The sex of your baby is now recognisable. If your baby is a girl, she has had ovaries for a few weeks, and her vagina is now hollow. If it's a boy, he already has a penis and a prostate. Though his testicles were formed in the 2nd month, they are still in his abdominal cavity. They’ll finish descending when they need to, whether just before birth or during the first few months. Another exciting change is that the brain is developing centres of smell, taste, hearing, vision and touch.
If you haven’t already, you will shortly become very aware that this pregnancy is taking over every inch of your body. Your skin is one of the more obvious organs to us that takes a battering – stretch marks, colour pigmentation changes, heat rashes, and that clear line that forms from your belly button to your pubic bone (linea nigra) are simply a few common sightings. Most of these will disperse after the birth of your baby, if you have any concerns, there is no harm in discussing them with your health care professional.
This is a good time to double check you are doing all you can to get enough iron in your diet. Why is it important? If your diet isn’t rich enough in iron, the baby will still have its needs satisfied – but it will come from your iron reserves, which means you run a higher risk of becoming anaemic, and may make you feel quite lethargic. Iron-rich foods are red meat, lentils, and egg yolks. In some cases, your healthcare professional may want to prescribe an iron supplement but don’t start taking one unless you’ve been directed to.
By around month six, it is recommended that you and your partner go to an antenatal class to start to prepare for your baby’s birth, especially if this is your first baby (or if your first baby was born ages ago!). You will learn about the birth, and about pain relief, breathing, and relaxation techniques. A visit to a delivery room, exercises for fitness in pregnancy and many other really useful things can also be on the programme. Antenatal classes are the ideal opportunity to get to know other mothers or couples as well. Who better to share your experience with?