By now you’ve missed a period and possibly suspect you’re pregnant, especially if you’re experiencing some of those early pregnancy symptoms, like tiredness, tender breasts, and mood swings. You may have taken a home pregnancy test and seen a positive result, and hopefully you’ve visited your GP for confirmation of your pregnancy. So what’s going on inside your still-flat stomach? This month, there will be massive changes inside your body, and your baby will more than quadruple in size, going from a tadpole-like embryo to having a recognisable body with arms and legs. You still can’t see any external symptoms, but if you have an early pregnancy scan at the end of this month, which some midwives suggest in order to help date a woman’s pregnancy, you’ll be able tosee something!
Signs and symptoms
During the second month of pregnancy is when most of the traditional pregnancy symptoms will make themselves known – sometimes uncomfortably so. Here are some symptoms you might experience:
- Tender, enlarged, sensitive breasts
- Larger, darker nipples
- Nausea (morning sickness, which can occur at any time of the day or night)
- A heightened sense of smell and intolerance of certain odors (aka “pregnancy nose”)
- Increased need to urinate
- A metallic taste in your mouth
- Tiredness and wanting to go to bed super-early or nap during the day
- Mood swings and feeling more emotional than usual
How big is my baby?
One of the most exciting things about pregnancy is learning how much your baby is growing from week to week! At the beginning of your second month of pregnancy, your baby will be about 3mm long, approximately the size of an apple pip. At this stage, the placenta (your baby’s life-support system) has started to develop, and your baby’s cells are organising themselves into three layers, which are already earmarked for certain organs, systems, and parts of the body. It’s amazing that the cells already have “assignments” this early in your baby’s life!
By the end of the second month (around week eight of your pregnancy), your baby will have grown to about the size of a raspberry – around 1.5cm in length.
How do I find an LMC?
It’s time to start looking for an LMC (lead maternity caregiver), which for most women in New Zealand will be a registered midwife. Yes, it probably feels quite early to be thinking about this – after all, you can’t even see a baby bump yet! But New Zealand has a limited number of midwives, and in many areas of the country, it can be difficult to find one. Also, you want to have plenty of time to choose a midwife whose philosophy resonates with you, who you feel comfortable and confident with, and whois conveniently located and right for your situation. So how do you find a suitable midwife? Here are some starting points:
- Ask your GP for a list of local midwives
- Visit www.findyourmidwife.co.nz, a website created by the New Zealand College of Midwives
- Ask friends who have recently had a baby for their recommendation
- Get in touch with your local hospital or birthing centre
- Search the Register of Midwives at www.midwiferycouncil.health.nz
DO I QUALIFY FOR FREE MATERNITY CARE?
According to the Ministry of Health, pregnant women are eligible for free and subsidised maternity-related services in New Zealand if they:
+ are eligible for publicly funded health and disability services in their own right OR
+ their husband, civil union partner or de facto partner is a/an:
+ New Zealand citizen OR
+ New Zealand resident or permanent resident visa holder OR
+ Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident visa holder who has been living, or who intends to live, in New Zealand for two years or longer OR
+ refugee or protected person, or is applying or appealing for refugee or protected person status, or is a victim or suspected victim of a people traffickingoffence OR
+ work visa holder able to stay in New Zealand for 24 consecutive months (time spent lawfully in New Zealand immediately before the start of the work visa counts toward the two year requirement) (work visas start on the person’s first day in New Zealand) OR
+ interim visa holder who was eligible immediately before the interim visa was issued OR
+ are pregnant with a child that is found to be a New Zealand citizen by birth.
+ Partners of NZ Aid Programme students studying in New Zealand are eligible in their own right.
+ If you’re still not sure whether you qualify for free maternity care, talk to your GP, LMC, or get in touch with the Ministry of Health (0800 855 066).
WEEK 5: Your baby is the size of an apple pip (3mm) and the placenta is developing.
WEEK 6: Your baby is the size of a pea (5mm) and has a beating heart.
WEEK 7: Your baby is the size of a blueberry (1cm) and has visible arm and leg buds.
WEEK 8: Your baby is the size of a raspberry (1.5cm, 1g)and is developing eyes, a nose,and ears.
BUMP & baby is New Zealand’s only magazine for pregnancy and early babyhood. Our team of mums and mums-to-be understand what it’s like to be pregnant in this connected age, and that’s why BUMP & Baby online is geared toward what pregnant women and new mums really want to know.