The ball of cells now resembles a tadpole and is as big as a peppercorn. The creation of the brain, spinal cord, heart, and blood vessels is already well under way.
This week, your baby's ticker will start beating for the first time! (Neither you nor your doctor can hear it yet, but it may be possible to see the movement on an ultrasound.) And your little one has been really busy growing! The embryo now has three distinct layers: the outer ectoderm, which will form the nervous system, ears, eyes, inner ear and many connective tissues; the endoderm, or inner layer, which will grow into internal organs like the lungs, intestines and bladder; and the middle mesoderm, which will eventually make way for the heart and circulatory system. In the weeks to come, the mesoderm will also evolve into bones, muscles, kidneys and reproductive organs.
The dark area is the fluid filling the gestational sac. Eventually, this fluid will be replaced by a sac containing the amniotic fluid your baby-to-be will live in for the next few months. The white circle within the fluid is called the yolk sac. Before the placenta is fully formed, the yolk sac plays a role in providing all the nutrients your baby-to-be needs to grow. Adjacent to the yolk sac, little + marks show a very early embryo. The sonographer measures the length of the embryo (the crown-rump length or CRL) to confirm or revise the due date estimated from your LMP, or to evaluate the embryo's growth.Read More
Feeling overjoyed one minute and equally stressed out the next? It's all part of the normal mood swings that come along with pregnancy. You might feel elated, depressed, angry, sentimental, powerful, and insecure -- sometimes all in the same hour. Your hormones are flaring, so it's only natural for emotions to do the same, especially when a major life change is on the way. Mood swings are often the most intense during the next month, and they sometimes surge again toward the end of pregnancy. Also, you may be surprised to learn that about 10 to 12 percent of women will experience depression during pregnancy -- nearly as many as those who do postpartum. If at any point during your pregnancy you feel depressed for more than two weeks, call your practitioner.
No matter how you're feeling, remember that getting enough sleep is a sure mood-booster. Eight hours or so of shut-eye can make a world of difference. And right now, you might feel like dozing off all the time -- at work, in front of the TV, in mid-sentence -- thanks to soaring progesterone levels, lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and increased blood volume.