40 Wonderful Weeks: 7 Weeks Pregnant
By the time you are 7 weeks pregnant, your first trimester is in full swing! While you might have skated through the earlier weeks without feeling too many changes, this is a time when many women start feeling a few effects of their pregnancy. If you aren’t ready to share your news with the world just yet, then don’t worry. Your belly won’t be rounding out enough to be noticeable this week, but you might get caught quietly smiling to yourself when you think about your little secret. Over the course of this week, your body is going through tons of changes, but it is all still mostly invisible to the rest of the world.
Your coworkers and neighbors might not be able to detect that you are pregnant, but you are definitely feeling like you are. In fact, you might glance at your pale face in the mirror after a round of morning sickness and wonder exactly where is that pregnancy glow that everyone always talks about. If you’re feeling less than your best, then just remember to take it easy. Your body is working hard to help your baby grow, and knowing what to expect when you are 7 weeks pregnant helps you to manage your pregnancy symptoms.
What Is Happening: To Your Body and Your Growing Baby!
As you are probably already feeling, your body is currently undergoing some serious changes. You might have gained a few pounds, but you aren’t quite showing. That slightly rounded belly might make you want to loosen the button on your pants, but you probably aren’t ready to switch to maternity clothes just yet.
Are You Dropping Weight?
If you’ve lost some weight, then you can rest assured that this is also quite normal. Some women drop a few pounds when they are going through the height of their morning sickness symptoms. You might also lose a little weight if you’ve revved up your efforts to eat a healthier diet and exercise more. Making healthy lifestyle changes combined with your body burning through the calories to grow your baby could result in some light but temporary weight loss, but it won’t last long. Your belly will start showing soon enough, and your doctor will monitor any weight gain or loss to make sure it is just a sign of a healthy pregnancy.
Are You Glowing Yet?
There is definitely some truth to the idea that pregnant women develop a healthy glow. Your radiant skin is partly due to the increased blood circulating through your body now that you are 7 weeks pregnant, and your efforts at taking better care of yourself can also affect the appearance of your skin.
Are you reading this and wondering when your pregnancy glow will kick in? If you’re feeling more like a teenager again with all those skin breakouts, then you can blame your fluctuating hormones. Some women are just prone to experiencing more acne breakouts when they are 7 weeks pregnant. These should clear up as you progress through your pregnancy, and adjusting your skin care regimen to fit your changing needs can help you get past this phase and start loving your brand new glow.
You’ll also be happy to hear that you now have only 33 weeks to go before you finally get to meet your newborn!
Your Baby Is the Size of a Blueberry!
It may be hard to believe, but your baby is already the size of a plump little berry! Just like their mama, they are also going through a rapid period of change. Your baby may be only 1/3” or about one centimeter big right now, and they’ve got a long way to go before they reach the average size of a newborn. The good news is that your little blueberry is rapidly growing. In fact, your baby has already doubled their size since you were six weeks pregnant.
This week, your baby is working on several important stages of their development. Their body systems and physical features are becoming more refined. Remember how you learned that your baby’s ears, nose, mouth and eyes started to develop last week? Well, they have even more definition now, so go ahead and just start imagining what your baby will look like. As you picture your baby, you might also like to know that their eyelids and tongue are starting to form.
Although it will be awhile before they develop complete limbs, your baby’s arm and leg buds are beginning to make the cartilage that will turn into their bones. This week, these buds are also starting to flatten out at the ends to make the parts that will eventually turn into those adorable hands that you can’t wait to hold and those toes that you’ll finally get to wiggle.
Do you feel a stronger sense of connection to your baby now? This could be because the umbilical cord starts taking shape when you are 7 weeks pregnant. This cord will be an important tether that runs between your baby and the placenta.
Your placenta is a special organ that only grows in your body during pregnancy. It attaches to your uterus where it provides your baby with oxygen and nutrients that it filters from your blood. The placenta also helps to remove waste products from your baby’s blood, and it releases hormones that impact your pregnancy. After your baby is born, your body will expel the placenta in the third stage of labor. By then, the cord will already be cut, and your baby will be happily nestled in your loving arms.
Are You Feeling These Pregnancy Symptoms Yet?
Women can have vastly different experiences during the first trimester. You might be floating on cloud nine during this stage as you soak up the excitement of your pregnancy. Or, you might be ready to duck back under the covers in an effort to avoid having to face morning sickness again.
You’ll also notice that some of these symptoms may last for only a day, while others may linger throughout your whole pregnancy. As always, make sure to raise any concerns that you have about any new or challenging symptom to make sure that everything is normal.
You might be spending quite a bit of time in the bathroom right now. Morning sickness is usually hitting with full force when you are 7 weeks pregnant. In fact, this telltale sign might be what gives you away if it hits frequently when you are at work. Frequent urination is also common right now. This is caused by your body’s increased fluid production along with some slight pressure from your growing uterus. Keep in mind that you should maintain a focus on staying hydrated. It might mean a few extra bathroom trips, but your body needs the extra fluids, especially if you are dealing with morning sickness.
