The tiny little fingers that will melt your heart when you hold them are beginning to form in this week. Your baby is on a limb growing spree. While her arms and legs grow out, her hands and feet are also forming. However, they are webbed at the moment and look more like paddles. If you are disappointed on knowing that your baby is still classified as an embryo, then it’s time to chin up because the journey from a poppy seed to a blueberry is quite the thing. Yes! Your baby is the size of a blueberry now and it continues to have a tail that is an extension of her tailbone. This tail will shed off in a few weeks and your baby will look more human by then.
Can you imagine that your baby already has eyelid folds that will form her eyes? To add to this, she might already be growing the tip of her nose and veins under her skin. Her skin is still forming and will take some time so it is more like parchment paper now; thin and transparent.
Your baby’s umbilical cord is ready and is carrying oxygen and nutrients to and from your body and is also eliminating wastes into your system. Your baby’s bone marrow is yet to form which is why her liver functions in place of it, producing red blood cells. Your baby’s brain has already divided into the two hemispheres and they are in the process of development.
Did you know that your baby’s pancreas is also about to form that will produce insulin to help in digestion? All these changes have happened in the span of a week so even if you are far from looking pregnant, do consider that your baby and your body are doing an incredible amount of work every day. This is also why you continue to feel fatigued through the day.
Your Baby Is Producing Urine!
Yes, you will need to stock diapers at home but they will not be required till after you deliver because for now, all your baby’s wastes are being eliminated into your system and your kidneys ensure that they are got rid of through your excretory system. Your baby has had three sets of kidneys in these weeks, none of which were permanent in nature but by 7 weeks, she has a permanent pair of kidneys that will start producing urine in another week. You would be amused to know that much of her urine is eliminated in the amniotic fluid which she swallows and eliminated again. It is more of a cycle.
How Will Your Body Change At 7 Weeks?
Even if you haven’t managed to make baby announcements, your closest friends and colleagues who spend a considerable amount of time with you, would have guessed that you could be pregnant. What with pregnancy symptoms making you more irritable with each passing day, nausea that causes you to double over a number of times at office and your puffy flushed face; your well-kept secret may not be that difficult to guess anymore.
1. Will My Breasts Ever Stop Growing?
Breast changes and growth in puberty were more than welcome when all you knew about puberty was what boys and trashy magazines told you. Breast changes in pregnancy, on the other hand, are not always that welcome. Add tenderness and swelling to it and you are a perfect recipe for an outrage any time now. The pregnancy hormones, estrogen and progesterone are doing everything to ensure that your body is ready to bear and rear a baby in the most natural ways possible. Fat stores are being laid out in your breasts to help in breastfeeding your baby. You might also see that you have protruding nipples, which is not really a welcome sight, but more functional in nature so that your baby can latch on without any problem. You can also expect your areolas to get darker and a number of goose bump like formation around the areolas. These are known as Montgomery tubercles1; sweat glands to keep your areolas lubricated.
2. Increased Frequency And Volume Of Urine
We know how irritating it feels to need to empty your bladder so frequently, especially when you are working outside. However, the reason behind this increased frequency is the fact that your kidneys are processing more fluids and your uterus is stretching out, placing more pressure on your bladder. These reasons are constant reminders of how quickly your baby is growing inside your womb and could serve as some sort of a consolation for your exhaustion. Yet another reason that you are visiting the washroom more frequently is because there is more blood flow to your pelvic area.
3. Are You Salivating More Than Ever?
As if your pregnancy hormones did not have enough to be blamed for, they are also making you salivate a lot more than usual. There seems to be a link between women having morning sickness and salivating a lot. All that excess saliva is bound to make you feel sick and even more nauseous. This also gives you more reasons to want to throw up through a meal. The only ways in which you can feel better about it is by brushing your teeth frequently with fresh-smelling toothpaste, using a mint-based mouthwash and by chewing gum. Although this could seem never-ending, this tends to stop after the first trimester.
4. Your Food Aversions And Heartburn Continue
If you had only a couple of things that you genuinely enjoy having now, thanks to your food aversions, and even these are giving you heartburn, you have every reason to feel upset about meal times. However, your nausea and reflux will get better by the end of first trimester. Till then, you could rely on simple recipes that do not involve excess usage of spices, avoid too much water after meals and always opt for small and frequent meals through the day.
