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Congratulations! Now that you’ve announced your pregnancy, it might be time to reveal your baby’s gender. Boy or girl? Time to surprise you, your partner and your loved ones by holding a gender-reveal party.

Gender-reveal parties have become quite the recent phenomenon when sharing the sex of your baby to your closest friends and family. Some choose to find out the gender of their baby beforehand and surprise their guests, whilst others choose to find out at the same time as their guests.

We spoke to Charlotte Ricard-Quesada, who runs bespoke event and wedding planning business La Fete, to get some top tips on hosting a gender reveal party.

Here’s our ultimate to help you host a memorable gender-reveal party.

Choosing Your Theme Bows or Bowties

Nobody knows! This theme is potentially a wild one- make your guests wear their choice as to what they think the baby will be. Alternatively, you could call it ‘Staches or Lashes for those who want a traditional gender-reveal party with a small twist- a perfect mix of feminine and masculine.

What Will It Bee?

With summer right around the corner- no better way to keep your theme relevant than a ‘What will it BEE?’ gender reveal party. This theme is a great play on words and completely versatile as it can be used for baby showers and for when the baby is brought home.

To be consistent with the whole theme, it is important that you set theme clearly. The theme on the invitations settle the score for the whole party. Stick to white, black and yellow- and maybe add a touch of gold for a modern glam vibe.

Little Prince or Little Princess

“Once upon a time, there was a little baby called…”. Choosing this theme, you will be able to make a royal announcement to your guests- revealing whether you will be having a ‘Little Prince or Little Princess’. To capture the entire theme, create a fairy-tale moment by using royal colours.

What to Eat? Food to have at gender-reveal party

Food is always expected at a party, it doesn’t have to fit the theme but is a great way to build up the anticipation and excitement at any gender-reveal.

Cake

Just like any old party having cake is a necessity. Alongside your chosen theme, this is a great way to reveal the grand surprise. The cake will appear to be completely normal on the outside, but when cut all will be revealed by the icing or colour.

Alternatively, cookies, cupcakes and cake pops are popular choice for gender-reveals.

Candy floss

Now this isn’t as easily made at home but is guaranteed to be found in your local sweetshop. Perfect for a gender-reveal – candy floss usually comes in pink or blue, a fun way to build the anticipation before all is revealed.

As important it is to having food at the party, it is important to have a drink. Whether they are alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks.

Time for Decorations: how to decorate a gender-reveal party

Decorations can play a big part in building up the anticipation as well as making the big announcement. Small details in your party can go a long way, so be prepared to do a little DIY here and there.

Balloons

Balloons are a simple yet effective way of unveiling the big surprise. To give it an extra touch of something special fill them with pink and blue confetti. Confetti looks great in pictures for a more momentary feel.

Piñata

A piñata is another great way to entertain guests of all ages- fill it with pink or blue coloured sweets to reveal the grand surprise.

Nappy Cakes

Nappy cakes are great as decoration or as a gift. With the variety of sizes out there, you are able to create a number amount of designs ranging from a bouquet of flowers to strollers, dummies and teething rings.

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What to expect at 17 weeks pregnant.  Everything you need to know about your bodily changes and growing baby as you continue your journey of your second trimester.
Congratulations! You are now at 17 weeks pregnant- only 23 weeks left to go. Emotions are guaranteed to be high- ranging from excitement to nervousness. Reaching week 17 in your pregnancy is a major milestone. By now you’ll be finding out the gender of your baby as well as deciding what kind of delivery method you would like.

Read on to find out more about you and your baby’s development at 17 weeks.

Think you missed something? Re-visit what to expect at 16 weeks pregnant or head over to our pregnancy week by week guide for more information at every stage of your pregnancy.

Your Baby at 17 Weeks Pregnant

By week 17, your baby is approximately the same size as a pomegranate. The foetus is about 13cm and weighs around 0.14kg (140g).

Individual swirls and creases are forming on the fingertips and toes- proving that your baby is one of a kind.

At this moment baby is on high alert as its ears are coming to the point of being fully developed. So, at this point it is key to communicate with baby as they will be able to hear your voice nice and clearly.

Your baby’s facial muscles are strengthening throughout the second trimester. They are now practising sucking and swallowing in preparation for the real deal- whether that be a breast or a bottle. Whilst learning how to eat, fat is also developing under the skin- providing energy and warmth for your little one.

Your Body at 17 Weeks Pregnant

With baby getting bigger, your body is getting stronger. Your waist will begin to disappear as the womb moves up the body.

At the beginning of week 17 you will begin to notice your blooming period. Most commonly known as the ‘pregnancy glow’. With exploding hormones being constantly released into the body, you may notice that your hair and skin is beginning to flourish- another positive symptom that you may encounter throughout the second and third trimester.

17 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms Increased Appetite

Now that you’re eating for two- expect for your appetite to rapidly increase. With baby developing day by day, it will be demanding for more nutrition. So, listen to your hunger; ensuring that you fill yourself with food that high fibres and lean proteins allowing baby to be fit and healthy.

Stretch Marks

Gaining stretch marks during pregnancy is hereditary. It can also occur if you have a drastic increase or decrease in weight. Stretch marks are small tears within the skin tissues and completely normal. Moisturising with cocoa butter and consuming plenty of Vitamin C can help minimising them.

Occasional Headaches

With the build-up of hormones and tension at this stage of the trimester- you are likely to encounter the occasional headache. To avoid these symptoms from worsening ensure your blood sugar levels are regulated and try to remain calm by getting some air or relaxing in a bit of peace and quiet.

Faintness or Dizziness

As well as eating regularly, it is important that you stay hydrated to avoid feeling dizzy and dehydration. Being dehydrated can be one reason as to why you are feeling faint. Progesterone levels are constantly fluctuating which affect blood pressure levels which may also result in you feeling dizzy. This also can be avoided by eating regularly and getting a lot of fresh air.

Heartburn and Indigestion

The feeling of being bloated to having heartburn is undoubtably very uncomfortable. However, it is in fact very beneficial for your baby. The slowing-down of the body allows time for nutrients to be properly absorbed into your bloodstream and to be given to baby via the placenta.

