Pregnancy Week by Week

Get a window on what’s happening in your pregnancy, week by week. From week four to week 42, your baby is experiencing a miraculous transformation from a clump of cells to a fully formed (and totally cute) newborn. Just imagine, as early as five weeks, your baby is already starting to form major organs (heart, stomach, liver, and kidneys) and systems (digestive, circulatory, nervous). By eight weeks, your raspberry-sized womb-mate is moving her arms and legs. At the beginning of your second trimester (week 14), your wee one is sucking his thumb. By week 28, the first week of the third trimester, baby (now as big as an eggplant) is prepping for breathing, developing his eyesight and packing on pounds in anticipation of life outside the womb. Each week is a new miracle. Less miraculous is how a mom-to-be may feel. Pregnancy Week-by-Week charts your baby’s development but also lets mom know what she might be feeling during each week of her pregnancy. Pregnancy week by Week includes everything mom needs to know to feel a sense of control over her pregnancy. Each week offers a complete guide to what you might feel, your must-do’s, your nice-to do’s, and answers and advice on everything pregnancy-related. Plus each week’s guide offers tips on maintaining a healthy and comfortable pregnancy from strategies on coping with pregnancy symptoms (morning sickness anyone?) to ideas for healthy eating, and pointers on talking to your OB. Let us guide you along your pregnancy, week by week.

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Q&A: Spot on baby's heart?

At my last doctor's visit, she told me that on my last ultrasound, there was a bright spot on my baby's heart and that it wasn't a murmur or a hole, it was a chromosonal thing with a really long name that I can't remember? She referred us to a specialist. She said not to worry, and that she sees it all the time. What could she be talking about? -- vherfurth1

Re: At my last doctor's visit, she told me that on my last ultrasound, there was a bright spot on my baby's heart and that it wasn't a murmur or a hole, it was a chromosonal thing with a really long name that I can't remember? She referred us to a specialist. She said not to worry, and that she sees it all the time. What could she be talking about? -- vherfurth1

The Bump Expert

What you describe sounds like an echogenic cardiac focus. On ultrasound, it looks like a bright spot in the muscle of one of the heart valves. In and of itself, it will not cause the baby any problems; it is not a heart defect and does appear to increase the baby's risk of having a heart defect. It is a common finding in normal babies. But, it may very mildly increase the risk that the fetus has Down Syndrome.

The first step is to see if there are any other ultrasound markers for Down Syndrome. As long as this is an isolated finding, the risk of Down Syndrome is increased only slightly -- between 1.8 and 5-fold over your age-related or calculated risk (based on whatever screening test for Down Syndrome your doctor performed). As long as you are less than 35 years old and your screening tests and ultrasounds are normal, I generally do not recommend an amniocentesis. Of course, if you have already had a normal amniocentesis, this finding is nothing to worry about.

Dr. Ashley Roman

Q&A: Spot on baby's heart?

We just had our 19 week ultrasound last week and they also found an echogenic focus on our baby's heart. The genetic counselor assured me that they are pretty common. After a mild freak-out session, I researched this topic as much as possible and only read positive stories about MANY pregnant women whose babies have/had the same "bright tissue" on their hearts and I have yet to hear of a baby who was born with Down Syndrome after receiving this news. How often do forums and topic boards reassure you like that?? Also, although it happens fairly frequently, it is even more prevalent in babies of Asian descent. I have stopped worrying about our baby after reading all about EIF, so remember you're not the only one. In fact, you're far from it!

sharondemant |

spot-on-babys-heart

But what if the doctor also found a cyst in the baby's brain? That's what happened to us -- the echogenic cardiac focus & the cyst in the baby's brain. Doc didn't seem super concerned because I'm 29 & my nuchal translucency screening came back with a less than 1 in 10,000 chance that something would be wrong. Should I worry?

brutoczkym |

Q&A: Spot on baby's heart?

To brutoczkym - we actually have this same situation (spot on heart and cysts on brain) found at our 18 week scan. I'm 31 and my quad screen was also negative but we were still worried. We had the MaterniT21 test done which is no risk to the baby and were able to find out that our baby has none of the trisomies (13, 18, or 21) that the scan checks for. Trisomy 21 is known as Down syndrome - that is what we were most worried about with the ultrasound findings so the blood test gave us the needed peace of mind. I would really recommend this test. There is probably nothing wrong at all but I understand your worries and if you can get this test I would. Google it if you haven't heard about it - it's new. Checks for baby's DNA in mother's blood so no testing has to be done on the baby.

LKsgirl |

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