What More Could You Do About Your Tender And Sore Breasts?
If you have been rather petite in structure, you would more than welcome growing breasts but how to ease the soreness? This is probably the best time to invest in a supportive maternity bra that you can also wear at night to prevent sagging and ease that tenderness a little.
It is a misconception that sagging is an outcome of breastfeeding; it happens in pregnancy itself. It can be avoided by wearing a 100% cotton bra all through your pregnancy. You will also feel a tad better about the tenderness when you have a good support in place. Avoid under wired bras as they can worsen the soreness.
Your Nausea Is Not Related To Your Baby’s Gender
Even if you have told a number of times how you are definitely having a girl or even better, twins, because throwing up in the first trimester signifies so, it is a myth. You throw up because of your hormones running wild and you know that by now.
There has been no evident link between nausea and the gender of the baby. Instead of investing your time in deciding colors already, try and figure out a meal plan with the help of your husband so that in spite of the nausea, you can keep something down.
Will This Be Your First Prenatal Appointment?
If you haven’t had your first prenatal visit yet, this is the time when your doctor would definitely want to see you. From finding out your accurate due date to checking your weight, blood pressure and the baby’s heartbeat; there is a lot to look forward to in your first visit.
How To Prepare For Your Week 5 Prenatal Visit?
If this is your first appointment, your doctor is likely to ask you the date on which your last period had commenced. This is used to find an estimate of your due date. You might not have had regular periods and it is also possible that you have completely forgotten about the date. In such a scenario, an early ultrasound will help your doctor make the estimate.
Ever wondered what the purpose of a prenatal visit is? It is to ensure that your pregnancy is progressing in the right direction and you and your baby are meeting milestones. Your doctor will ask you about the symptoms that you are facing will discuss your concerns with you and also check your history.
You are prone to forgetfulness in pregnancy so always jot down your questions and keep a checklist ready for every visit. This practice will ensure that you do not miss discussing anything with your doctor.
The most important aspects of every prenatal visit would be the measurements of weight, blood pressure, urine, the position of the embryo at 7 weeks, the position of the placenta, and the heartbeat of the baby.
It would be ideal to discuss your medication with your doctor; if you have been taking OTC drugs, if you need anti-depressants or have been on sleeping pills etc. this is important for the doctor to know so that she can help you deal with the consequences and also talk you out of it. if there are further issues regarding your lifestyle choices that need correction, she could also refer you to a counselor.
At the end of the visit, your doctor will ask you to follow certain guidelines regarding the next few weeks till she meets you again and will also jot down the screenings, if any.
What Are The Tests That I Could Expect My Doctor To Recommend?
Based on your family history, your doctor is most likely to prescribe tests and genetic screening to rule out any abnormality. The initial tests could look like this:
- Pap smear to rule out STDs
- Blood work to check RH factor2
- HCG levels
- Urine test to rule out GD and pre-eclampsia.
Involving Your Spouse In The 7th Week Of Your Pregnancy
Have you needed your husband more than ever to be with you since finding out that you are pregnant? This is absolutely normal and is a precursor to the concept of nesting that implies the involvement of both the parents in the journey of pregnancy and parenthood.
You could feel a little overwhelmed with this constant need to be with your spouse and the same applies to him because both of you might have been fairly independent before conception. This is for both the husband as well as the wife to realize that by 7 weeks, you are already a parent to a baby who is rapidly growing and now it is more about your pregnancy hormones making you an emotional wreck, more than anything else.
Have you been feeling vulnerable and over-sensitive? Do you keep missing your spouse when he is ideally not supposed to be around? Do not block out these questions, even if you have always claimed to be a self-dependent person. You could have an insecurity regarding the time after birth when you two will no longer remain just the two of you. Simultaneously, your spouse might also be thinking on the same lines. It is important to assure each other that you two would remain connected in the worst of times.