Backaches

As the weeks ago by you will continue to grow and will notice the increase of back pain. Relax yourself by booking in for a pregnancy massage and if that does not work for you, perhaps opting for the ancient Chinese medical technique of acupuncture.

Ultrasound at 17 Weeks

If you have chosen to have a cordocentesis, it is possible for you to have a scan at 17 weeks. A cordocentesis consists of blood tests from the umbilical cord to examine any chromosomal abnormalities. The doctor will use an ultrasound to see where the placenta meets the cord. This form of test is usually done if you and your partner wish to have a more precise analysis of the baby’s health.

For more information on development and milestones at every stage of your pregnancy, visit our pregnancy week by week page.

Want more information and inspiration on everything parenting and lifestyle? Hit ‘Like’ on our Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and join the conversation on Twitter. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to Baby Magazine!

This post (17 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms, Ultrasound and Baby Size) was written by Suyeba Aslam and first appeared on the Baby Magazine website.

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What to expect at 16 weeks pregnant. Everything you need to know about your growing baby and bump as you settle into your second trimester.

By week 16, you’re settling into your second trimester and, if you had been keeping your pregnancy under wraps, it may prove difficult to hide the news for much longer. Your uterus is now growing at the same rate as your baby, which means a visible bump for many women.

Your baby’s development is also kicking up a gear at 16 weeks. At this point your baby is starting to look more like an actual baby and their eyes will be working and reacting to light.

Read on to find out more about your changing body and growing baby at 16 weeks pregnant.

Think you missed something? Re-visit what to expect at 15 weeks pregnant or head over to our pregnancy week by week guide for more information at every stage of your pregnancy.

How Many Months Pregnant is 16 Weeks?

At week 16 you are in your 4th month of pregnancy and second trimester. You have around 5 months left until your baby is due.

Your Baby at 16 Weeks Pregnant

At 16 weeks pregnant, your baby is developing more and more human-like features and their vital organs and limbs are continuing to form.

By this stage, the foetus has a recognisable face with eyes, eyebrows and even eyelashes. Their eyes are functioning and can react to light, but the eyelids are still closed. The ears are also developing further, and tiny bones are forming meaning your baby may be able to hear your voice.

You may also spot your baby sucking their thumb in upcoming scans after developing the ability to suck at around this stage. Their teeny, tiny facial muscles are also strengthening.  Your baby could be making some adorable facial expressions within the womb.

Meanwhile, your baby’s skin is still translucent. If you could see through your own tummy, into your uterus, you would be able to see baby’s blood vessels.

16 Weeks Pregnant Baby Size

At this stage, the foetus is between 10 to 13 cm tall and weighs about 100 grams. Your baby is approximately the size of an avovcado.

Your Body at 16 Weeks Pregnant

Your body is also going through some big changes. By 16 weeks it may no longer be possible to hide your pregnancy. Your uterus is growing quickly, in order to accomodate your rapidly growing baby. This means your baby bump may start to show more obviously.

16 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

As well as a protruding belly, there are other signs and symptoms of pregnancy you may experience at 16 weeks pregnant.

Although many of the pesky and unpleasant first trimester symptoms will have subsided by now, look out for the below:

Weight Gain

As your baby and your belly grows, and your pregnancy cravings increase, you might notice you’re putting on weight. Your baby is getting bigger and your should be too, however it is important the weight gain is slow and steady (and you’re mainting a healthy diet). Ideally you should be gaining around 1 pound a week. If you’re experiencing dramatic weight gain or loss during your pregnancy, you should contact your doctor.

Backaches

With your baby and belly growing, you may experience more aches and pains while adjusting to your heavier weight and bigger frame. Many women will suffer from mild back pain and strained back muscles. It might be time to cash in that offer of a massage from your partner. Or, better still, book in for a professional pregnancy massage.

Bleeding Gums and Nosebleeds

One not so pleasant pregnancy symptom you may experience at 16 weeks is bleeding and swollen gums. This is due to increased blood flow, and fluctuating hormone levels, which can cause increased sensitivity. Nosebleeds are another side effect.

Varicose Veins

The increased blood flow will also cause your veins to become more visible. Although you might not appreciate this aesthetically, it’s a good sign as it means there’s an increased blood supply to your growing baby.

Heartburn and Indigestion

This pesky progesterone has a lot to answer for. Increased levels of the hormone in your body can also cause bloating at 16 weeks pregnant. This is because it slows down the digestion process so that there’s more time to pass the nutrients on to your baby. However, in doing so, your growing uterus will squash and press onto your stomach and intestines. Your hormones also relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus, causing heartburn.

Dizziness

The extra blood pumping around your body can cause you to feel light-headed, dizzy and even faint. To ease these symptoms, try and remember to stand up and sit down slowly and keep sugar levels up with regular (healthy) snacks. If you feel faint, make sure you take a seat and rest up as soon as possible.

Baby Brain

A common symptom many women experience throughout their second and third trimester is something colloquially known as ‘baby brain’ or ‘pregnancy brain’. Forgetfulness is a rite of passage during pregnancy and can be blamed on those annoying hormones and a lack of quality sleep.

Higher energy levels

One positive symptom many women experience as they enter their second trimester is a lease of energy. This is because the placenta begins to kick into action and takes over the job of providing nutrients for your baby.

Increased sex drive

Another plus, with higher energy levels and a new rush of hormones, you may find yourself with increased libido. It’s said your new-found high sex drive can even have health benefits for you and your baby. These include improved mood, better sleep and tightening of your pelvic floor muscles – which can help speed up your recovery after birth. However, doctors advise you should abstain if you have a history of early labour miscarriage.

16 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

As you settle in to your second trimester, its time to think about your second prenatal scan. This takes place between 16 to 20 weeks and will be an opportunity for you to have another ultrasound, as well as a number of other tests and measurements.

At this second ultrasound, the doctor, nurse or ultrasound technician will be able to determine the sex of your baby. It’s up to you whether you want to find out!

