metabolic rate increases, you will find that your overall energy need (calorie) has increased, especially your need for protein. Some women find that if they are not eating enough they feel lethargic, or may experience nausea. Fatigue is to be expected in early pregnancy, but it should not be excessive. Be sure you are eating enough good food and that you are getting adequate rest to ensure your body has the strength it needs every day.

Your blood volume has increased to help meet the needs of the baby. And blood supply to the uterus and vagina has increased significantly. You may find your vaginal area to be extra sensitive and slightly swollen from the extra blood. You will also notice an increased vaginal discharge that helps keep the vaginal canal clean and infection free.

You may also begin to have mood swings. Although increased moodiness is to be expected from the hormonal changes, it should not be excessive. The thyroid is especially sensitive during pregnancy, so you should alert your doctor to any indications that you may be experiencing above average moodiness.

Common Concerns

The following concerns are commonly experienced during this month. Please click an item to learn why it happens and what you can do about it.
Urinary Frequency
Breast Soreness
Increased Fatigue
Increased Moodiness
Increased Vaginal Discharge
Morning Sickness

To Do List

  1. Do your best to continue to eat right. Your baby is being built from protein, which it cannot get from extra fat stores on your hips. You need to be eating good quality lean proteins every day to ensure your baby has the tools with which to build bones, organs and other body tissues. In addition, you need to be sure you are eating adequate amounts of carbohydrates to fuel your body and the work of growing a baby. Unfortunately, many women find it difficult to eat well during the first trimester because they feel tired and sick to their stomach. The irony is, eating healthy may actually help relieve some of those symptoms.
  2. Find your health care provider. You may have many choices in your area, look into all of them. You want to find someone who shares your philosophy about childbirth, not someone you are going to have to convince to do everything you would like. Interview doctors and midwives before signing up with the practice.
  3. >Complete any paperwork necessary for your insurance program. There may be no paperwork necessary, or you may need to complete an application for pregnancy coverage with an insurance provider.
  4. Continue your exercise regime, or begin one. Women who exercise during pregnancy feel more comfortable and have more energy.
Jennifer (Author)