Give yourself a pat on the back because you are now officially just over half way through your first trimester. Even though you might not feel your best, and you might not look pregnant yet, remember that your body is working overtime to grow your little one!
It may seem strange to be constantly comparing the size of your baby with some variety of food, but this is normal in the early weeks of pregnancy. It just eliminates any confusion because we've all got a mental picture of the same thing. When you are 7 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a corn kernel or a raspberry, a grape, a small bean or even a blueberry. Even your uterus is the size of medium-sized orange.
Your baby has also grown to about 10,000 times bigger than it was when you first conceived, but you still won't be able to feel his/her presence inside your uterus. That will come around mid-way through your second trimester.
Your physical changes this week
- Constipation may be your unwelcomed friend this week. The large bowel tends to get a little sluggish through pregnancy and the hormone progesterone has a slowing down effect. It will help you to drink lots of fluids and make sure your diet is high in fibre.
- You'll be feeling all the earlier symptoms as well, but perhaps with even more gusto. Nausea, intolerance to certain foods, vomiting and even heartburn can hang around for most of the day.
- Lots of drooling can make you feel you constantly have to swallow. You won't be at the point of needing to wear a bib, but it may feel like it. Be careful about your oral hygiene but watch how far back you go with your toothbrush. Your gag reflex may be too sensitive now to be brushing the back of your tongue with a lot of gusto.
- You could be feeling a second bout of adolescence with an outbreak of pimples. This is purely due to the influence of hormones racing around your body.
- You may find yourself feeling sensitive to the heat and want to strip off your clothing at the first chance you get. This is as a result of the extra circulating blood volume in your body and the hormonal "power surges" common in the early weeks.
- You may feel a bit of "thickening" around your middle even though it's not until after the 12th week of pregnancy that your uterus will be lifting up out of your pelvis. Some women gain a few kilos in the first trimester and others lose weight, it's purely individual.
- You might be feeling really tired all the time and no amount of sleep seems to make a difference. This is such a common symptom of early pregnancy but by the end of the 1th trimester your normal energy levels will return.
Your emotional changes this week
- No big changes on the emotional front this week. You might still be feeling a sense of disbelief that you are pregnant and rely on your symptoms, rather than what you look like to remind you.
- If you have friends who are trying to conceive but haven't been successful, you might feel a bit guilty. Be sensitive to their feelings but try not to minimise your own excitement.
- The reality of being pregnant may come home to you this week. Try to just deal with one day at a time and have confidence in your own abilities. Speak with your own mum if you can or other women who've had children and probably had similar feelings.
Your baby's changes this week
- Your baby's bones are beginning to form, as well as their facial features being more recognisable. That family nose is beginning to take shape! The back of their head is growing faster than the front which is perfectly normal.
- Their mouth and tongue are starting to form this week along with their arms and legs. So far, they still look like paddles flapping around from the side of their chest, but as the weeks progress they'll become more defined.
- So much of your baby's growth is concentrated on their brain this week that around 100 new brain cells are forming every minute. It's no wonder if you're feeling hungry; all that baby growth needs the energy from food to support it.
- Your baby's sex glands are starting to form when you are 7 weeks pregnant, but it’s way too early to distinguish them.
- Your baby's kidneys are where they need to be this week, but they haven't started filtering the baby's blood just yet. They will soon start producing urine which will form a fair percentage of the amniotic fluid which the baby is going to float around in for the next 7 months or so.
Tips for the week
- Make a dental appointment. Poor oral hygiene and gum disease is linked with premature labour as well as other complications. Speak with your dentist about how to maintain a healthy mouth throughout your pregnancy. Remember; tell them you are pregnant because x-rays at any stage of pregnancy can be risky.
- Consider eating more ginger. Many women say that ginger, ginger biscuits or ginger candies help to settle a queasy tummy. Eat small snacks often and avoid too much time in-between meals. Don't be concerned if you can't stand tea or coffee around now. Lots of women say these are the first of many aversions they develop through their pregnancy. Try herbal or peppermint tea instead or sip on cool, iced water.
- Stock up on salty foods and fill your pantry with spreads. Many women crave salty, vinegary foods at this time and when eaten as a snack, can be tolerated more easily than a heavy meal. Look for a spread which is high in the B group vitamins and has some nutritional value other than just sugar.