Your GP or midwife will also carry out a physical examination and order tests such as a urine sample (to check for conditions such as preeclampsia and diabetes), as well as checking your blood pressure. You may also be offered some prenatal vaccines

Read more: Everything you need to know about the harmony test

For more information on development and milestones at every stage of your pregnancy, visit our pregnancy week by week page.

Read more: What is Cranial Osteopathy?

Want more information and inspiration on everything parenting and lifestyle? Hit ‘Like’ on our Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and join the conversation on Twitter. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to Baby Magazine!

This post (16 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms, Ultrasound and Baby Size) was written by Ruby Norris and first appeared on the Baby Magazine website.

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What to expect at 15 weeks pregnant. Everything you need to know about your baby and your pregnancy after the three-month stage.

You’re now nicely into your second trimester and may be enjoying a new burst of energy. At 15 weeks pregnant, for many mothers, the morning sickness that plagued your first three months of pregnancy will have subsided and you may even experience increased libido.

While everyone’s body is different, by this stage in your pregnancy your baby bump could be very noticeable. It’s also completely normal not to be showing at all. Your baby is also growing at a rapid rate and hitting important developmental milestones. Read on to find out everything you need to know at 15 weeks pregnant.

Think you missed something? Re-visit what to expect at 14 weeks pregnant or head over to our pregnancy week by week guide for more information at every stage of your pregnancy.

15 Weeks Pregnant in Months

At 15 weeks, you are three months and two weeks pregnant, meaning you are now in your 4th month of pregnancy. However, you may have only realised you were pregnant after missing your last period and so might have only known for a month or so. You should have already had your first dating scan to determine an initial due date.

Your Baby at 15 Weeks Pregnant: Size and Development

By this stage of your pregnancy, the foetus is growing rapidly and looks more and more like an actual baby. Their limbs and organs are continuing to form in the correct proportions. In particular, your baby’s ears and eyes are moving into their rightful places on their head.

Although your baby’s skin is still see-through, their bones are beginning to ossify (which means they will now show up on an X-Ray).

While your little one is busy moving around in the womb, it’s unlikely you will feel anything yet as they are still too tiny.

At 15 weeks pregnant, your baby is around 10cm long and weighs approximately 71 grams. So, about the size of a pear, or a naval orange.

Your Body at 15 Weeks Pregnant: Belly and Changes

Now that you are in your second trimester, you may start to show more physical signs of pregnancy. Many women might see a baby bump as the uterus pushes up above the pelvic bone to make room for a growing baby. However, it’s also completely normal not to show at all at 15 weeks. Every mum and every pregnancy is different. For first-time mums, it may take longer for a bump to show, however, if it is your second or third pregnancy the muscles may expand quicker.

15 Weeks Pregnant With Twins

If you are pregnant with twins, you will have more of a chance of showing at 15 weeks. This is because your muscles and belly will be stretching at a faster rate (to accommodate two growing babies). Another side effect of having twins is that some of the early pregnancy symptoms may last a little longer than if you were just carrying one baby. For example, the higher levels of pregnancy hormones may mean you suffer from morning sickness for longer.

15 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

While those pesky early pregnancy symptoms might be wearing off, there are still some signs and side effects of pregnancy that can take their toll at 15 weeks.

Weight Gain

As your baby and your belly grows, and your pregnancy cravings increase, you might notice you’re putting on weight. Your baby is getting bigger and your should be too, however it is important the weight gain is slow and steady (and you’re mainting a healthy diet). Ideally you should be gaining around 1 pound a week. If you’re experiencing dramatic weight gain or loss during your pregnancy, you should contact your doctor.

Bleeding Gums and Nosebleeds

One not so pleasant pregnancy symptom you may experience at 15 weeks is bleeding and swollen gums. This is due to increased blood flow, and fluctuating hormone levels, which can cause increased sensitivity. Nosebleeds are another side effect.

Varicose Veins

The increased blood flow will also cause your veins to become more visible. Although you might not appreciate this aesthetically, it’s a good sign as it means there’s an increased blood supply to your growing baby.

Heartburn and Indigestion

This pesky progesterone has a lot to answer for. Increased levels of the hormone in your body can also cause bloating at 15 weeks pregnant. This is because it slows down the digestion process so that there’s more time to pass the nutrients on to your baby. However, in doing so, your growing uterus will squash and press onto your stomach and intestines. Your hormones also relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus, causing heartburn.

Dizziness

The extra blood pumping around your body can cause you to feel light-headed, dizzy and even faint. To ease these symptoms, try and remember to stand up and sit down slowly and keep sugar levels up with regular (healthy) snacks. If you feel faint, make sure you take a seat and rest up as soon as possible.

Baby Brain

A common symptom many women experience throughout their second and third trimester is something colloquially known as ‘baby brain’ or ‘pregnancy brain’. Forgetfulness is a rite of passage during pregnancy and can be blamed on those annoying hormones and a lack of quality sleep.

Higher energy levels

One positive symptom many women experience as they enter their second trimester is a lease of energy. This is because the placenta begins to kick into action and takes over the job of providing nutrients for your baby.

Increased sex drive

Another plus, with higher energy levels and a new rush of hormones, you may find yourself with increased libido. It’s said your new-found high sex drive can even have health benefits for you and your baby. These include improved mood, better sleep and tightening of your pelvic floor muscles – which can help speed up your recovery after birth. However, doctors advise you should abstain if you have a history of early labour miscarriage.

15 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

At 15 weeks, you might be thinking about finding out your baby’s gender at your next scan.

Typically, an ultrasound to discover the sex of your baby is carried out at around 16 to 20 weeks.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the harmony test

For more information on development and milestones at every stage of your pregnancy, visit our pregnancy week by week page.

Read more: What is Cranial Osteopathy?

Want more information and inspiration on everything parenting and lifestyle? Hit ‘Like’ on our Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and join the conversation on Twitter. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to Baby Magazine!

This post (15 Weeks Pregnant: Size, Ultrasound and Belly) was written by Ruby Norris and first appeared on the Baby Magazine website.

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What to expect at 14 weeks pregnant. Everything you need to know about your body and baby as you enter your second trimester.

