Pregnancy Week By Week
Tracking your pregnancy week by week is a big part of your journey toward motherhood, especially during those first few months of early pregnancy. So much is changing inside your body at this time to create and sustain new life. And that’s why it’s important to recognize everything as it happens as well as understand how each of these developments affects both you and your baby.
Your body is so amazing it naturally prepares itself for pregnancy every single month. Even when you’re not pregnant yet, several organs in your body are working hard to gear up for it. And once you’re pregnant, chemical messengers, like the often-heard-of pregnancy hormone HCG, flood into your body each day at an ever-increasing rate. And the hormonal changes likely caused by this work as a catalyst for all the physical and emotional developments now occurring.
7 Weeks Pregnant
You’re 7 weeks pregnant! Celebration is in order as your developing baby is growing bigger and stronger every day thanks to all your hard work.
Your body at week 7 has undergone a plethora of changes since the start of your pregnancy. And while you’re probably feeling quite a bit different now than when you first found out about your pregnancy, most of the changes are still happening on the inside.
With only 8 weeks left until the second trimester and 33 weeks left until your due date, you’ll have a newborn baby in your arms very soon.
Don’t worry! Experiencing a variety of icky pregnancy symptoms at 7 weeks pregnant is perfectly natural. Your baby is growing, your body is expanding, and your hormones are raging. So, be kind to yourself, practice self-care daily, and know that it’s totally normal to feel tired, achy, and outright grumpy sometimes when you’re pregnant.
Right around the time you miss your period and take your first pregnancy test in week four, some of the milder, less noticeable symptoms of pregnancy might set in. But, by seven weeks, you may also be experiencing the more common symptoms of early pregnancy like cramping, bloating, fatigue, tender breasts, acne, frequent urination, having a sudden urge or need to pee, and mood swings. In fact, for many women, all of these symptoms tend to occur at once.
Around this same time, you may experience other symptoms typically seen in pregnant women too such as excess saliva, heartburn, nausea and vomiting, and new food aversions. So, generally speaking, the first trimester is full of fun surprises.
Baby Development at 7 Weeks
Your sweet embryo is beginning to look more and more like a baby every day. During week 7 of pregnancy, your baby is the size of a blueberry and roughly 1 cm long from head to rump.
Interestingly enough, your baby’s head is growing faster than the rest of its body right now. Because of this, your embryo has a large forehead. Its neural tube has also closed. And its brain has separated into three distinct parts—providing plenty of room for all the new brain cells your little one is developing at rapid speed.
The umbilical cord is also fully developed now. It delivers all of the oxygen and nutrients your baby needs to survive. How this works is that blood flow travels from the placenta, through a vessel in the umbilical cord called the umbilical vein, into its liver, then on to the right chamber of its heart.
Each of its limb buds is elongating too, slowly turning into full-sized arms and legs. And webbed hands and feet are forming, which will eventually separate into fingers and toes around week 10.
Lastly, your embryo’s facial features like its eyes, ears, nose, and mouth are becoming more recognizable each day. Plus, its set of kidneys is developing enough that urination will be possible in a couple of weeks. And its digestive tract is taking shape with its esophagus, stomach, liver, and pancreas growing.
So, all in all, this is pretty fascinating time in your baby’s development.
Pregnant Belly at 7 Weeks
Hitting 7 weeks of pregnancy is pretty darn exciting, but most women won’t look the part this early on. When your baby is teeny tiny, it fits neatly inside your uterus, so no one around you is the wiser. But as baby grows and grows, your uterus expands to accommodate it. And eventually, your uterus gets so large that it pops up over your pelvic bones and your cute little baby bump makes itself known.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to when your pregnant belly will officially pop including the gestational age of the baby, your age, your body type, any previous pregnancies you may have had, and having weaker core muscles.
Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule, but most women won’t show until around weeks 12 and 13. So that means, you’re more than halfway there. Stretchy maternity clothes are in your future soon.
Healthcare Provider Checklist
It’s vital that you talk to your healthcare provider regularly throughout your pregnancy—whether that be an obstetrician or a midwife. They understand exactly what is happening inside your body, will explain all of the pregnancy guidelines set forth by the most respected health organizations in the US, and can even address the more unusual side effects of being pregnant, like if you suddenly find yourself craving nonfood items like dirt, for instance.
So, if you have a question about your vaginal discharge, are suffering from morning sickness all day long, or are wondering about the weight you may have gained since your last visit, call your doctor or midwife and be sure to have regularly scheduled prenatal appointments.
Every pregnancy is different, but seeking medical care helps your healthcare provider do their best to ensure that you and baby stay healthy.
To keep yourself organized, create a new healthcare provider checklist each visit with all the questions or concerns you would like to have addressed. Be sure to have an updated checklist from your very first prenatal visit all the way to your last.