Your growing baby now measures between 15.2cm and 15.9cm from crown to rump and weighs approximately 255g. Around this week you will have your Anomaly Scan.
The fetus now measures between 15.2cm and 15.9cm from crown to rump and weighs approximately 255g. Vernix caseosa continues to develop and cover the entire body. This oily white substance protects the fetus from the effects of prolonged immersion in amniotic fluid and also helps with the birthing process.
The fetus continues and increases the frequency of swallowing, preparing the digestive system for after birth. Amniotic fluid is taken in through the mouth and the water content is absorbed, the remaining fluid moves into the large intestine. When amniotic fluid is swallowed, the fetus is able to taste the flavours of foods that you eat. Muscular development is continuing at a rapid rate now.
This period of pregnancy sees the most fetal activity due to a combination of sufficient skeletal and muscular development to allow complex movements and a large amount of amniotic fluid and available space in the uterus.
You may find that you are becoming breathless more easily now. This is perfectly normal and is a consequence of your uterus pushing upwards against your diaphragm, leaving your lungs less room to expand.
Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy. Whilst eating a high fibre diet can help, taking supplements containing iron may actually make the problem worse. If you are concerned that iron supplements are causing constipation, do not stop taking them, but you should talk to your doctor or midwife to work out a solution. Lower abdominal pain is also common at this stage of pregnancy and is the result of the ligaments that support the uterus being stretched as it swells. Sudden movement may aggravate the pain, so avoid them where possible. You may find it helpful to use cushions for support when sitting or sleeping, but remember to avoid lying flat on your back.
Eating a healthy diet is important throughout pregnancy, but eating a varied diet can also benefit your baby. Now that the fetus is swallowing amniotic fluid, it is able to taste the flavours of any foods you eat. Eating a varied diet will help to develop the taste buds and prepare your baby to be receptive to a wide range of foods.
At this time in the pregnancy there is often a sense of wellbeing and an absence of symptoms. However there may be troublesome aches and pains in the bones and muscles. These come and go.
There should be no bleeding or significant abdominal pain. The fetal movement may be felt later with a first baby than if you have had one before. The sensation starts as initial flutterings and develop gradually into discrete movements.
The NHS offer an anomaly scan between 18 and 22 weeks. A better and more detailed view of the baby will be seen at 20 to 22 weeks. This provides better detail about organs such as the heart. If the baby is not in an ideal position the sonographer may find it difficult to assess the full detail and you may be asked to move around or come back later. If the sonographer has any difficulty or there are abnormal findings then you will be asked to return to see a specialist doctor. After this scan you will have an appointment with the midwife or, if there are any problems, the consultant.
If you want additional advice you can refer yourself to a private clinic. There you can have an appointment with a midwife, specialist doctor and you can have a high quality ultrasound scan. If you do not have confidence in the NHS scan for whatever reason it can be repeated with an anomaly scan. In a private clinic there should be more time, often better equipment and access to highly skilled expertise. If you have had a previous late miscarriage or carry twins then a cervical scan is readily available.
' Professional and reassuring 'Helen Campbell
The sonographer was ready as soon as I arrived, and she was extremely calming, personable and professional. The scan and blood test where efficient without feeling rushed and all very easy. These appointments can feel uneasy and make you feel anxious but I felt reassured and in professional hands the whole time
I saw Kate throughout my first pregnancy and am now doing so again with my second. She is absolutely amazing, she explains everything really clearly, and has answered all sorts of bizarre questions and worries I have had. On top of being clinically excellent she is also just the loveliest person and always a pleasure to see.Sarah Elliott
We had the harmony test with the Birth Company and had a reassurance scan with sonographer Kirsty McGarry who was absolutely lovely and really put our minds at rest. We had been scared by our NHS dating scan and left feeling like there was something wrong. We explained the situation and was treated very professionally and with good care. Also speedy appointments also as I had phone in the morning and got an appointment by afternoon. So thankful.Ashley and Tom
Really friendly, efficient service. Great experience overall. Had the Panorama. My appointment was with Kate who was absolutely fantastic. The results came really quickly. Have a comparison with private healthcare elsewhere and must say that The Birth Company was just how I would like to be treated when I pay for medical services - attentively, calmly, friendly, in a pleasant environment that doesn't look like hospital. Top marks!Anna
' Efficient, friendly and always on hand to provide last minute appointments 'Hannah Murphy
The Birth Company has been excellent, providing timely scans and blood tests during my IVF treatment abroad. Staff are always friendly and extremely efficient. I would highly recommend coming here.
' Professional and friendly 'Lyndsey Dilla
When I first contacted the Birth Company I spoke to Danielle. She was fantastic. She went above & beyond to put me at easy & make the journey from Kent as stress free as possible. Every staff member that myself and my husband have come into contact with have been approachable, professional and friendly. Kate scanned me the first time and put me completely at easy. Lisa on reception is professional and very approachable. Highly recommended
' Highly recommended 'Emelie
Donald was so lovely! I was so nervous as I have a bad history and he was super quick and confirmed my baby's heartbeat as quickly as he could. He spent time showing me the baby and the anatomy and it was the best money I have ever spent! The reception girls were lovely too - considering they deal with babies day in day out they were super excited for me! Thank you so much one and all! If only I lived in London and could have all my scans with you!
Great Portland Street