Your Baby at Week 7
At a Glance
Umbilical cord, welcome to the womb! This tube joins baby and placenta, delivering oxygen and nutrients and even eliminating waste into your bloodstream.
The Mucous Plug Develops
Your mucous plug debuts at week’s close, settling into the opening of your cervix. This natural cork seals and protects your womb from bacteria.
Webbed Hands and Feet
Your baby-to-be has developed web-like hand and feet stubs. Soon enough, they will grow and change to have fingers and toes, but right now, her hands look like little paddles.
Your baby's approximately a quarter of an inch in length now — about the size of a blueberry. Sounds pretty tiny still? Consider this for a little perspective: Your baby is 10,000 times bigger now than she was at conception a month ago. At 7 weeks pregnant, most of that growth is concentrated in the head (the better to store all those smarts) as new brain cells are generated at the rate of 100 per minute. How's that for a budding genius?
7 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
If you're 7 weeks pregnant, you're in month 2 of your pregnancy. Only 7 months left to go! Still have questions? Here's some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.
Baby's Arms and Legs Start Developing
And talking about buds, your baby is going out on a limb this week. Her arm and leg buds begin to sprout and grow longer (and stronger), dividing into hand, arm and shoulder segments and leg, knee and foot segments (though the limb buds look more like paddles than hands or feet at this early stage).
Baby's Got Kidneys
Also forming this week are your baby's mouth and tongue. The kidneys are in place now, too, and are poised to begin their important work of waste management. Soon, your baby will start producing urine. Lucky for you, there's no need for diapers (yet).
Watch Your Baby’s Growth at Week 7
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Things are full speed ahead inside your still-flat tummy. It’s only been five weeks since conception but your embryo is 10,000 times bigger now than it was when it arrived in your uterus. Of course it’s still pretty small — around a quarter of an inch or the size of a blueberry.
Happily, that reptilian tail has all but vanished by now and your little cutie is starting to look a little cuter — with dark spots that’ll become eyes, two holes that will turn into nostrils, the beginnings of lips and, believe it or not, the early beginnings of tooth buds. But it’s the brain that’s getting all the attention now. Baby’s noggin wins the prize for biggest growth spurt this week as that busy brain-cell factory cranks out 100 cells per minute.
Your little sprout is sprouting in other places, too. The limb buds are elongating and will soon become defined shoulders, arms, legs, and knees gearing up to kick you within another month or two. The little paddles at the ends are becoming more distinct and will soon develop into ten kissable fingers and ten kissable toes.
Baby’s liver is in the early stages of formation and will soon begin producing red blood cells. And hot off the production line are baby’s permanent kidneys that are standing by, ready to produce pee in the next few weeks. No need for diapers just yet, though. The embryo’s urine flow will become part of the amniotic fluid it ingests and excretes continuously over the next seven months.
Your Body at Week 7
Even if you're not telling anyone you're pregnant yet, your baby's certainly telling you. Not in so many words, but in so many pregnancy symptoms. Like that nagging pregnancy nausea that follows you around day and night or all that excess saliva pooling in your mouth (am I drooling?). And then there's that other early pregnancy sign you certainly can't miss (especially when you struggle to button your blouse): those changes in your breasts (are these really mine?).
Your Swollen Breasts
Though your baby is the size of a blueberry, your breasts probably look more like melons. Some women have grown a full cup size at 7 weeks pregnant — which might be welcome news if those boobs weren't so darn uncomfortably tender, tingly and achy. The culprit? Those naughty (though necessary) pregnancy hormones again, estrogen and progesterone. Fat is also building up in your breasts and blood flow to the area is increasing. Your nipples may be sticking out a little more than usual — and though they may look good enough to touch (better than ever, perhaps), they're so sensitive and tender you'd probably prefer that they weren't. The areola (the dark area around the nipple) has already gotten darker and larger — and will continue to grow and deepen in color over the months to come. On a less attractive note, you'll also notice little goose-bump-like spots on the areola. These bumps, called Montgomery tubercles, are sweat glands that supply lubrication to the areola. And in case you're wondering why all these changes are taking place, here's your answer: They're all essential to the important task of breastfeeding your newborn in about 33 weeks!
Coping With Food Aversions
If one look at a chicken breast is sending you flying out the door these days (or if the smell of Swiss cheese is making your digestive tract yodel with anguish), you're in good company. Pregnancy food aversions are not only very common, they are also quite confusing, especially when your once-favorite food suddenly leaves you cold — and ready to puke. The best advice: Cater to your new tastes, by all means. Stay bland and boring (not your personality…your food), find substitutes for foods you have an aversion to (think quinoa for protein if you can't stand the sight — and smell — of meat) and rejoice if your aversions are to foods that you're supposed to be avoiding anyway.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 7
Between the nausea and the need to pee, you’re still spending a lot of time in the bathroom these days. The pregnancy hormone hCG is increasing the blood flow to your pelvic area (that’s good news if you’re up for having sex) and that in turn affects that other flow. Don't cut back on your liquid intake in general, although you may want to drink less coffee, which is a diuretic. Your body (and baby!) needs a steady supply of fluids during pregnancy. Read More
Of course you’re tired — you’re still engaged in the Herculean task of manufacturing the placenta (your baby’s life-support system) as well as getting used to all those conflicting emotions you’re experiencing. One way to fight fatigue is by eating smaller meals more often. (It’ll help your queasy stomach, too). Eating six mini-meals will keep your blood sugar on an even keel and that in turn will help your energy level. Just make most of those mini meals healthy ones! Read More
Breast Tenderness & Changes
Are your breasts sprouting blue veins that are beginning to make them look like an interstate highway map? In fact, these veins do act like highways: They transport the nutrients and fluids from you to your baby after he (or she) is born. To minimize sagging and stretch marks later on, invest in a good bra now (maybe even a maternity one that will give you more support). Read More
As if feeling queasy wasn’t enough, you may also be contending with extra saliva pooling in your mouth. It should pass by the end of your first trimester (only six more weeks to go!), but until it does, chew lots of sugarless gum. Read More
Food Cravings & Aversions
Stuck eating the same thing night after night because very few foods appeal to your picky palate now? Don’t worry — you’re not robbing your baby of precious nutrients by eating the same (healthy) thing over and over. If cravings are driving you crazy, give in to them once in a while — then eat well for the rest of the day. Read More
Heartburn & Indigestion
If you’ve got a burning sensation from the depths of your stomach to your mouth after you eat, then you’ve got pregnancy-induced indigestion and heartburn. Avoid heartburn triggers (spicy or fatty foods, caffeinated drinks or whatever you've noticed does it to you) and drink either before or after you eat — too much fluid mixed with too much food will distend your stomach and aggravate the burn. Read More
Tips for You This Week
- You don’t look with-child yet, but you may have gained a few pounds. That’s OK! In fact, women with a healthy BMI of 18.5-24.9 will likely gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy.
- Cramping is normal during the first trimester, but if it occurs with shoulder or neck pain or if it’s accompanied by contractions, dizziness or discharge, call the doc.
- Your first prenatal visit is around the corner! Prep questions you have and put together a list of important dates (first day of last period) and health history info.
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