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Well, there’s no doubt about it now… By 7 weeks, you’re definitely starting to feel a little pregnant! You’ve managed to get through the first weeks with your baby-to-be growing inside you, and maybe you’ve even been a bit proud of how you’ve handled all the changes in your life. At the very least, you haven’t started to bulge around your belly yet so there’s been no need to share your big news with the nosy neighbor who lives next door.
But that was then. The weeks came and went, and now you’re at the big 7. And you’re not quite feeling yourself anymore. For many women, week 7 is the time that they start to feel more noticeable signs of pregnancy — and this can bring a whole bunch of new challenges. Even if you’ve been taking it all in your stride until now, you may need to brace yourself for what’s to come. But don’t despair — your friends at Flo are here to support you every step of the way.
Your baby at 7 weeks of pregnancy
Your friends and relatives may not know you’re expecting (and perhaps even your partner!), but on the inside your bundle of joy has been busy, busy, busy. Although you won’t show it on the outside yet, for the last few weeks your baby has been rapidly developing and increasing in size.
Here’s what’s going on with your baby:
How big is a baby at 7 weeks pregnant?
By now your little fetus has grown to around 1 cm long (0.4 in) — clinicians will sometimes call this the ‘crown-rump’ length because it is the distance from one end to the other. This may not seem like much, but remember that not so long ago it was only the size of a poppy seed. Give your baby a figurative high-five! It’s definitely come a long way from very modest origins.
Pregnancy week 7 fetal development
So we know how big the fetus is at this stage, but what’s going on with development? By this point, the brain is going through a phase of very substantial growth and differentiation — so much so that it the head growing faster than the rest of the body. The embryo has a large forehead.
At the same time, the fetal eyes and ears are also undergoing a period of accelerated development. Although the inner ear (the part that’s responsible for hearing and balance) is on its way towards completion, the outer ear that’s visible on the side of the head won’t be around for another few weeks.
The fetus doesn’t have any arms or legs yet, but limb buds will already have started to form cartilage. This will eventually form the bones of the arms and legs. At the same time, the arm buds will lengthen and then flatten at the end — these thin extremities will ultimately form hands. Meanwhile, a similar process is occurring in the lower limbs as leg buds develop into what will soon be legs and feet.
This is a mere snapshot of what’s going on with your baby-in-waiting. In addition to what we’ve mentioned, the fetal heart, lungs, gastrointestinal system, and other tissues are also in rapid development.
At this stage, you may still be feeling grateful that you’re not yet brandishing a very-obviously-pregnant belly, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to mentally prep yourself for some of the challenges to come. You won’t look like you’re ready to burst for quite a few weeks yet, but at week 7 you can definitely expect to start feeling some of the typical symptoms (if you haven’t already!).
The uterus has doubled, although your body hasn't changed noticeably yet. The umbilical cord — the link between the mother and the baby — has been formed. It is the way to transport oxygen and nutrients to the embryo and take away waste products. Be prepared for a possible increase in nausea, fatigue, heartburn, and other pregnancy symptoms.
7 weeks pregnant belly
Lucky you! At week 7, you’re still not showing yet. Most first-time pregnancies don’t show until around week 12. If you’ve had previous pregnancies, you may show earlier as a result of stretching of the muscles in your uterus and belly. Until then, enjoy your svelte figure.
7 weeks pregnant: symptoms you might experience
By now, your uterus is around the size of a lemon. This may not seem like much, but it’s roughly double the size it was before you became pregnant. You won’t be carrying much of a physical load, but don’t be surprised if you start to feel increasingly fatigued at this stage of your pregnancy. Tiredness will probably be one of the most noticeable signs of the momentous life event you’re about to experience, so be ready to deal with it and make appropriate allowances in your life.
It’s completely normal to feel tired during this phase. You may also find that your breasts feel heavy and sore and that you need to urinate more frequently than usual. ‘Morning sickness’, the nausea that is experienced by many pregnant women, may be more noticeable at this point — this can occur at any time of day, but it usually passes by around week 12-14.
Some women may experience painful or bleeding gums during pregnancy. It’s always a good idea to practice sound oral hygiene, but this is all the more so during pregnancy. If you haven’t already, try to check in with your dentist so they can review the overall health of your mouth and teeth.
Beyond your mouth, there are a number of infections that can present particular dangers to either mother or baby (or both) during pregnancy — for example, chickenpox. If you have concerns about an infection at any time while you’re pregnant, don’t hesitate to reach out to your trusted healthcare professional and seek expert advice.
7 weeks is a little early for an ultrasound scan. In most countries, the first scan of a pregnant woman takes place between weeks 8 and 14. It’s usually followed by another scan at 18-21 weeks.
Your pregnancy may be a challenging time for you, but do your best to follow a healthy lifestyle. This will provide the best support for you and your baby until full term. Your diet should contain a wide variety of foods from all the recommended food groups, including a mixture of fresh fruit and vegetables whenever possible. You should also drink water between 8 and 10 8-ounce glasses of water (from all sources) a day. But be sure to talk to your practitioner about what works for you and your situation
Try not to fixate on the old idea of ‘eating for two’ — in reality you only need around 300 extra calories per day to provide for your baby. And don’t worry too much if nausea or vomiting in early pregnancy mean that you don’t have much of an appetite; as long as you’ve been careful about your diet in the preceding weeks, your baby will still get what he or she needs.
Sex at week 7 of pregnancy
Unless your doctor has told you otherwise, your sex life can continue as normal throughout pregnancy.
Here’s your week 7 pregnancy checklist:
- You’re probably going to be feeling more fatigued and nauseated than in previous weeks, so take appropriate precautions. Let friends, relatives, and your partner know that you might need some support during this period. And try to build regular periods of rest into your daily routine so you don’t get too worn out.
- Morning sickness (or afternoon or evening sickness!) may be a regular feature at the moment and this may mean that your appetite is limited. Try to endure this phase as best you can because by week 12-14 it’s much less likely to be a factor in your pregnancy. Even if you don’t have the desire for a larger meal, maintain your blood sugar levels with smaller snacks distributed throughout the day.
- Don’t forget your mouth! The health of your mouth is all the more important while you’re pregnant. Get to the dentist so your oral hygiene can be reviewed.
What to ask your doctor?
In addition to your dentist, make sure that you’re up-to-date with the recommended schedule of appointments with your doctor. They will be able to offer you expert advice and counsel you on the best way to take care of yourself and your baby for the whole duration of your pregnancy.