The growth momentum continues during the 7th week. In fact, it intensifies. You will be surprised to learn how fast your baby is developing in the womb. Your little peanut has doubled her size since the last week. She is as large as a blueberry.
A major development in the 7th week is the increase in the size of the embryo. As against ¼ inch in the 6th week, the embryo now measures ½ inch in length from the crown to the rump. Thus, it doubles in size. The neck also straightens out a bit. The baby often sports tail (embryonic stage) at this stage. Don’t worry. It’s only an extension of the tail bone and will become smaller in the coming weeks.
The facial features become more defined. The mouth and the tongue start forming. The ears and the nostrils begin to appear. The eyes undergo considerable growth too. The lens and the retina begin to form. To add, the iris has already attained its color. If given a chance to peek inside your womb, you will spot thin skin folds covering the eyes – the future eyelids.
The fetus also grows important physical features –arms and legs. However, they have still not formed toes and fingers. The hands and feet are paddle shaped. During an ultrasound, you can see the webbed structures that will soon transform into digits.
The baby’s brain starts getting more complex. The embryo generates around 100 new brain cells per minute. This accounts for the large size of the baby’s head. The head makes up 1/3 of the embryo’s total length. Along with the brain, the kidneys and heart also mature.
At 7 weeks the bone marrow has not developed yet. Thus, the liver takes over the task of producing red blood cells. Other organs such as the intestines, appendix and pancreas are growing gradually.
Changes to your body
Weight fluctuations are common in the 7th week. You may have gained a few pounds or you may have even dropped a few (courtesy severe morning sickness).
The hormones continue to create chaos in your body. They are working behind your morning sickness, zits and acne, extra saliva and mood swings. Other pregnancy symptoms that carry on from the 6th week include morning sickness, food aversions and food cravings, fatigue, constipation and frequent urination. Your body may also feel sore and achy.
Also at this time the mucus lining the cervix starts thickening. It forms a plug that seals the mouth of the uterus till birth.
If this is your first child you will not show. However, if this is your second baby you may start showing slightly by this week.
How to prepare?
Many women have still not had this first prenatal checkup. If you are one of them, get it done.
Nutrition plays a crucial role in the period between the 5th and 8th week of pregnancy as the baby’s vital systems – nervous, digestive, circulatory, respiratory and reproductive system mature during this period. Eat a healthy diet. Exercise regularly.
Make sure you take the prenatal vitamins prescribed by your doctor regularly. Ensure you are fulfilling the body’s needs for folic acid and iron.