In pregnancy weeks five and six, the little bud in your belly that will one day bloom into your baby start making big steps in its development but it’s in pregnancy week seven that the really exciting things start happening. On the outside though, things really haven’t changed all that much but even that is starting to change at this point. In truth, this is a time when a lot of things are happening. Let’s take a look at what’s happening with you and your baby during pregnancy week seven.
What’s Happening with Your Baby
Last week, we talked about how you may be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat during an early ultrasound because of developments in your baby’s heart and circulatory system. This week though, the changes with the tiny bean that will one day be your baby are a little bit different. While your baby’s organs continue to develop (we’ll talk about that in a moment), there are a lot of external changes taking place as well. If you were able to see your little bean, you’d see that it is now about the size of a blueberry whereas it was only about the size of a lentil last week. You’d also see that the tail your baby had last week is shorter and less pronounced. Before long, you won’t be able to see the tail at all.
Still imagining that we’re looking into your belly, you would be able to see two little things on either side of you’re baby’s body that sort of look like flippers. At the bottom of your baby’s body are two more flippers. These flippers will develop into those chubby little arms and legs you’ll spend so much time kissing and tickling. Your baby’s hands and feet are now beginning to develop at the ends of these little flippers. Pretty exciting stuff, but there’s still more happening!
The big dark spots on your baby’s developing face that will become your baby’s eyes are no longer just big dark spots. In pregnancy week seven, the first hints of eyelids will begin forming around those dark spots covering them up partially. These tiny developing eyelids will even have a little bit of color! Your baby’s skin is currently only paper thin so as the circulatory system continues to develop this week, you would be able to see your baby’s little blue veins just below that skin if you could see inside your belly. The tip of your baby’s nose would also start becoming visible around this time.
There aren’t just physical changes taking place in your baby this week but there are internal ones as well and those are every bit as important. Your baby’s brain is growing with both hemispheres of your baby’s brain developing at a steady pace. Your baby hasn’t yet developed bone marrow so its developing liver is working hard to produce red blood cells. Once the bone marrow is developed, it will take over this part of the job for your liver. Your baby also now has a tiny pancreas and a tiny appendix. Once fully developed these important organs will begin producing insulin which will help your little one digest food properly. Your baby’s intestines are also continuing to develop. At this stage, there is a bulge in the intestines that connects with its umbilical cord. By this point, this important part of your baby will have its own blood cells which will be responsible for carrying nutrients and oxygen to your developing baby.
How You’re Feeling
At this point in your pregnancy, you’re likely still experiencing morning sickness and in truth, your morning sickness may now be worse than ever. This is going to make eating a bit difficult but with your uterus having grown to nearly double its original size and with all the developments taking place with your baby, it is important to make sure you’re getting enough nutrients to your baby. If you’re finding it hard to work up an appetite or your morning sickness is preventing you from keeping any food down, talk to your doctor about your options. You are responsible for making sure you do everything you can to help your baby develop properly. Your doctor will likely have a solution. If your appetite just isn’t there, try watching cooking shows, flipping through your favorite recipe book or even looking up recipes online. You’d be surprised how much this can help.
As I mentioned above, your uterus has nearly doubled in size at this point. Some women will experience slight cramps because of this. Try moving around a little bit if the cramps are bothering you. If you’re lying down, try sitting up. If you’re sitting, try standing. If you’re standing, try sitting. The point is to change your position. It can help immensely with those annoying cramps. If the cramping gets severe and you can’t do anything to alleviate them, talk to your doctor. It could be the symptom of a bigger problem. It could also be nothing at all and you could be one of the women who gets bad cramps during pregnancy. Your doctor will be able to verify there is nothing wrong and may be able to help you figure out a solution or, at the very least, may be able to help you find a way to manage those cramps.
At pregnancy week seven, you’re going to be running to the bathroom a lot more often. Some women begin having ‘accidents’ around this time. A friend of mine wet herself often enough that she had to wear adult diapers for most of her pregnancy. Try not to be too embarrassed if that happens to you. It’s fairly common. Your uterus is now double its size, as I mentioned above. That means you have far more weight on your bladder than before. In addition, you kidneys are also working far harder. If you have troubles with bladder control early on, they’re likely only going to get worse as the pregnancy wears on. Don’t forget the end result, though – you’re beautiful son or daughter. There are a lot of very discreet adult diapers out of there that you can wear and no one will be the wiser. Remember though, when you feel the need to go, go! Don’t hold it or try to wait until a commercial break. Get to the bathroom right away. Doing so will greatly reduce your chances of those little accidents.
What You Should Be Focusing On
At this point in your pregnancy, it’s time to get serious about your prenatal visits. Within the next week or so, you’re going to want to have your first prenatal checkup if you haven’t already. Some women, especially women who have been trying to conceive for a while, will visit this week or even earlier but make sure you start planning your first visit now if you haven’t already. Most doctors will require you to book your appointment a few weeks in advance. Don’t wait longer than you have to. You want to make sure you make sure everything is okay with your baby as soon as possible.
Because this week is really all about getting ready for your prenatal visit, there are a few things you’ll want to start preparing. If you haven’t already gotten your family’s medical history together, you’re going to want to start doing that now. You likely won’t be able to get a detailed list of your entire history but gather as much as you can. That way you can have it ready for your doctor. You’re also going to want to prepare a list of questions or concerns you may have. For example, if you’re having trouble coping with any of your pregnancy symptoms, mention these symptoms to your doctor. You might get valuable advice on dealing with the issues and may be able to nip any potential problems in the bud.
Your doctor is going to want to know when your last period was. They’re looking for the first day or your last period. If you were charting your cycle or writing down the dates of your periods, make sure you give them the correct day. If you don’t know the exact date, try to estimate as closely as possible. You’re also going to want to put together a list of any medications or supplements you’re taking. This doesn’t just mean prescription medications but over the counter medications as well. Write down any vitamins or nutritional supplements as well, even if you’re sure they’re pregnancy friendly. Your doctor will know what is safe and what isn’t better than your friends, your family or even the internet as hard as that is to believe in this day and age.