7 weeks pregnant
Week seven, and you may well be feeling ‘really pregnant’ now, though the outward signs of pregnancy are still minimal. Here’s what’s likely to be going on with you and your baby this week.
Your baby at seven weeks
This is a big time development-wise for your baby. By seven weeks he still looks like a jellybean, with a long curved back and tiny limbs in comparison but lots is changing. Here’s what else he’s getting up to this week.
- His skin is translucent – if you could see into the womb you’d be able to see his developing blood vessels.
- Although it will be months before you’ll feel him kicking, he is making his first distinct jerky movements now.
- He’s starting to straighten out and looks a little less like an alien and a little more like a human being-in-the-making.
- At week seven he still has a tiny 'tail' which is part of the coccyx and will eventually disappear, giving him a less ‘tadpoley’ look.
- The fingers and toes on his paddle-shaped hands and feet are more defined.
- Your baby’s face is continuing to take shape, with tiny nostrils, a hole for the mouth, and the dips in the ears becoming deeper and joining up with the developing inner ear. The lenses of his eyes are growing and he has tiny, translucent flaps of skin which will become eyelids.
- His 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.
- His brain grows in size by one third this week. (Who’s a clever boy?)
- The umbilical cord between you and your baby becomes more obvious this week. It takes just 30 seconds for blood to get through the umbilical cord, drop off nutrients with your baby and come back again.
What size is the baby at seven weeks?
Your baby is around 1.25cm from crown to rump this week – about the size of a blueberry.
How is your body changing at seven weeks pregnant?
Your womb is growing rapidly and is now about the size of an orange, but it’s behind your pelvic bone still, so you can’t feel it yet. Although you’ll have no bump at the moment, things are starting to shift about inside as the ligaments that support your womb are stretched.
To support your growing baby, your heart pumps more blood round the body with each heartbeat by working a bit harder. Pregnancy hormones do their bit to help by relaxing the walls of your blood vessels so they can take the extra blood round the body more easily. You also start making more red blood cells – the ones that carry oxygen around.
By the end of your first trimester (week 13) a quarter of your blood flow goes to the uterus – a huge increase from its usual modest 2%.
You may feel strangely premenstrual, with mood swings, exhaustion and no patience with your partner (or anyone else, but it tends to be your partner that bears the brunt).
The hormones affect people in different ways. Some women say they just feel quite calm and unreal, rather than ragey, but most women feel a bit different in some way.
Resting when you feel tired and explaining that you're not a mean cow but an emotional, pregnant woman at the mercy of a maelstrom of hormones can both be helpful. Try to explain it without swearing or shouting if you can.
Pregnancy symptoms in week seven
Hormones are still working their magic, bringing with them some weird and wonderful (but mostly just weird) “pregnancy symptoms”.
Pregnancy is all Victorian melodrama sometimes. It's common to feel dizzy and light-headed because of the changes in your circulation, especially the relaxed blood vessels, which mean that your blood pools in your legs rather than whooshing up to your brain when you need it.
Make like a Jane Austen heroine and be ready to recline on a chaise longue at the first opportunity. Here are some other things you can do to help:
- Take care 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 raised.
- When 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 ask for one. Standing for long periods, particularly in a hot and stuffy enclosed space is a recipe for keeling over, so don’t be embarrassed to ask.
You may be feeling like a teenager again – but not in a carefree, youthful way. In a hormonal, grumpy, spotty way. Spots and blemishes are caused by the increase in progesterone. Keep the faith though – at some point soon oestrogens will prevail, giving you smooth, glowy skin and shiny, just-stepped-out-of-a-salon hair.
Things to think about during week seven of pregnancy
The news that you’re pregnant is probably sinking in fully now and it suddenly seems like a long wait until week 12, and being able to share the news with everyone else. Getting on top of a bit of ‘pregnancy housekeeping’ is a good way to pass the time, so now’s an ideal opportunity to pay your GP a visit to let them know you're pregnant.
They won't examine you (unless you have other health concerns) but will ask you about lots of questions and discuss the following:
- The date of your last period, to work out your due date.
- Your options for antenatal care and where to have your baby.
- Whether you've been taking folic acid.
- If you have any family history of health issues, both pregnancy-related and not.
- Some GPs will now follow NICE recommendations and ask if you smoke (and then advise you on how to stop).
- They may also ask if you feel down at all (to check you're not depressed) and whether you have any history of depression or other mental illness.
- They will then refer you to an antenatal team who will usually take over your care. Some women have much of their antenatal care under the GP, which can be more convenient than trekking to hospital.