As an expecting Dad you will want to know what is happening to your partner – the expecting mother. The information below will keep you updated!
The fetus really starts to look like a little baby now. By 14weeks the eyes are in the correct position in the face with eyelids tightly closed. You can make out the difference in sex organs between a boy and a girl and by week 20 the ears are perfectly formed and the fetus is able to hear sounds. Your unborn baby is picking up on the sounds around him so start chatting to your baby every day. It is during this trimester that the Mom is able to feel movements as the fetus kicks.
AMNIOCENTESIS: another diagnostic test may be done – checking to see if the fetus is developing normally.
This is usually done at 14 – 16 weeks of pregnancy though can be done up to 26 weeks. A sample of the amniotic fluid – that surrounds the baby is sent to the laboratory for analysis. This test may be recommended if the expecting mother is aged 35 or more, if there is a history of chromoscome abnormalities in the family, or if the nuchal translucency test was abnormal. There is still a risk of miscarriage so discuss this with your Obstetrician.
Pregnancy: 18 – 20 Weeks
This is when the next routine ultrasound examination is done .
The expecting Mom may be going through all sorts of emotional and physical changes as her body is changing and her pregnancy begins to show. She also is coming to terms with becoming a Mom, and working out who will be there to support her, whether she’s in a relationship or not.
It is great if both the expecting Mom and the expecting Dad are able to discuss their thoughts and feelings as they adjust to the idea of becoming a parent.
To express your thoughts, joys and perhaps your unspoken fears, visit the expecting Dad’s forum here – (soon you’ll realise you are not alone.
Week 18 Ultrasound
Because the baby is much bigger now – it is easier to see some of the organs. This is again when the Specialist is looking for any signs of birth defects, such as Down’s Syndrome – eg the nuchal fold – at the back of the neck. Apart from looking for any problems with your baby’s development, they are also looking for where the placenta is attached in the womb, and for signs that the baby is growing as is expected, also estimating the amount of amniotic fluid around the fetus. Congenital heart defects and other organ malformations can often be picked up at this stage. Multiple pregnancy (twins triplets etc) is usually picked up at the 11week Ultrasound. If there is a serious malformation or disease, you may be counselled to terminate the pregnancy.
Fetal blood sampling or cordocentesis
Using Ultrasound control – a sample of blood is taken from the umbilical cord. This is tested for chromosome abnormalities, some fetal infections and a condition called hydrops – which happens in blood Rh incompatibilities. RH incompatibility can cause severe anaemia in the unborn baby. The baby can actually be given a blood transfusion while still inside the womb.
This procedure carries a slightly greater risk of miscarriage than amniocentesis.
Results are usually available within a few days. This test is only done in specialist units and you would discuss the results with your Doctor.
Baby weighs about 9oz ( 250gm)
The baby is able to hear sounds, so it’s a great time to start developing your special relationship with your baby.
Exposing the fetal brain to some types of classical music is thought to help optimize baby’s brain development and therefore intelligence.
Possible effects on the Mom
- Body shape is changing – you are beginning to show you’re pregnant and breasts continue to expand!
- Sometime in the pregnancy most expecting mothers will develop stretch marks – which in the majority of cases will fade away to silvery lines that are not very noticeable.
- For most expecting mothers, they are no longer experiencing morning sickness though a very small percentage (as in Kate Middleton’s case – Duchess of Cambridge) go on to develop Hyperemesis Gravidarum. The expecting Mum can become dehydrated and needs hospitalization.
- By this stage the baby’s movements are very clearly felt
- Check out www.fertilemind.com.au or visit 2nd hand Maternity shops, borrow clothes from friends.
- You continue to put on weight
- People you don’t even know – start touching your ‘bump”