In association with professional midwife experts at birthEd, find out everything you need to know about pregnancy at 7 weeks, including how your baby is growing, changes to expect in your body and pregnancy health, nutrition and wellness advice.

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7 Weeks Pregnant – Your baby, your body & you

Your Baby

Your baby is now around 1cm long and the size of a blueberry. Although it’s only been 5 weeks since conception, your baby is now 10,000x the size it was when it arrived in your uterus. Its brain cells are forming fast, around 100 cells per minute and their heart is becoming more complex too.

Your baby’s limbs have started to get longer and stronger and the cartilage in their joints is beginning to form. Their fingers and toes are webbed and their tail is slowly disappearing, week by week your baby is starting to look more human and less tadpole-like.

Another great area of growth this week is the maturing of your baby’s kidneys. These will begin to produce urine in the next few weeks. The umbilical cord has now been formed and will be in charge of transporting oxygen and nutrients to your baby as well as removing the waste products.

Your Body

By the end of week 7, a natural seal called the mucus plug will have formed in the opening of your cervix. This will serve to help protect the womb from infection. It will be expelled in your early stages of labour and can be a great indicator that things are beginning to happen and your baby is about to come!

Your urethra may begin to change shape around this time as your uterus has almost doubled in size, it’s important to be aware that thrush and urinary tract infections (UTI’s) are more common during pregnancy. UTI’s during pregnancy are more likely to cause complications like premature birth, kidney infections and low birth weight for the baby. They can easily be treated with a course of antibiotics, it is important to mention UTI symptoms to your LMC or doctor as soon as you notice them. (UTI symptoms may include; a strong, persistent urge to urinate, a burning sensation when urinating, passing frequent, small amounts of urine, urine that appears cloudy or red, bright pink, strong smelling urine and pelvic pain).

Are your bras starting to get quite full and you’re needing to go up a size? Fat is being stored in your breasts and blood flow is increasing in this area. Your nipples may become sensitive to touch and your areola may be growing larger with the colour changing a couple shades darker. This will continue over the coming months of your pregnancy in preparation for your breasts to produce breast milk to nourish your baby when it is born.

You

Mood swings and emotional changes are common during pregnancy. They can be a result of both hormonal changes and life changes, both present and future. Looking after your mental health right now is just as important as your physical health. You probably already know these things but this is a reminder to look after your mental health by eating well (happy gut = happy mind), exercising, connecting with nature and connecting with people.

It’s also important to tune in to your body. If you’re feeling tired (which is highly likely), then listen to that and take time for a nap. Your body is using so much energy to grow your baby. Your immunity is compromised when you are pregnant and you are more susceptible to getting unwell if you are tired and run down.

Preparing for Baby

Mood swings and emotional changes are common during pregnancy. They can be a result of both hormonal changes and life changes, both present and future. Looking after your mental health right now is just as important as your physical health. You probably already know these things but this is a reminder to look after your mental health by eating well (happy gut = happy mind), exercising, connecting with nature and connecting with people.

It’s also important to tune in to your body. If you’re feeling tired (which is highly likely), then listen to that and take time for a nap. Your body is using so much energy to grow your baby. Your immunity is compromised when you are pregnant and you are more susceptible to getting unwell if you are tired and run down.

Your Relationships

A common question in pregnancy (which we’ll revisit again in our week-by-week programme) is – “Is it safe to have sex while pregnant?”. Absolutely, yes! In fact, we encourage it. It is likely that with the rush of hormones you’re feeling loved up and more connected with your partner, being intimate can often be a celebration of the event that created your growing baby.

We want you to know that your baby is completely safe, there is no evidence to suggest that sex is linked with miscarriage. Your baby is protected by their amniotic sac inside the uterus. The fluid acts as a buffer and absorbs most of the pressure and force created when making love. Some positions may become uncomfortable and it’s important you listen to your body to avoid any bruising.

There are specific medical conditions that may require you to abstain from sex while pregnant. Your LMC will give you clear guidelines regarding this. Often it may be if the placenta has embedded low down in your uterus or it is covering the cervix. This is not something to be concerned about as early as 7 weeks pregnant and you’ll have more information about where your placenta has embedded when you go for your dating scan.

Another thing to note, although you now have free contraception as you can’t get pregnant again, you can still contract STIs. STIs can cause complications during pregnancy, it’s important to be smart about your sexual health at this time.

This Week’s Preparation

Pay close attention to UTI symptoms
Continue having sex! Use a condom if you are unsure of your partners sexual health history.
Listen to your body. Are you tired? Can you make time to rest?
Have you found an LMC? (Check last week’s email for more info)
Eat small nutritious meals more frequently to avoid morning sickness.
Take your prenatal vitamins, iodine and additional folic acid supplements daily
Cut back on your caffeine intake
Increase your consumption of fruit and vegetables and cut back refined sugar and trans-fats.

Back to 52 Weeks of pregnancy.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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