In the 7th week of your pregnancy, your external body may have undergone only minor changes even though you are right in the
middle of the first trimester. Although you are quite anxious to for everyone to know you are pregnant, at this stage, they will only know if you tell them.
The size of the baby is the size of a pea at this stage. The changes taking place with the fetus are very rapid. You need to take care at this stage with your diet and exercise. Also avoid any medications for longer than 48 hours without consulting your doctor first. Do not to lift heavy things which might cause internal strain or injury.
At this stage, there are gender tests which can tell you the sex of the baby. However, depending on your region, these tests may be illegal especially if the parents are contemplating whether or not to keep the baby based on its gender. If by this stage you have not enrolled with an obstetrician, it is high time to do so. The location and reputation of the obstetrician matters especially if you have had complicated pregnancies in the past. Being comfortable with your doctor goes a long way in making your pregnancy and delivery easier. You can think about stitching maternity clothes which will be useful as your weight starts increasing.
Your Symptoms: Food aversions, nausea, vomiting.
Baby’s Development: Baby now has hands and feet! The lens and retina are beginning to develop. Veins are visible through the thin skin.
Baby’s Size: 8 mm (size of a blueberry).
To Do: Schedule your first prenatal appointment if you haven’t already. Most doctors like to see you around 8 or 9 weeks.
There is tremendous growth in the baby this week. In the beginning of the 7th week, the crown to rump length of your baby is .16 to .2 inches which doubles by the end of the week to 0.44 or 0.52 inches. This is the stage where all the essential organs are beginning to form within the embryo such as the hair, nipple follicles, the eyelids and the tongue. The elbows and toes become more visible after the trunk starts becoming straight.
The baby is about the weight of a pea or an Asprin tablet. The placenta begins to show after this week. The head is larger than the other body parts. The internal organs have already formed and the heart has begun beating from the end of the 4th week. The baby is floating in the amniotic sac. The buds for the arms and legs have emerged in the 5th week. In the 7th week, the buds for the fingers and toes also start appearing.
The umbilical cord is growing in length and will continue to grow giving the baby freedom to move in the stomach. The embryo has now grown fully into a fetus. If you calculate this period as the 7th week of pregnancy from conception, the muscles and nerves start functioning. The baby develops reflexes and can move. The abdomen and thorax are fully formed and the lungs have started developing. The heart, which is now in the thoracic cavity, beats strongly. The head becomes more outstanding as it starts leaning towards the body. The mouth can be opened and the eyes can be seen behind the closed membranes. You may even notice fingers, ears and the vestibular system developing.
Changes with your body
The changes in your body are gradual and continuous at this stage. People around you may not be able to tell you that you are pregnant yet. Some women have gained a few pounds and there are some who even tend to lose weight if they are experiencing morning sickness at this stage. Losing weight is quite common at this stage of pregnancy as there are no hunger pangs yet and the feelings of nausea and vomiting might be stronger at this time. The body starts adjusting to the new life growing within your body.
In a few weeks, the body weight will tend to increase. There is rapid growth of the embryo after this. The other symptoms which you may now experience are swelling and tenderness of the breasts with changes in the color of the areolas due to hormonal changes. The other common symptoms which are experienced by most women include fatigue, tiredness, nausea or morning sickness, headaches, mood swings, frequent urination, indigestion, constipation and a dull lower back ache which might not be so profound yet but can advance with the pregnancy. Other aspects such as food aversions or cravings generally disappear by this time as the body has adjusted to deal with the pregnancy. You might develop food cravings for some particular food unless the morning sickness is still quite prominent. Drinking a lot of water is useful to prevent constipation and dehydration.
What to expect
There are some women who are continuing with the morning sickness and are finding ways to deal it. About 70% to 80% of women experience some form of morning sickness during their pregnancy. To reduce the uneasiness in your body, you can follow a few tips such as eating small and frequent meals, eating a toast or soda cracker on a empty stomach first thing in the morning. Sniffing lemons or eating watermelons can relieve nausea. Avoiding spicy or fried food and avoiding lying down immediately after meals may also help. Eating salty potato chips, getting plenty of rest and naps during the day and taking vitamin B6 tablets on a daily basis have also aided women dealing with morning sickness.
If your morning sickness becomes more severe and you are constantly throwing up and not retaining any food, you might need to consult a doctor as there is a possibility that you have Hyperemesis Gravidarum. This is a condition characterized by severe vomiting, weight loss and electrolyte disturbance. Mild cases can be cured with dietary changes, rest and antacids. However, in severe cases one needs to be hospitalized. This is a condition which cannot be avoided by some women but can be managed by bed rest, acupressure, herbal intake and homeopathic medicines. In the most severe cases, medication, intravenous fluid intake and tube feeding might be required to restore hydration, vitamins, nutrients and electrolytes in the body.