You are seven weeks pregnant, and while it may not be evident from the outside yet, you’re likely to be feeling some changes. Let’s take a look at what’s going on inside your body and with your baby’s development in week 7 pregnancy.
Week 7 Pregnancy: Baby’s Development
At 7 weeks pregnant — 5 weeks since conception — your baby is growing fast! At the beginning of the week, baby’s crown-to-rump length is 4 – 5mm, but by the end of the week, baby has doubled in size, and is now around a centimeter long. (1)
What’s new with your tiny one this week?
- Bones are forming, but won’t begin to harden for a few weeks
- Fingers and toes are present
- Eyelids form, as well as the optic nerve in the eye
- Sex glands begin to differentiate into ovaries and testes
Week 7 Pregnancy: Symptoms
If you haven’t read the week 6 pregnancy post, you may want to go back and read about morning sickness and constipation. In addition to those things, you may be feeling:
It may not be visible yet, but your body is working hard! Your metabolism changes during pregnancy and your body needs more energy while growing a baby. (And once again, there are those pesky hormones! Rapidly increasing levels of progesterone are thought to contribute to fatigue.) Listen to your body, slow down, and rest when you need to. (2,3)
You may feel like your emotions are all over the place right now, and that’s completely normal. A huge life change like pregnancy can bring a wide range of emotions in both you and your partner, and you have the added hormonal changes piled on top of it. It may help to practice good self-care and open communication… and sometimes you just have to hang on and get through the wild ride!
You don’t look pregnant from the outside yet, and even those close to you aren’t likely to notice any changes in your body. You may notice, however, that you feel bloated, similar to what you might feel before your period. Even though your baby is tiny and your uterus is still quite small, you might notice that your clothes start to fit tighter. Week 7 pregnancy means that you may still be keeping baby a secret, and while your body will not give you away, you may be beginning to feel different.
Week 8 Pregnancy: Eating for Two – Nutrition Tips
One of the most important things you can do for your baby is to focus on good nutrition during pregnancy. Contrary to the popular saying, you don’t have to eat as if you’re eating for two. In fact, there is no recommended caloric increase during the first trimester, and you only need about 300 extra calories a day during the second and third trimesters. (4) However, your nutrient needs do increase, and it is important to be intentional about what you put into your body.
During pregnancy, you should aim to eat daily:
- 6 servings of bread, cereal, rice, pasta – whole grains as often as possible
- 3 servings of vegetables – a wide variety including many colors
- 2 servings of fruit – whole fruit is better than juice
- 4 servings of dairy
- 3 to 4 servings of meat, poultry, fish, dried beans, eggs, and nuts
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a section of their MyPlate website just for pregnant moms where you can learn more about nutrition, serving sizes, and even get recommended menu plans.
Many women worry about things like pesticides during pregnancy, and wonder how to balance a desire to eat healthy with a budget that doesn’t allow for exclusively organic purchases. Different types of fruits and vegetables have different levels of pesticides, and the Environmental Working Group has ranked them to help consumers choose which should be purchased organic when possible. The highest levels of pesticides, in order, are found in:
- bell peppers
- grapes (especially imported)
If you can afford to do so, start substituting organic items for those in this list. Another great step is to choose organic milk, which comes from cows who have not been given extra hormones or antibiotics.
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(1) Glade, B.C., Schuler, J. (2011). Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 7th edition. First Da Capo Press
(2) Simkin, P. (2010). Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, 4th edition. Meadowbrook Press
(3) The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2010). Your Pregnancy and Childbirth Month to Month, 5th edition.
(4) Ladewig, P.A., London, M.L., Davidson, M.R. (2006). Contemporary Maternal-Newborn Nursing Care, 6th edition. Pearson Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, NJ.