Your baby's skin is so thin that it's almost transparent and the veins carrying blood around its body can be seen through it. A fine covering of downy hair called lanugo is beginning to grow all over the body. This soft hair is usually lost just before or after birth, although premature babies often have more when they are born.
Between pregnancy at 15 weeks and 19 weeks your midwife will offer you a further blood test to look for a substance called maternal serum alphafetoprotein. If it is present in your blood, it is a sign that your baby may have spina bifida, although this test can give false positive results. Spina bifida is a defect in the neural tube of your baby, which develops into the brain and spinal cord. If you have taken folic acid supplements before conception and in early pregnancy, you will have reduced the risk of having a baby with this condition.
Some women experience anaemia during pregnancy, either because there is not enough iron in their diet or they need more than usual due to the demands of pregnancy.. Iron helps to carry oxygen in the blood of the mother and baby. You should be able to get enough iron by eating lots of green, leafy vegetables, leans meat and dried fruits but if you are feeling very tired and your GP diagnoses anaemia, he or she may prescribe iron supplements, which are best taken with orange juice. Always ask your GP or pharmacists before starting to take new vitamins or supplements during pregnancy.