7 weeks pregnant
The seventh week of your pregnancy will bring its own frontiers to cross. Your baby will have been around for about five weeks now. At this time your baby is about a half of an inch big, or the size of a blueberry.Your baby will grow very quickly this week.
During week 7 of your pregnancy your baby will be performing miraculous feats. The face is developing now: the nostrils, ears, eyes are beginning to form, though it will look quite different towards the last few months of gestation. The heart already has two chambers, and an ultrasound can detect it’s beat. Baby’s arms and legs are still developing and growing bigger. He or she will also begin to develop the lenses of the eyes. Not far behind will be intestines, pancreas and bronchi.
Your baby’s brain is growing quickly. About one hundred new brain cells are generated each minute.
The umbilical cord is growing: this is her life cord to you, providing nourishment, and letting her dispose of her wastes.
Remember when you were a teenager? Maybe you or your friends started to have some pimples when changes in hormones began to take place. Well, the new surge of hormones in pregnancy can cause the same effect, so if you had a problem as a teen, do the same things you did to avoid pimples: wash your face often, use washcloths, wash out your makeup brushes and sponges frequently to minimize dirt and bacteria. Don’t over-moisutrize your skin. Don’t touch your face (it’s said that this is a hard habit to break!). Use a mud mask weekly to clean out your pores.
You’ll notice that your pants are getting tighter too. But no one is going to notice, not yet. You might get indigestion more than before.
Some women may experience some spotting and cramping while your baby is furrowing into the uterine lining. Even though this may be normal, please talk to your doctor and take note of the amount of spotting (if you had to use pads, for example), the frequency of the spotting, and how painful and frequent the cramps were too.
Your body will have a small break on that emotional and physical roller coaster ride. This is not because the symptoms are gone but because they are the same and you may be used to them by now. You will not have to add anything more to your list of woes. You will still have morning sickness, breast tenderness and maybe an aversion to certain foods that you may normally have eaten before your pregnancy.
On the other hand though, you may find yourself eating things you would not even look at before you were pregnant. You will not be showing yet and because of the morning sickness you may have even lost a few pounds – or not. Either, or both, are normal at this stage of the game.
Food cravings during pregnancy
Maybe you recall the “I Love Lucy” episode when Lucy began craving sardines and ice cream. Her body might have told her she needed sodium, protein and calcium.
Experts agree that cravings are good signals to give your body and your baby the nutrients you may be lacking. However, some cravings are good, and some can take you down an unhealthy path. For example, you might crave high calorie foods. What you don’t want is to gain too much weight, which can lead to a difficult pregnancy. But do give into healthy cravings: fruits, vegetables. If you crave peanut butter, you can have some, but try substituting it with what your body is trying to tell you it needs: B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, and protein. So try fish: sardines, salmon, trout or mackerel. You can have up to four medium sized cans of tuna a week. Avoid eating shark, swordfish and marlin that contain too much mercury.
Because this is a very important time in your baby’s development, you should avoid alcohol, drugs and beauty treatments like perms, hair coloring, and manicures. These things are adding chemicals to your body, which may be transferred to your baby. It is very important that you are careful about what you ingest or do to your body during this stage of your baby’s development. Your baby is very susceptible to toxic substances during this time as they can negatively affect his or her development. If you are in doubt, contact your healthcare provider about these matters.
If you’re pregnant with more than one baby it is during this time that the differences in the pregnancy become more evident than if you were carrying one baby. You will be gaining weight faster; the size of your abdomen will increase bringing along with it the itchiness that comes with your stretching skin. You will develop a feeling of heaviness in your pelvis or vagina, and a greater tendency to retain water. Now for the good stuff, you may get varicose veins, and surprise, surprise an increase in fatigue. Oh, your morning sickness may also be a little more severe. Don’t worry though; it will all be worth it!
Remember if you have any questions or concerns about your pregnancy you should feel free to contact your healthcare provider.
Working during pregnancy
Many women work or continue their education throughout pregnancy. This will keep you active, and get you just the right exercise you need as you walk from office to office, or from class to class. You can keep that job, as long as it doesn’t involve strenuous lifting. An office job is therefore ideal. Talk to your doctor about your job options as it relates to pregnancy.
If you are a radiation worker, or work in a hospital with x-rays or with chemicals in a lab, tell your boss that you are pregnant, even if you feel this will jeopardize your job. Your baby’s health depends on it!
Maternity leave is a good thing to plan for right now as well. You’ll also have to think about child care. Plan ahead: it will pay off.