This week, you may notice a few major changes going on with your vaginal discharge, skin and sense of smell as well.
Cervix-You may be feeling a little more wetness than normal due to an increase in your hormones and blood flow. During pregnancy, your cervix increases its mucus production, which means that you may notice quite a bit more discharge. This discharge is called leukorrhea, and it should have a thin, milky-white appearance. It should also be odorless. If the discharge looks or smells differently, then reach out to your obstetrician. This could indicate a yeast infection, which can be more common during pregnancy.
Although the increased discharge might be mildly annoying, it serves an important role. This discharge will form a clump that becomes your mucus plug. The plug seals the opening of your cervix so that any bacteria cannot enter your uterus and reach your newborn. Losing this plug will be a potential sign of labor later on in your pregnancy.
- Pregnancy Glow - Your hormones are rapidly rising right now, and you’ll see this begin to affect your skin. You may have a rosier hue to your skin than normal, and it may even look like you are blushing. Those pregnancy hormones also send signals to your skin to increase oil production. On the bright side, this can help to reduce dryness, but you might find all that shininess leads to a few breakouts.
- Constipation - Progesterone is a hormone that relaxes smooth muscle cells, and it is important for helping your uterus prepare to support your baby. However, there does come a downside to having more progesterone in your system. You might have more bloating, gas and constipation than normal right now, which can lead to a few tummy aches. Don’t let this stop you from eating a healthy diet. We’ll go over a few self-care tips in a minute that will knock this issue out of the way.
- Super Smeller - This weird symptom can also be blamed on your elevated hormones. You may notice that you can smell things that you never could before. This could be a good thing if you are around fresh baked cookies or flowers, but it can also take a dreadful turn if you hit a scent that makes your morning sickness worse.
Time for a Little TLC
Have you taken your prenatal vitamins yet? These are vital for making sure that you and your baby get the nutrients that you need to stay healthy. You can’t always count on getting everything you need in your daily diet, and morning sickness can make it even harder to get the right vitamins and nutrients from your food.
Let’s Tackle That Constipation!
Dealing with constipation can make you feel bloated and cranky. Drinking more water is a great way to keep your food moving through your digestive system, and staying hydrated helps to soften your stools. You can also help to keep things regular by literally moving your body. Go for a walk or enjoy a swim. The movements that you make also impact your abdominal muscles and intestines so that food gets broken down better.
Your diet impacts your bathroom experiences. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stools that helps them to pass in a timely manner. Add these high-fiber foods to your diet, and you should start noticing more regular bowel movements within a few days.
- whole wheat
- flax seeds
- fruit-leave the skin on for extra fiber!
- brown rice
As for the gas and bloating, try drinking some warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed in before bedtime. Lemon is a natural diuretic, which can help you to wake up to a new day without feeling so bloated.
Soothe Your Pregnancy Skin
Your pregnancy glow might feel more like an oil slick for the moment since your hormones have the glands in your skin going haywire when you are 7 weeks pregnant. All of that excess oil is what contributes to prenatal acne that might intrude upon your personal happiness. Prenatal acne typically shows up in the first and second trimesters.
At this point in your pregnancy, your body is releasing hormones called androgens. These hormones trigger the glands in your skin to grow and produce more sebum. This oily substance can clog your pores and allow bacteria to build up in them. Once that happens, you’ll develop skin inflammation and breakouts. If you do, you’ll want to increase your focus on following a daily skin care routine. Keeping your hands off your face can also help to reduce how much oil and bacteria builds up on your skin.
You can care for your skin by washing your face with a gentle cleanser every morning and night. It’s also a good idea to wash your skin if you get sweaty from a workout or spending time outside. Follow that up by using an oil-free moisturizer that will keep your skin supple without adding extra oils.
If you do want to treat you prenatal acne, then benzoyl peroxide is considered generally safe during pregnancy. However, you’ll want to stay away from salicylic acid, Retin-A and Accutane. Its always best to check with your doctor before you try any treatments for your breakouts.
Here’s Your Focus for the Week!
At 7 weeks pregnant, your ultimate goal is to do what you can to ease those early symptoms and protect your baby as they grow. Focusing on these strategies this week helps you to sail into next week feeling more comfortable with your pregnancy.
- Drink more water! Have some fun with this one by infusing your water with your favorite fruits, ginger, mint or cucumbers. You’ll add to the nutrition and enjoy a flavorful drink whenever you get thirsty.
- Take your prenatal vitamins. We know…we just said it again, but it is a vital part of having a healthy pregnancy.
- Add some fiber to your diet. You’ll be glad you did when you notice that your constipation is gone. Try adding some flax seeds to your rice or noodle bowl. Or, pile some fruit on top of a bowl of oats. Even snacking on an apple will give you some relief.
- Be prepared! At any moment, that super sniffer might send your stomach reeling with nausea. Start keeping your anti-nausea tools handy, and call your doctor if morning sickness gets uncontrollable.
- Go for the glow! Yes, you too can enjoy that beautiful pregnancy glow. Start washing your face with pregnancy-approved products, and you’ll wipe that oil slick out for good!