PregnancyShare on Pinterest
At week 7, you might be starting to notice some small physical changes.

At this stage of pregnancy, you may not feel very different, because there are little if any visible physical body changes.

You may, however, begin to experience physical symptoms such as:

Morning sickness may be particularly bothersome around this time, but it usually stops by around week 12. Eating smaller meals and avoiding some foods may help.

Peppermint or ginger tea, candies, and other products are said to help relieve symptoms of morning sickness. A selection of these is available for purchase online.

If you are too sick to eat or drink you should see a doctor.

Breast changes

Breast changes include:

  • enlargement
  • tenderness
  • tingling
  • nipple erection or nipple sensitivity
  • darkening of the areola, the part around the nipple
  • the presence of areolar bumps, which are actually sweat glands, known as Montgomery tubercles

Breast discomfort usually reduces after the first trimester. Wearing a well-fitting and supportive bra will help.

If you experience symptoms that do not seem to be linked to pregnancy, or if there is any vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, or intense cramping, seek medical help.

At this stage, the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) are rising rapidly and other changes are taking place.

Emotional changes

Mood swings and emotional changes are common during pregnancy. They result from both hormonal and life changes, present and future.

These can cause you to:

  • feel excited about what is happening
  • worry about the baby's wellbeing
  • wonder about how you will cope
  • get unexpectedly angry or tearful about small things

If you are concerned about how you feel, it may help to:

  • talk to a partner or close friend, especially one who has experienced pregnancy
  • take some time off work, if possible, or ask if you can work from home sometimes
  • explain to family and friends that you need a rest for an evening or a weekend
  • get some fresh air or moderate exercise
  • accept that you cannot do everything and let go of some chore or chores for a week

This can happen to anyone, but there is a higher risk among those who:

  • have financial difficulties
  • lack support
  • have existing family or relationship problems
  • have experienced or are experiencing abuse or trauma
  • have previously lived with mental health or emotional difficulties
  • have a drug or alcohol use disorder, or their partner has one
  • have undergone fertility treatment
  • are experiencing complications of pregnancy

Anyone who experiences the following symptoms for more than 2 weeks should speak to a health provider:

  • sadness and anxiety
  • difficulty focusing
  • sleep problems
  • loss of interest in usual activities
  • feeling hopeless, guilty, or worthless
  • changes in eating habits

If someone is thinking of death or suicide, they should seek medical attention right away.

Help is available in the form of counseling and support groups. Sometimes, medication is prescribed.

Leaving depression untreated can lead to poor self-care, and this could affect both the mother and the unborn child. This is why it is important to seek help.

Cervical mucus

During pregnancy, progesterone activity results in a strategy known as the cervical plug, which is established around week 7.

This is a layer of mucus that will cover the cervix and block the entrance to the womb, to prevent bacteria, seminal fluid, and other unwanted substances from entering the womb. This helps keep your baby safe and healthy.

It is made mostly of water and glycoproteins, and its consistency can vary according to hormonal fluctuations.

As a result, it is not always 100-percent effective against all microbes, and it is important to seek medical help if signs of a urinary tract or vaginal infection appear. Early treatment can help prevent complications.

Toward the end of pregnancy, the plug will loosen as the body prepares for delivery.

Baby's development

At 7 weeks pregnant, there are many changes in your baby's development.

These include:

  • continued brain development
  • continued facial feature formation, including the nostrils, mouth, tongue, and eye lenses
  • continued limb development, as limb buds continuing to mature resembling paddles
  • hands, arms, and shoulders are forming
  • continued spinal cord development
  • continued heart, lung, and intestinal development
  • gonad formation

The knees and ankles are taking shape, and the legs are now in proportion to your baby's size. Toenails are also starting to form.

Muscle development continues, with additional growth and strength.

The kidneys are maturing and beginning to function, and urination will start in the next few weeks.

Baby's size

At 10,000 times larger than at the time of conception, your baby now measures approximately one inch (2.54 centimeters), or around the size of a grape.

The embryo has distinct, slightly webbed fingers and toes. It is like a jumping bean, moving in fits and starts.

What is changing?