As your pregnancy progresses, it is vital that you remain transparent about your needs and choices with your partner. It is absolutely essential to involve your partner in everything. While most women would want their husbands to be present at every prenatal appointment, some might not. Irritability with health conditions coupled with a saturated mental state can lead you to look at your husband’s involvement in everything, an intrusion of your privacy. Speak to him about it and make a choice driven by mutual understanding.
When it comes to sexual intercourse, either you or your husband might find it intimidating. If you are one of those lucky few, sex could be as pleasurable as always. For the former type, try and identify the source of your fears. Speak to your doctor about intercourse and if it is safe to perform. If there are other ways that seem more interesting to any of you, like foreplay, oral sex or masturbation, feel free to discuss with the other. Whoever said, being pregnant and having a kid can ruin your sex lives, clearly did not do enough foreplay!
Fun Activities To Do This Week!
If you are rather disappointed that it’s still too early to show, try taking a picture of your belly before you pop! Everyone around does maternity shoots; how about taking pictures from when your belly is still intact to the day you actually deliver? If you are the sensitive type who would cry over how perfect your body was in the first few weeks, opt out of this because this will trigger your obsession with body weight and shape.
Baking a cake could not only distract you from your pregnancy symptoms but also seem the most perfect way to make up for your food aversions. For example, you could bake a 7th week cake and add blueberries to it, because your baby probably is the size of one. What better way to enjoy this week than relishing slices of a rich blueberry cheesecake or a light and airy blueberry muffin with whipped cream?
If you need to take a break from the monotony of eating, sleeping and throwing up, try going out with friends, catch a movie, dine out and chatter away. This could be an effective way of getting over the gloom. Just remember to visit a place that has a washroom nearby because you do not want to curse yourself for planning an outing while your bladder threatens to burst open!
Your 7th Week Reminders!
To ensure that you don’t miss out on important things for this week’s agenda, make a to-do list at the beginning of the week. Here is an example of what you could include in it:
Cravings And Aversions
Make a list of all your cravings and aversions so that planning meal times are hassle-free. You could be craving weird foods and that does not imply that you have a nutritional deficiency. It is also possible to not like your favorite foods like chocolates, puddings, fried eggs and bacon.
Medicines For You
The only medicines you should ideally be taking in the first trimester are your prenatal supplements. If you do have a condition where your situation is too critical to avoid medication, your doctor will find out the better alternative to that pain killer.
Ask Your Doctor About Constipation
If you have been feeling uncomfortable about your constipation, talk to your doctor about it. She will initially recommend dietary changes and in the worst case, prescribe mild laxatives. Avoid exerting too much pressure while excreting or it may lead to hemorrhoids3.
Recognize The Cramping
It is normal to have cramping in the first few weeks of pregnancy because of your uterus stretching out to accommodate your baby but if your feel that you also have shoulder, neck pain, dizziness and contractions, you must consult your doctor right away.
Manage Your Morning Sickness
Make it a habit to have a couple of crackers or dry cereal right after getting up in the morning. This helps keep the nausea and vomiting at bay. Sipping ginger ale and lemonade have also been seen to help.
Do Not Skip The Walk
It is recommended that you keep yourself as active as possible in pregnancy to avoid cramps, aches and swelling and also to enhance endurance. Quit that lethargy and gear up for short walks every day.
Brush And Floss Regularly
That sickening and familiar taste in your mouth can be got rid of if you brush 2-3 times a day and floss at least twice a day. You tend to salivate more in Weeks 7-14 and it only adds up to your nauseous feeling. You can also use a minty mouthwash to enhance your oral hygiene.
Week 7 is about realizing how real this pregnancy is, especially when you encounter the tiny little arms and legs that are still developing on the USG screen. With most of the vital organs developing rapidly and your baby growing more recognizable and human-like by the day, you can’t but celebrate each day of this pregnancy. If you haven’t heard your baby’s heart beat, chances are that you will do so in your upcoming prenatal appointment. Needless to say, it will be one of the most exhilarating experiences of your life; to realize that a tiny heart beats within you, two pair of eyes, two pair of eyes and all the other human-like qualities are beginning to form inside your womb is nothing but precious. Cherish each day as it comes and when your first trimester symptoms are too overwhelming, just say to yourself, “Even this will pass!”