This week, you’ll start to get that pregnancy glow (get ready for the compliments). Your baby now measures about 1cm (or half an inch), which is about the size of a blueberry, and will start making his or her first movements this week.
What’s my baby doing at seven weeks pregnant?
Let’s take a look at your little blueberry-sized-babe at week seven. He or she now has a more defined face, with a mouth, nostrils, ears and eyes, and brain cells are generated at the rate of 100 per minute. The mouth, tongue, tooth buds will also develop this week.
This weeks, your baby’s arms and legs will start developing, dividing into hand, arm and shoulder segments and leg, knee and foot segments. Yet right now, they’ll still look like paddles more than hands and feet, as fingers and toes will be webbed.
Your baby now has kidneys and ready to start work, as pretty soon your baby will start producing urine.
Your baby is also starting to make little jerky movements this week. You won’t be able to feel a thing, but an ultrasound would pick it up. Speaking of which, check out this guide to ultrasounds.
What is my body doing at seven weeks pregnant?
Your pregnancy bump won’t be showing yet, because your womb still hasn’t risen (it won’t do until the end of the first trimester), but that doesn’t mean you’re not feeling the full effects of being pregnant. From the nausea to the swollen breasts, your body is getting ready to grow your little one!
- Swollen Breasts: Some women have gone up a full cup size by seven weeks pregnant, which would be great if they weren’t so uncomfortably tender and achy. Of course you can thank those pesky pregnancy hormones for that. Ft is also building up in your breasts and more blood flowing towards them. You might also notice the areola (the dark area around the nipple) has got darker and larger and has little goose-bump-like spots. These are sweat glands that supply lubrication – all important changes for when you start breastfeeding.
- An extra glowy complexion: You might notice your skin is looking better than ever, and your hair is more lustrous than that time you spent a fortune on Moroccan oil. These are both down to the extra oestrogen you’re producing right now.
Common symptoms to look out for:
- Frequent urination: You’re still needing to pee every five minutes thanks to that pregnancy hormone hCG increasing the blood flow to your pelvic area. Remember to keep drinking despite those constant toilet trips – your body and your baby needs it!
- Fatigue: Growing a baby is an exhausting task, especially as your body is still making the placenta, so listen to your body and rest up. One way to keep your energy up is to keep snacking throughout the day – mini-meals will keep your bloody sugar up.
- Breast tenderness and changes: Despite looking bigger than they’ve ever done, your boobs might not look their best! Noticing loads of blue veins? These will transport all the nutrients and fluids to your baby when you begin breastfeeding. For now, invest in a good stretch mark cream and maternity bra to minimise sagging.
- Excessive saliva: Feel like you’re dribbling? Just when you thought the morning sickness was bad enough, pair it with excessive saliva and you’re in for a treat. Another one that will disappear at the end of your first trimester, but for now, try chewing sugarless gum.
- Food cravings: If you find you’ve narrowed down your menu of meals thanks to those pregnancy food aversions, try not to worry. Eating the same healthy meal everyday will still give your growing babe all the nutrients it needs. What’s more, if you find your cravings are driving you mad, give in to them once in a while.
- Heartburn: Another totally normal, but totally unpleasant side effect. Avoid spicy or fatty foods, caffeinated drinks as these will make it worse, also try drinking either before or after you eat.
- Gaining a few pounds: You might not look like you’re carrying a baby, but you might have gained a few pounds already. This is totally normal – most women will gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy.
- Cramping: This is normal during the first trimester, but if it occurs with shoulder or neck pain, or you have any unusual discharge, contact your GP.
What should I be doing when I’m seven weeks pregnant?
One thing you must look out for is bleeding, whether this is in the form of light dotting or spotting, or lots of blood. Bleeding in the first trimester is very common (it affects around one in three women) and doesn’t always indicate miscarriage.
If you do notice bleeding, you must see your doctor right away. Your GP or midwife will be able to examine you both vaginally and probably via an ultrasound. In most cases the bleeding goes away and the doctor is unable to explain it, unless it’s caused by infection.
If this has happened to you, do not panic, here’s more information about bleeding in early pregnancy:
Read next, here's what NOT to eat when you're pregnant:
Unpasteurised milk and soft cheeses
Unpasteruised milk and soft cheeses may contain bacteria that could make both you and your baby ill, so are best avoided when pregnant. When you are pregnant, your immune system is lower, so you are more susceptible to illness. High levels of the bacteria Listeria Monocytogens can be find in unpasturied milk and cheese and listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or severe illness in newborns. Got a craving for cheese? Take a look at this list of 15 cheeses that are safe to eat during pregnancy.
AlcoholThis one won't come as a surprise - the NHS recommends it is best to avoid alcohol during pregnancy. That said, do not worry if you drank before you knew you were pregnant, but avoid it for the rest of your pregnancy to avoid causing your baby any harm.
Raw seafoodIf you're a sushi lover, this one won't go down well, but raw seafood is a big no-no during pregnancy. This is down to the fact that on some occassions, raw seafood can contain small parasitic worms, harmful viruses and bacteria and although sushi fish has normally been flash frozen, it's better to be safe. Whilst we're on the subject of fish, avoid marlin, shark and swordfish during pregnancy, as they all contain high levels of mercury which can damage your growing baby's nervous system.
CaffeineWhile a cup a day is ok, you need to be careful when it comes to how much caffeine you are consuming. The guideline is no more than 300mg per day, which is the equivalent of two cups of coffee. Don't forget soft drinks and energy drinks contain caffeine, as does chocolate. Take a look at these caffeine and alcohol free alternatives for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Undercooked meat and poultryYou'll probably recognise a theme here - it's best to stay away from most uncooked foods when pregnant, and this includes meat and poultry, as both pose risks of salmonella.
LiquoriceWhilst a little bit is absolutely fine, if you're a big fan of this sweet treat, it's a good idea to start cutting down. Whilst there are no currrent UK guidelines to suggest you need to avoid it completely, new research found youths exposed to large amounts of liquorice in the room performed less well in cognitive reasoning tests.
Deli meatsDeli meats or cold cuts of meats that have been cooked prior to purchase should be avoided tduring pregnancy, due to the risk of listeria.
Raw eggsAvoid raw or undercooked eggs and mayonnaise during pregnancy as they carry the risk of salmonella food poisoning. This means even runny eggs should be avoided, instead, ensure both the white and the yolks are solid and thoroughly cooked.
Unwashed fruit and vegetablesIf you're not already in the habit of washing your fruit and veg before eating it, now is the time to start. Traces of soil left on your greens can increase your risk of infectin such as toxoplasmosis, so make sure you take extra care when washing and preparing your food.
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