At 14 weeks pregnant, you are now in your second trimester. Thankfully, some of those peskier early pregnancy symptoms will now be easing off and, for many women, the pregnancy glow is kicking in.

You’ve probably already had your 12-weeks scan and may be ready to share your happy news with friends and wider family. You might notice the beginnings of a baby bump, too.

However, while you may have waved goodbye to morning sickness and other first trimester gripes, there are still some symptoms to look out for in your second trimester. Read on for everything you need to know about and your baby’s development and your changing body at 14 weeks pregnant.

Think you missed something? Re-visit what to expect at 13 weeks pregnant or head over to our pregnancy week by week guide for more information at every stage of your pregnancy.

Your Baby at 14 Weeks Pregnant

By the 14-week stage, your baby is about the size of a peach or a nectarine. The foetus is now about 9 to 10cm long (4 inches) and weighs approximately 57 grams. However, at this point, although growth is rapid the rate can vary day-to-day and between pregnancies.

Your baby’s facial muscles will now be strengthening and twitching during your second trimester. Although you might not be able to see the frowns and smiles just yet, they’ll be practicing their adorable facial expressions in the womb.

The foetus is lengthening at 14 weeks. This means your baby is beginning to stand up straight in your uterus and no longer appears curled over, as the neck straightens out. Baby is also moving around quite a bit. During your second trimester, you may start to feel all sorts of strange sensations as your baby wiggles around in your tummy.

Very fine, downy hair known as lanugo is still sprouting all over your baby’s body, as well as hair on their head and eyebrows. Your baby’s digestive system is also continuing to develop. Their intestines are now producing meconium, which will be passed as baby’s first poo.

The roof of your baby’s mouth is forming at 14 weeks pregnant.

Your Body at 14 Weeks Pregnant

While your baby is rapidly developing, your body is also going through some big changes at 14 weeks pregnant.

As you enter your second trimester, some women may begin to see a baby bump. This is because your uterus is now moving above your pelvic bone and into your lower abdomen.

14 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

Many women claim the second trimester is when they really start to enjoy their pregnancy. This is because, for some, those pesky early pregnancy symptoms including morning sickness and fatigue start to wear off.

You may even feel a new-found sense of energy, which can come in handy for all the baby prep you’ve got to look forward to.

However, there are still pregnancy symptoms you may experience at 14 weeks.

Dizziness and feeling faint

The extra blood pumping around your body can cause you to feel light-headed, dizzy and even faint. To ease these symptoms, try and remember to stand up and sit down slowly and keep sugar levels up with regular (healthy) snacks. If you feel faint, make sure you take a seat and rest up as soon as possible.

Varicose veins

The increased blood flow will also cause your veins to become more visible. Although, you might not appreciate this aesthetically, it’s a good sign as it means there’s an increased blood supply to your growing baby.

Increased appetite and food cravings

With the nausea subsiding in your second trimester you might notice you’re appetite increases. Your fluctuating hormones can also lead to a hankering for unusual foods and strange culinary combinations.

Constipation

As progesterone levels increase, one side effect can be constipation. This often occurs around the second and third month but may worsen as your pregnancy continues.

Bloating, indigestion and heartburn

This pesky progesterone has a lot to answer for. Increased levels of the hormone in your body can also cause bloating at 13 weeks pregnant. This is because it slows down the digestion process so that there’s more time to pass the nutrients on to your baby. However, in doing so, your growing uterus will squash and press onto your stomach and intestines. Your hormones also relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus, causing heartburn.

Higher energy levels

One positive symptom many women experience as they enter their second trimester is a lease of energy. This is because the placenta begins to kick into action and takes over the job of providing nutrients for your baby.

Increased sex drive

Another plus, with higher energy levels and a new rush of hormones, you may find yourself with increased libido. It’s said your new-found high sex drive can even have health benefits for you and your baby. These include improved mood, better sleep and tightening of your pelvic floor muscles – which can help speed up your recovery after birth. However, doctors advise you should abstain if you have a history of early labour miscarriage.

14 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

Although often dubbed the ‘12-week scan‘, at around 10 to 14 weeks you will have your first ultrasound. Known as the ‘dating scan’, hopefully, a sonographer will carry out an ultrasound which will be used to give you an estimated due date. You should have consulted your GP and booked in your first appointments at around the 8-week stage.

This first scan will also look at a few other things. These include:

  • Size of your baby – they’ll check your baby is growing and developing correctly.
  • Number of babies – at this scan you may find out you’re expecting twins (or more!!).
  • Heartbeat – this is usually the time you’ll be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat.
  • Vital organs – the sonographer will also make sure you’re baby’s organs are developing.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the harmony test

For more information on development and milestones at every stage of your pregnancy, visit our pregnancy week by week page.

Read more: What is Cranial Osteopathy?

Want more information and inspiration on everything parenting and lifestyle? Hit ‘Like’ on our Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and join the conversation on Twitter. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to Baby Magazine!

This post (14 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms, Ultrasound and Baby Size) was written by Ruby Norris and first appeared on the Baby Magazine website.

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What to expect at 13 weeks pregnant. Everything you need to know as you reach the end of your first trimester.

At 13 weeks pregnant your first trimester is now over and you’re heading into your second. There have been lots of changes going on in your body and your baby has been rapidly developing over the last few weeks. This has brought on new feelings, emotions and side effects you may not have experienced before. Thankfully, you might notice some of the unpleasant symptoms from the early stages of pregnancy easing off at this point.

However, as your baby continues to grow, and your body produces varying levels of pregnancy hormones, there are still a number of pregnancy symptoms you’re likely to experience at week 13. Read on for everything you can expect from your body and your baby at 13 weeks pregnant.

Think you missed something? Re-visit what to expect at 12 weeks pregnant or head over to our pregnancy week by week guide for more information at every stage of your pregnancy.

Your Baby at 13 Weeks Pregnant

By the end of your first trimester, your baby is about the size of a lemon. At 13 weeks pregnant, the foetus is usually 2.9 inches (just over 7cm) and weighs nearly 23 grams. Your baby’s body is lengthening, and so now the head equates to about 1/3 of its body size. Although their eyes are now forming, they still won’t open for another few weeks. At this point, your baby’s eyelids are fused shut.