Other developments include:

  • continued brain development
  • continued facial feature formation, including the nostrils, mouth, tongue, and eye lenses
  • continued limb development, as limb buds continuing to mature resembling paddles
  • formation of the hands, arms, and shoulders
  • ongoing spinal cord development
  • continued heart, lung, and intestinal development
  • gonad formation

The knees and ankles are taking shape, and the legs are now in proportion to your baby's size. Toenails are also starting to form.

Muscle development continues, with additional growth and strength.

The kidneys are maturing and beginning to function, but urination has not yet started.

Even though it is early on in your pregnancy, your task list is beginning to grow throughout your first trimester.

This is a good time to schedule a prenatal visit. Your health provider will examine you and obtain necessary tests to confirm your pregnancy and evaluate your health.

If you have not already done so, the following tests may be scheduled:

  • pap smear, if necessary
  • blood tests, to check for blood type, Rh factor, iron levels, German measles immunity, and others
  • in some cases, genetic and ethnicity-related genetic disease testing
  • tests for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • urine testing to assess glucose (sugar), protein, bacteria and red and white blood cells

You will soon find out that there are many lifestyle modifications that need to be made during pregnancy and even after delivery.

General health

During pregnancy, you will need to take care of yourself and your developing baby.

Be sure not to drink alcohol or smoke during pregnancy, and avoid all other toxic substances such as recreational or illicit drugs during this time.

Discuss all medications, including supplements, that you are taking with your health provider, to ensure that you should continue use during your pregnancy.

To nourish yourself and your baby, make sure you eat a healthy diet, increase your hydration, and take a good prenatal vitamin, as recommended by your health provider. These are available to purchase online.

Another way to maintain your health during pregnancy is to get 30 minutes per day of exercise such as yoga, walking or swimming.

Speak with your health provider about your current or desired exercise regimen to make sure it is safe.

Beauty

There are limited studies testing the safety of cosmetic products during pregnancy.

Using permanent hair color is not likely to be absorbed systemically and affect the developing baby, however, it is commonly recommended to avoid exposure during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Instead, consider using a semi-permanent dye, and make sure that the environment is well ventilated during the coloring process.

Food

It is important to follow a healthful and balanced diet during pregnancy because you are eating for two. This is not in the sense that you should eat double, but what you eat also nourishes your little one.

Some nutrients are especially important.

These are:

Calcium for bone and tooth development: Good sources include dairy produce, orange juice, and green, leafy vegetables, and tinned salmon with bones.

Protein for growth and repair of cells: Protein is found in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy produce, eggs, nuts, and pulses, such as lentils and beans.

Folic acid, a B vitamin that helps prevent birth defects: It is found in vegetables and fortified foods, such as breads and cereals.

Iron for boosting the production of red blood cells and preventing anemia: This is found in green, leafy vegetables, red meats, dried peas and beans and fortified foods.

Ask your health provider about iron or vitamin supplements. Vitamins for pregnancy are usually fortified with folic acid.

Can I eat fish?

It is safe to eat fish during pregnancy, but there are guidelines about safe consumption, as some fish contain mercury.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) encourage women to do the following during pregnancy:

  • Eat 2 to 3 servings (8 to 12 ounces) a week of a variety of fish.
  • Consume only one serving (6 ounces) of some fish, such as albacore tuna.
  • Avoid fish with high mercury concentrations, such as king mackerel, marlin, shark, swordfish, and tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Check local information for guidance on fish caught locally or by family and friends.

ACOG provide a useful table showing fish to eat and fish to avoid. You can find it here.

High levels of mercury can be harmful to the baby's developing brain and nervous system.

Concerns

If you have questions regarding your pregnancy, be sure to contact your healthcare provider.

Call your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms that could indicate an ectopic pregnancy or loss of pregnancy.

These include:

  • vaginal bleeding or passage of tissue
  • leaking vaginal fluid
  • feeling faint or dizzy
  • low blood pressure
  • rectal pressure
  • shoulder pain
  • severe pelvic pain or cramping

Pregnancy-related research from MNT news

Popular diet could increase the risk of birth defects

New research demonstrates that consuming a low-carbohydrate diet during pregnancy may increase the risk of certain birth defects by 30 percent.

High-fiber diet during pregnancy may protect offspring against asthma

Women who consume a high-fiber diet during pregnancy may reduce the risk of their offspring developing asthma, according to the results of a new study published in Nature Communications.