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7 weeks pregnant

 

Pregnancy week 7How your baby is developing at 7 weeks

  • At 7 weeks your baby looks like a jellybean - with a long curved back in relation to her tiny limbs.
  • Her skin is translucent so you can see her developing blood vessels.
  • Although it will be months before you can feel her kicking you, she is making her first jerky movements.
  • She is starting to straighten out and look a little less alien and a little more human.
  • She's developing paddle-shaped hands and feet, with more defined fingers and toes.
  • On an ultrasound scan you can see her face is starting to take shape - tiny nostrils, a minute hole for the mouth, ears (already the dips in the ears are deeper and joined with the developing inner ear) and the lens of her eyes.
  • Her nervous system is busy forming the brain and spinal cord, and nerve cells are dividing rapidly and joining up with other nerve cells in the brain.
  • The umbilical cord between you and your baby becomes more obvious. It will carry nutrients and oxygen to your baby, and waste products back for your placenta to get rid of. It takes 30 seconds for blood to get there, drop off and come back. 
     

Your body at seven weeks pregnant

Your GP visit: You may want to see your GP to let them know you're pregnant. They won't examine you (unless you have other health concerns) but will ask you about dates and discuss options for your care.

They will check you've been taking folic acid and if anyone in your family has had any babies born with any abnormalities, or if you have any health problems they don't know about.

Some GPs will now follow NICE recommendations and ask if you smoke (and then advise you on how to stop) and if you feel down at all (to check you're not depressed). They will then refer you to an antenatal team who will take over your care.

Because antenatal scans for some conditions that can affect your baby are done between eight and 12 weeks, you should get an appointment for around that time.

Spots Rather than bloom with pregnancy you can feel like an adolescent as your face erupts with spots and blemishes. It's the increase in progesterone and you have to hope that oestrogens prevail soon, as they make your skin smooth and shiny.

Emotions You may feel strangely premenstrual with mood swings, exhaustion and no patience with your partner. This is also hormonal in cause but can be more overwhelming and you can lash out over nothing. Resting when you feel tired and explaining to your partner that you're not a mean cow but an emotional pregnant woman can both be helpful. Some women feel quite calm and unreal. But most women feel a bit different.

Your uterus Your uterus is the size of a small orange but is behind your pelvic bone, so you can't feel it yet. By the end of your first trimester (end of week 13) a quarter of your blood flow goes to the uterus, this is a huge increase from its usual modest 2%.

Your circulation To support your growing baby inside your growing uterus, your heart pumps more blood round the body with each heart beat by working a bit harder. Pregnancy hormones do their bit by relaxing the walls of your blood vessels so they can take the extra blood round the body. You also start making more red blood cells - the ones that carry oxygen round the body.

Faintness You don't have to be in a Victorian melodrama to faint when you're pregnant - it's common to feel dizzy and light-headed. This is because of the changes in your circulation, especially the relaxed blood vessels, which mean that your circulation pools in your legs rather than whooshing up to your brain when you need it.

So be prepared if:

  • You have to bend down or get up quickly
  • If you feel faint, get your head lower than your heart - sit with your head between your knees or lie down with your feet up
  • You're travelling by public transport - no one will offer you a seat (nor will they even as your stomach swells to the size of a watermelon) so you will have to ask for one as taking public transport combines heat and standing for long periods and thereby is a risky area for pregnant women

 

 

The Day by Day Pregnancy Book coverIllustrations taken from the bestselling book The Day-by-Day Pregnancy Book, £25, published by DK.

Disclaimer: The information in the pregnancy calendar is for general information and is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or antenatal team. Not all babies develop at the same time and in the same way, so this week-by-week guide may not always match your own experience. If you have any worries, consult your antenatal team or GP.

Last updated: 29-Sep-2014 at 11:11 AM