After developing the ability to suck over the previous couple of weeks, your little one may begin sucking their thumb and fingers at this stage. Additionally, your baby will start to swallow the amniotic fluid. This is mainly just water, but also contains vital nutrients needed for further growth and development. Your baby will also start to pass the remaining fluid as urine produced in his kidneys.

At 13 weeks, if you’re having a girl she will have finished developing her ovaries and they will now contain around two million eggs. If your baby is a boy, his testicles will have formed but his penis is still growing.
13 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

As you head into your second trimester, your early pregnancy symptoms may settle and many woman claim they discover a new lease of energy after the three-month stage.

However, there are still a number of side-effects and symptoms that may affect you at 13 weeks pregnant and beyond.

Dizziness and feeling faint

The extra blood pumping around your body can cause you to feel light-headed, dizzy and even faint. To ease these symptoms, try and remember to stand up and sit down slowly and keep sugar levels up with regular (healthy) snacks. If you feel faint, make sure you take a seat and rest up as soon as possible.

Visible veins

The increased blood flow will also cause your veins to become more visible. Although, you might not appreciate this aesthetically, it’s a good sign as it means there’s an increased blood supply to your growing baby.

Heightened sense of smell

You may notice that you’re still sensitive to certain smells and tastes at three months pregnant.

Food cravings

As you approach your second trimester, your fluctuating hormones might lead to a hankering for unusual foods and strange culinary combinations.

Constipation

As progesterone levels increase, one side effect can be constipation. This often occurs around the second and third month but may worsen as your pregnancy continues.

Bloating, indigestion and heartburn

This pesky progesterone has a lot to answer for. Increased levels of the hormone in your body can also cause bloating at 13 weeks pregnant. This is because it slows down the digestion process so that there’s more time to pass the nutrients on to your baby. However, in doing so, your growing uterus will squash and press onto your stomach and intestines. Your hormones also relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus, causing heartburn.

Higher energy levels

One positive symptom many women experience as they enter their second trimester is a lease of energy. This is because the placenta begins to kick into action and takes over the job of providing nutrients for your baby.

Increased sex drive

Another plus, with higher energy levels and a new rush of hormones, you may find yourself with increased libido. It’s said your new-found high sex drive can even have health benefits for you and your baby. These include improved mood, better sleep and tightening of your pelvic floor muscles – which can help speed up your recovery after birth. However, doctors advise you should abstain if you have a history of early labour miscarriage.

Your Body at 13 Weeks Pregnant

By the end of your third month of pregnancy, your placenta will be fully developed. This means it will take over the role of making sure your baby gets enough oxygen and nutrients via the umbilical cord. It’s also responsible for getting rid of waste products and producing the hormones needed for the rest of your baby’s development.

For some women, the 13-week stage is when you might start to see the beginnings of a baby bump. It’s normal to start showing anywhere between 12 to 16 weeks, however, other women might not have a bump until well into their second trimester.

13 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

This is where things get exciting. From about 10 or 11 weeks you’ll be ready for your first of two very important scans. This is known as the ‘dating scan’.

Although often dubbed the 12-week scan, this can take place anytime between 10 and 14 weeks. At this appointment, a sonographer will carry out an ultrasound which will be used to give you an estimated due date.

The scan will also look at a few other things. These include:

  • Size of your baby – they’ll check your baby is growing and developing correctly.
  • Number of babies – at this scan you may find out you’re expecting twins (or more!!).
  • Heartbeat – this is usually the time you’ll be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat.
  • Vital organs – the sonographer will also make sure you’re baby’s organs are developing.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the harmony test

For more information on development and milestones at every stage of your pregnancy, visit our pregnancy week by week page.

Read more: What is Cranial Osteopathy?

Want more information and inspiration on everything parenting and lifestyle? Hit ‘Like’ on our Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and join the conversation on Twitter. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to Baby Magazine!

This post (13 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms, Ultrasound and Baby Bump) was written by Ruby Norris and first appeared on the Baby Magazine website.

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What to expect at 12 weeks pregnant. Everything you need to know about your changing body and growing baby as you reach the end of your first trimester.

Congratulations, you’ve survived your first trimester. For many women, twelve weeks pregnant is usually the time when you start to share your pregnancy news with extended family and friends. A lot of expectant mothers choose to wait until after the 12-week scan, as this is when you are considered to be out of the miscarriage ‘danger zone’.

At this stage, you might start to notice some of the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy wearing off. Many mums-to-be claim they really start to enjoy their pregnancies as they approach the second trimester. However, there are still a lot of changes going on in your body at 12 weeks pregnant.

Read on to find out more about what’s happening with your baby and body in week 12.

Think you missed something? Re-visit what to expect at 11 weeks pregnant or head over to our pregnancy week by week guide for more information at every stage of your pregnancy.

Your Baby at 12 Weeks Pregnant

As you approach the last week or so of your first trimester, your baby will be about the size of a lime. At 12 weeks, the foetus is just over two inches long and has doubled in size over the last three weeks.

In terms of development, your baby will be reaching a lot of milestones by the three-month mark. Now that their tiny little fingers and toes have formed, at 12 weeks your baby will be able to curl them. In fact, your little one is now moving around quite a bit. The eye muscles are able to clench and your baby can make a sucking motion.

Moreover, if you press into your tummy, you’re baby will react. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to feel it, but the foetus has developed a startle reflex (known as the Moro reflex). This also means your baby can hear and react to sounds by opening and closing its arms and legs.

Your baby is also busy making white blood cells in its bone marrow to build up the immune system and help fight off all those germs they’ll pick up from other mucky toddlers.

12 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

It’s said that many women start to really enjoy their pregnancy as they enter into their second trimester. This is because they’re able to wave goodbye to their pesky early pregnancy symptoms and side effects which have plagued them in their first three months.

Unfortunately, as every woman and every pregnancy is different, this is not always the case. Additionally, you may still experience the below symptoms at 12 weeks pregnant.

