Mother and Baby

3 weeks pregnant - what to expect

Week three pregnancy

Sperm, meet egg. As we mentioned in week two, your partner’s sperm goes on a very difficult journey to fertilise your egg, but if it’s made it and you’ve conceived, this is the week when your baby will first start to form.

What is my baby doing at three weeks pregnant?

Within hours of being fertilised, your egg will start to travel from your fallopian tube to your uterus, and the fertilised egg (now medically referred to as the zygote) will divide into 16 identical cells.   

Right now, your baby is a ball of around 100 cells about the size of a pin head. This is officially referred to as a blastocyst.

This journey can take up to six days, so implantation probably won’t happen until week four, but right now, your baby is a ball of around 100 cells about the size of a pin head. This is officially referred to as a blastocyst, (don’t worry it won’t be called this for long!) and the inside of the cell mass will become the embryo itself and the amniotic sac. The outer cell mass will become the placenta.

What is my body doing at three weeks pregnant?

From the outside, it probably won’t feel like much is happening right now, but if you’ve timed things right, that precious blastocyst is starting out on its journey and heading for your uterus. Just after the egg is released from the follicle it came from, it will be replaced by a yellow group of cells called the corpus luteum. This in turn produces enough of the pregnancy hormones progesterone and oestrogen, to support your future baby for the next ten weeks, until the placenta is ready to take over.

At this point, you still probably won’t get a positive pregnancy test, but in the next few weeks, once the blastocyst has made its way into the uterus, the cells of the developing placenta will make human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This surges in your first trimester and tells your ovaries to stop producing eggs and start making more progesterone and oestrogen.

Common symptoms to look out for

  • A heightened sense of smell: This is a side effect of oestrogen, so if you find like every little fragrance around you has been magnified, this could be an early stage that your body is getting ready for a baby. This may cause morning sickness in the next few weeks, so you might want to think about switching to unscented toiletries.
  • Abdominal pressure: Don’t worry, a feeling of pressure or even the feeling of period cramps without the bleeding is nothing to panic about. You might be feeling the sensation of embryo implantation, an increased blood flow to this area or even the thickening of your uterus. If you’re worried, we recommend you book an appointment with your GP.
  • Metallic taste: A common side effect of pregnancy is a metallic taste, caused by the changing hormones in your body. These side effects will usually settle in second semester, although this can feel a long way away right now, so try sipping lemonade and other citrus juices to try and help.

What should I be doing when I'm three weeks pregnant?

Up the protein

Your baby will need extra protein to help it grow, so try and make sure you get three servings of protein a day in these first few weeks.

Make sure you’re getting enough calcium

It might seem obvious, but if you’re not getting enough calcium in your diet when you’re pregnant, your baby will start taking it from your bones! Now’s the time to up the intake – foods like Greek or frozen yoghurt will help, yet if you’re still struggling, it might be worth looking for a calcium supplement. 

Take me back to week 2

Take me to week 4

Read next: 8 fabulous foods that boost his sperm count 

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A low sperm count has been linked with factors such as a zinc deficiency or a lack of vitamins. So, making some nutritional changes can be a great way to bring that sperm count up. 
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Bananas for libido

Bananas have been found to increase male libido and regulate sex hormones because of an enzyme called bromelain. They’re also full of vitamins C, A and B1 which will boost his body’s ability to produce sperm.
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Oysters for sperm production

Oysters are one of your man’s best sources of zinc, which helps sperm production. It also doesn’t hurt that they’re an aphrodisiac, so load him up with 15mg a day – around 50g of oysters – and you’ll be making babies before you know it. If your wallet – or his stomach – can’t stretch to that much, other great sources of zinc are turkey, pumpkin seeds, lobster and mussels.
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Walnuts for sperm count

Omega-3 fatty acids increase sperm count and boost blood flow to the genitals – and walnuts are a fantastic source. They’re a tasty on-the-go snack, and can be sprinkled on cereal or dessert. Other good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are crab, salmon, chicken and pumpkin seeds.
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Garlic for sperm motility

If the strong aroma doesn’t put you off doing the deed, garlic is a great baby-making booster for your man. It contains two magic elements – allicin, which improves blood flow to his sexual organs and protects sperm from damage, and selenium, an antioxidant that improves sperm motility. One to two cloves a day is a good amount.
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Ginseng for testosterone

This aphrodisiac root has been used to treat infertility for hundreds of years. It boosts levels of testosterone and increases blood flow to the genitals, with some claiming it even treats erectile dysfunction. Get your man to drink tea with ginseng, or take dried ginseng root each day for a TTC boost.
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Broccoli for upbeat swimmers

Deficiencies in vitamin A are a common cause of low fertility, because a lack of vitamin A makes your man’s sperm sluggish. Broccoli is packed with vitamin A, as are red peppers, spinach, apricots, sweet potatoes and carrots.
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Dark chocolate for antioxidants

Dark chocolate contains an amino acid that has been proven to double sperm and semen volume. It’s also high in antioxidants – enough to rival pomegranates and acai berries. Antioxidants are a great weapon against free radicals, nasty little molecules found in pollution and toxins that are linked to male infertility. But don’t go overboard – putting on weight can cause imbalances in testosterone which could lower your man’s sperm count. A couple of squares a day is plenty.
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Asparagus for volume

Asparagus is another weapon against those nasty free radicals. It’s also packed with vitamin C, which protects sperm from damage and increases its motility and volume – so your man will have more swimmers and they’ll move faster.

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