At a glance:
Your baby's heart rate slows down
Your blood pressure slightly rises
You may want to consider taking antenatal classes
What’s happening to your baby
The heart rate of your baby will have slowed considerably by this week – from 180 beats per minute to 140-150 beats per minute – this can be monitored on a cardiotocograph (CTG) machine during your antenatal appointments and is a useful way of checking your baby’s wellbeing. Find out more about the antenatal appointments.
What’s happening to you
Your blood pressure will be checked at each antenatal appointment. In pregnancy, your blood pressure normally falls as blood vessels relax and dilate to cope with the extra blood volume flowing through them. This means you may feel faint or dizzy, especially if you stand up quickly.
However, about 5-10 per cent of pregnancies can develop pregnancy hypertension (high blood pressure). Most cases are mild, but some can be complicated by pre-eclampsia, which along with high blood pressure, also has other symptoms such as protein in your urine. In general, blood pressure above 150/100 will need treatment.
What you may consider doing
Now’s the time to start thinking about and looking into what antenatal classes, if any, you’d like to take. The classes can be invaluable to lots of new mums as you’ll learn useful information on birth and how to care for your baby. And they can help socially, too, as you get to meet other mums in your area.
You can book yourself on NHS classes though your local hospital or birth centre, or sign up for National Childbirth Trust (NCT) classes. You’ll probably start these classes in the next few weeks and they can be in the daytime, evening or at weekends.
You’re entitled to time off work to attend them. Try and get your partner to go along, too, so he can get ready for your birth – and your baby…
Image courtesy of Your Pregnancy Day-By-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell, published by Carroll & Brown, £9.99