Dizziness and feeling faint

The extra blood pumping around your body can cause you to feel light-headed, dizzy and even faint. To ease these symptoms, try and remember to stand up and sit down slowly and keep sugar levels up with regular (healthy) snacks. If you feel faint, make sure you take a seat and rest up as soon as possible.

Headaches

Your lower blood sugar levels can also lead to headaches. Again, snacking can help keep your sugar levels stable. However, if your headaches persist, it’s worth consulting your doctor. They’ll also be able to advise on pregnancy-safe painkillers.

Fatigue

Although many women experience a new burst of energy in their second semester, you may still experience bouts of fatigue as your baby continues to grow.

Heightened sense of smell

You may notice that you’re still sensitive to certain smells and tastes at three months pregnant.

Bloating, indigestion and heartburn

This pesky progesterone has a lot to answer for. Increased levels of the hormone in your body can also cause bloating at 12 weeks pregnant. This is because it slows down the digestion process so that there’s more time to pass the nutrients on to your baby. However, in doing so, your growing uterus will squash and press onto your stomach and intestines. Your hormones also relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus, causing heartburn.

Your Body and Bump at 12 Weeks Pregnant

By three months pregnant, you may have a small baby bump. However, it is still normal not to be showing at this stage.

At 12 weeks, while your baby is the size of a lime, your womb is approximately grapefruit-sized and growing.

In the coming weeks, your uterus will push above your pelvic bone, which leads to a more prominent baby bump. In the meantime, with your waist thickening and appetite increasing, you may start to feel your clothes becoming snug. If so, it might be time to start shopping around for your maternity wardrobe.

Read: All of our favourite pieces from the Zara UK maternity collection

Ultrasound: 12-week Scan

This is where things get exciting. At 12 weeks you’ll be ready for your first of two very important scans, known as the ‘dating scan’.

Although often dubbed the 12-week scan, this can take place anytime between 10 and 14 weeks. At this appointment, a sonographer will carry out an ultrasound which will be used to give you an estimated due date.

The scan will also look at a few other things. These include:

  • Size of your baby – they’ll check your baby is growing and developing correctly.
  • Number of babies – at this scan you may find out you’re expecting twins (or more!!).
  • Heartbeat – this is usually the time you’ll be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat.
  • Vital organs – the sognographer will also make sure you’re baby’s organs are developing.

Read: Everything you need to know about the harmony test

For more information on development and milestones at every stage of your pregnancy, visit our pregnancy week by week page.

Read more: What is Cranial Osteopathy?

Want more information and inspiration on everything parenting and lifestyle? Hit ‘Like’ on our Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and join the conversation on Twitter. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to Baby Magazine!

This post (12 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms, Ultrasound and Baby Bump) was written by Ruby Norris and first appeared on the Baby Magazine website.

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Delve into five common postnatal problems many women experience after birth, as postnatal yoga pros Hannah Barrett and Finola Burrell talk us through the solutions.

Your baby is finally here and your body has just done something utterly incredible. You’ve made a tiny human and all around, your life is more than hectic. But have you checked in on what is going on in your body? After delivery a baby your body changes both physically and emotionally and needs time to heal. Below we look at five common postpartum issues and things you can do to help.

Postnatal Problem: Prolapse and Incontinence

A prolapse involves the organs of your pelvis (uterus, bladder and bowel) dropping down into the vagina. Symptoms of this can include:

  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Low backache
  • A lump in your vagina
  • Problems passing urine
  • A feeling of heaviness around the vagina area, usually worse at the end of the day
  • Faecal or urinary incontinence

It’s also common to experience postpartum incontinence (although this does not need to become your new normal).  Incontinence and prolapse happens due to a weakness of the pelvic floor muscles and supportive tissues. During pregnancy and when breastfeeding, the hormone relaxes the ligaments which reduce the support of the pelvic area. The weight of the baby, experience of childbirth itself and a sudden increase in activity after giving birth can all weaken and overload the area further.

Solution

To compensate for this common postnatal problem, pelvic floor muscle strengthening is vital. Symptoms can usually be improved with pelvic floor exercises. To activate your pelvic floor, take a deep inhale, then as you exhale engage your pelvic floor by imagining gently pulling up your front and back passages (as if trying to stop yourself passing urine and flatulence) without clenching your buttocks.

You don’t want to feel a pushing down sensation. If this happens take a few deep breaths into the stomach to relax and try again.  Continue to breathe normally while holding for five seconds.  Relax and repeat ten times, a few times a day.

If you suspect you have prolapse we strongly advise speaking to your GP or a women’s health physiotherapist. Prolapse is one of those things people don’t like to talk about, but it is a common postnatal issue. Know that if you’re suffering from prolapse, you are not alone and help is out there.

Postnatal Problem: Diastasis Recti (aka mum-tum)

Another common postpartum issue is Diastasis Recti. This is the separation of the abdominal wall. It can happen in pregnancy due to stretching and thinning of the linea alba, which is the tissue that connects the left and right abdominal muscles.

It has been suggested that 2-2.3cm (approximately 2 fingers width) above, around and below the belly button is considered greater than normal. The gap can reduce on its own within a couple of months. However, it is still important to strengthen these muscles.

The abdominals are essential for core control and function. If Diastasis Recti is not addressed, it may lead to lower back pain, and you may be more susceptible to ‘mummy tummy’. Try not to worry as exercises have proved to be effective in treating most cases. The main aim of exercises for diastasis is to increase tension in the linea alba and activate the transverse abdominals (deep abdominals), before rectus abdominal activation (for example with crunches) to close the gap.

Solution

To activate the transverse abdominals, take an inhale, then as you exhale imagine your hip bones are magnets and are being drawn in towards each other and pull in your stomach gently as though you are trying to put on a pair of jeans. Hold as you breathe normally for five breaths. Inhale to relax and then repeat ten times a couple of times a day.

Postnatal Problem: Pelvic Floor Over-Activation

Most people think of the pelvic floor being under-active as is found with incontinence and prolapse, but these muscles can also become over-active. This can result in a variety of symptoms including difficulty opening your bladder and bowels, back pain, constipation and a feeling of pressure or pain in the area.

This happens for a few different reasons postpartum. Stress and anxiety can cause muscles to tighten up including the pelvic floor muscles. It can also happen if you try to keep your stomach pulled in and the abdominals remain under tension during the day.

Solution

To help with this there are a few simple techniques you can try. One is the full yogic breath where you focus on breathing starting from the stomach, which causes the deep muscles to relax.

Come into a seated position, place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.  Take a deep inhale breathing from the base of your stomach, feeling it rise underneath your hand.  Then send the breath up into your chest feeling the ribs moving frontways, sideways and backwards.  Lastly, fill the lungs as much as you can feeling the collarbones slightly lift.  Take five slow deep breaths like this, each time trying to extend the exhale even longer.  Try this a few times per day and after performing pelvic floor or core strengthening exercises.  As well as relaxing the pelvic floor and deep abdominals it will help to reduce anxiety and relieve stress.

Postnatal Problem: Upper Back Pain

Whether you are breastfeeding or not, holding your newborn requires constant use of your upper back, neck and shoulder muscles. Staying in prolonged positions and postures can easily provoke pain in the upper back and shoulder areas. By conditioning your muscles through exercise they are more able to cope with the increased demands on your body.

Solution

Here are some extra quick tips on how to reduce and prevent pain here in the meantime:

  • When feeding, sit in a chair with your back and arms supported by pillows
  • Place a pillow under your baby to support their weight
  • Whenever possible, during breastfeeding, lie on your side
Postnatal Problem: Tears and Episiotomies

Vaginal tears and episiotomies during childbirth are common. An episiotomy (a surgical incision) may be required to increase the diameter of the vaginal outlet to allow space for the baby’s birth. It is normally done during the last part of the second stage of labour or delivery. This procedure is done with scissors or a scalpel and requires repair by suturing. There are different types and grades of spontaneous tearing, with a fourth-degree tear being the most severe.

Solution

Unless told otherwise by a health professional, starting gentle pelvic floor exercises will be very helpful. It improves circulation to the area to help with healing and swelling, as well as reactivating and strengthening the pelvic floor which is weakened during delivery and after a tear or episiotomy. They can be started the first day after birth, once you have passed urine for the first time or once your catheter has been removed. It may feel more comfortable lying on your side to perform your pelvic floor exercises and whilst breastfeeding as it avoids pressure on the stitches. For those with 3rd or 4th-degree tears’ gradually build up the amount of pelvic floor exercises you do as comfort allows.

Please stop any exercises that result in pain, difficulty controlling wind, loss of bladder or bowel control, an increased sensation of pelvic pressure or if your lochia becomes redder or heavier. This may be a sign that you are overdoing things.

Strength Through Yoga by Hannah Barrett and Finola Burrell is available for £39.99 at

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What to expect at 11 weeks pregnant. Here’s everything you need to know about your changing body and growing baby as you approach the end of your first trimester.

Your first trimester is almost over, and at 11 weeks pregnant, you’re probably already up to speed with all the signs and symptoms of early pregnancy. By this stage, some of the initial (and unpleasant) symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting may start to ease off.

However, your body is still adjusting to pregnancy at eleven weeks. As you approach your second trimester, you may still experience a number of common early pregnancy systems. By this point, your baby is developing at a rapid rate, which may also affect your body and energy levels. Read on for everything you need to know about your baby and body and 11 weeks pregnant.

Think you missed something? Re-visit what to expect at 10 weeks pregnant or head over to our pregnancy week by week guide for more information at every stage of your pregnancy.

11 Weeks Pregnant Baby Size

By week eleven, your baby – officially a foetus – is about the size of a lime. At this stage, your little one is starting to look more and more like a tiny a human.

The foetus’ head now accounts for nearly half of its body length and a number of big developmental changes are underway. The torso is developing and your little one has distinct fingers and toes. Clear facial features are beginning to take shape and your baby’s ears are moving into their correct position.

Your Baby at 11 Weeks Pregnant

The skin is still thin and see-through but is starting to become more opaque. Other distinct human-like features have developed at this stage including a teeny, tiny tongue and palate in the mouth, little nostrils and nipples. Your baby will also begin to grow tooth buds, hair follicles, and nail beds. Although it’s possibly still too early to physically tell the gender of your baby, ovaries will develop if you’re having a girl.

11 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

For some women, many of the early pregnancy symptoms begin to wear off as you head into your second trimester. However, at 11 weeks there are still some pregnancy side effects and symptoms to look out for.

Morning sickness: nausea and vomiting

Morning sickness is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms, although not everyone will suffer from it in their first trimester. Fortunately, most women notice the symptoms easing off as they head into the second trimester. However, this is not always the case.

Constipation

As progesterone levels increase, one side effect can be constipation. This often occurs around the second and third month but may worsen as your pregnancy continues.

Bloating, indigestion and heartburn

This pesky progesterone has a lot to answer for. Increased levels of the hormone in your body can also cause bloating. This is because it slows down the digestion process so that there’s more time to pass the nutrients on to your baby. However, in doing so, your growing uterus will squash and press onto your stomach and intestines. Your hormones also relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus, causing heartburn.

Fatigue

With fluctuating hormones, changes to your body and not to mention the fact you’re growing a whole new human in your belly, it’s no wonder you might feel exhausted during the first three months. At eight weeks, your body is also producing more blood for your baby. This causes your blood pressure and blood sugar levels to dip, leaving you feeling more tired than usual.

Increased urination

As your uterus continues to expand, it can press on your bladder and result in what feels like endless trips to the toilet. The increased blood flow to your kidneys means you’ll produce more up to 25% more urine, too.

Dizziness and feeling faint

The extra blood pumping around your body can cause you to feel light-headed, dizzy and even faint. To ease these symptoms, try and remember to stand up and sit down slowly and keep sugar levels up with regular (healthy) snacks. If you feel faint, make sure you take a seat and rest up as soon as possible.

Vaginal discharge

During the first trimester, you might notice a milky white discharge from your vagina. This is normal and nothing to worry about.

Your Body at 11 Weeks Pregnant

As the morning sickness (hopefully) starts to waver, you might start to feel more energised – and maybe a little hungrier.

Your appetite will probably start to increase, and your baby will also demand more nutrients. However, while the saying suggests you’re ‘eating for two’,  it’s not healthy to binge or over-indulge too quickly. It’s important you gain weight steadily and healthily during your pregnancy.

Your uterus is also expanding. You may see your lower abdomen starting to protrude and the beginnings of a baby bump form.

11 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

You may have your ‘booking appointment’ in week 11. This is when you’ll meet with your doctor or midwife to discuss your pregnancy and birth plans.

You may also be ready for your dating scan. This will most likely take place between 10 and 14 weeks and is the first opportunity you’ll have to see your baby and hear the heartbeat with an ultrasound. It’s often when a provisional due date is given.

For more information on development and milestones at every stage of your pregnancy, visit our pregnancy week by week page.

Read more: What is Cranial Osteopathy?

Want more information and inspiration on everything parenting and lifestyle? Hit ‘Like’ on our Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and join the conversation on Twitter. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to Baby Magazine!

This post (11 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms, Ultrasound and Baby Size) was written by Ruby Norris and first appeared on the Baby Magazine website.

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What to expect at 10 weeks pregnant. Everything you need to know about your changing body and baby as you approach the end of your first trimester.

By 10 weeks pregnant you may have already had your first midwife or GP appointment, or have your booking appointment coming up. At this stage, you’re approaching the end of your first trimester, and thankfully, may start to notice some of the pesky early pregnancy symptoms ease off.

However, as the morning sickness and tiredness begins to wear off, you might pick up on some new pregnancy symptoms and changes to your body. Read on to explore all the changes to your body and baby at 10 weeks pregnant.

Think you missed something? Re-visit what to expect at 9 weeks pregnant or head over to our pregnancy week by week guide for more information at every stage of your pregnancy.

Your Baby at 10 Weeks Pregnant

By week ten, your baby is growing and developing quickly. Now officially a foetus, your baby is around 30mm long and about the size of an apricot or a prune.

The head is growing at a faster rate than the body, and facial features are continuing to develop. Although the eyes are still half-closed, they are beginning to react to light. The jaw bone is also starting to take shape and a tiny nose and ears are also forming.

Your baby’s heart is beating fast – at around 180bpm.

10 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

Although you are heading towards your second trimester, at 10 weeks pregnant you may still be experiencing some early pregnancy symptoms.

Bloating

At 10 weeks some women might start to see the beginnings of a baby bump, but your clothes may also be feeling snug due to bloating. The increased progesterone levels cause the muscles in your womb to relax and expand. However, this also loosens the muscles in your digestive tract. This can lead to heartburn, bloating and wind.

Nausea and Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms, although not everyone will suffer from it in their first trimester. Unfortunately for some women, the eight-week mark can be when nausea and vomiting are most intense.

Sore Breasts

Breast tenderness is another common symptom at this stage as the pregnancy hormone levels in your body continue to change.

Increased Urination

As your uterus continues to expand, it can press on your bladder and result in what feels like endless trips to the toilet. The increased blood flow to your kidneys means you’ll produce more up to 25% more urine, too.

A Heightened Sense of Smell

You may notice that you become much more sensitive to certain smells during the first trimester of your pregnancy. This, along with nausea, is a pretty hellish combination for some women during the first couple of months of pregnancy. Thankfully, symptoms tend to wear off as you progress through your second trimester.

Strange Food Cravings

From around 5 weeks some early pregnancy cravings might start to kick in and you could find yourself hankering for gherkin sarnies and lemon slices.

Metalic Taste in Your Mouth

The changing hormone levels can also lead to your experience a strange, metallic taste in your mouth during the first three months.

Thicker and Shinier Hair

One benefit of your increasing hCG levels and hormone changes is great hair! Read more about how your hair can change during pregnancy here.

Fatigue

With fluctuating hormones, changes to your body and not to mention the fact you’re growing a whole new human in your belly, it’s no wonder you might feel exhausted during the first three months. At eight weeks, your body is also producing more blood for your baby. This causes your blood pressure and blood sugar levels to dip, leaving you feeling more tired than usual.

Spotting

Spotting at eight weeks can be alarming, but for some women light bleeding in the early months is common and nothing to worry about. However, bleeding can also signal a miscarriage. If you have been experiencing cramps, and the bleeding is more than light spotting, you should contact your GP or visit your nearest hospital.

Change in Your Discharge

During the first trimester, you might notice a milky white discharge from your vagina. This is normal and nothing to worry about.

Chloasma Faciei – dark patches on your skin

This sounds a little scary, but it is just the name given to the darkening of areas of your skin or brown patches on your face. It means ‘mask of pregnancy’ and is very common among women in their first trimester.

Your Body and Baby Bump at 10 Weeks Pregnant

As you approach your second semester you may start to notice some physical changes to your body. Your may be thickening and a baby bump might be starting to develop. At this point in your pregnancy, your uterus has expanded to the size of an orange. However, the bloating and changing hormone levels may leave your feeling bigger – and uncomfortable in your pre-pregnancy clothes.

10 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound and Dating Scan

It’s time for a visit to your midwife or GP. A ‘booking appointment’ usually takes place between 8 and 12 weeks, and it’s usually the first time you’ll meet with your doctor or midwife to discuss your pregnancy and birth plans.

You may also be ready for your dating scan. This will most likely take place between 10 and 14 weeks and is the first opportunity you’ll have to see your baby and hear the heartbeat with an ultrasound. It’s often when a provisional due date is given.

At 10 weeks pregnant, your baby is starting to move around in jerky movements, which can also be picked up on the scan.

For more information on development and milestones at every stage of your pregnancy, visit our pregnancy week by week page.

Want more information and inspiration on everything parenting and lifestyle? Hit ‘Like’ on our Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and join the conversation on Twitter. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to Baby Magazine!

This post (10 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms, Ultrasound and Baby Bump) was written by Ruby Norris and first appeared on the Baby Magazine website.

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