3 Weeks Pregnant: What To Expect
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What’s it like?
Congratulations! Your ovule and the spermatozoon have united and fertilized and you now have an embryo growing inside of you. How does it feel? Probably not much different, since most women don’t initially realize they are pregnant, and don’t always recognize the early signs. Nevertheless, there are some important changes happening inside of you.
When the egg implants some women have a tiny bit of spotting called implantation bleeding, where the egg burrows into the uterine lining, leaking slightly. This is perfectly normal and no reason to worry. Your body also releases a protein called Early Pregnancy Factor (EPF). This immunosuppressant is one of the first signs of pregnancy and prevents your body from seeing the baby as an invader.
Your baby’s growth
After they fertilize, the new cell begins to divide while moving towards the uterus, arriving after 4 to 5 days. After the first five days, your embryo is the stage of development called blastocyst. Once it reaches your uterus, it begins the implantation process.
Once the blastocyst has implanted in the womb, your body starts to produce human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone tells your ovaries to stop releasing eggs and triggers increased production of estrogen and progesterone, which keep your uterus from shedding its lining and starts to grow the placenta.
HCG is the hormone that turns a pregnancy test positive. By the end of this week, you should be able to take one and get a positive result! If your test is still negative, don’t worry, just try again in 2-3 days.
What happens inside your body?
Most women don’t realize they are pregnant right away. However, some people have a hunch or even know immediately. While your body may not look any different, there are some symptoms of pregnancy that can begin in the third week. Some have sore or tender breasts, cramping and or spotting, fatigue, moodiness and mood swings and increased urination. Digestive problems may occur such as gas, feeling of heaviness, constipation and nausea. The beginning of the hormonal changes may make you feel depressed or frustrated. These changes are all perfectly normal and brought about the changes happening inside your body.
How different will you look?
Most people don’t notice anything different during these early stages of conception. Some women can notice slightly augmentation of their breasts or the slight darkening of the areolas, the skin around the nipples. Also, the veins might become visible on the breasts.
While the physical changes to your body tend to be slight during pregnancy week three, the abrupt hormonal changes can cause psychological shifts. You may find that you are moody, tired, depressed, frustrated or have sleeping problems. These changes are nothing to worry about and will calm down later in the pregnancy.
For fathers and partners – Supporting mother and baby
As your partner readies herself to be the best possible environment for your unborn baby, try to give her as much support as possible. The early stages in the pregnancy can be the most trying with mood swings and morning sickness, and she may need your love and patience.
Quitting smoking, alcohol and unhealthy food can be a challenge for your partner. Some people find it helpful if their partner follows the same diet and lifestyle to help them adjust and offer moral support. Above all, it’s important to talk to each other about your physical and emotional needs as you get ready to start a family.
For mothers – Top tips
- Continue your healthy lifestyle: You’ve already taken the first early steps, so now its’ about continuing with your healthy lifestyle. A balanced, healthy and nutritious diet, and regular exercise three times per week are essential to you and your baby at this crucial time in the pregnancy.
- No alcohol, drugs or smoking: All of these harmful substances can harm your baby’s growth and development.
- Continue taking your pregnancy vitamins: Without a prenatal supplement, studies show that 75 percent of women would likely be deficient in at least one vitamin.
- Buy a home pregnancy kit: Most pregnancy kits can detect a positive result by the end of this week. Buy a kit that has multiple tests, so you can take it more than once. For best results, test first thing in the morning. If it’s not positive, don’t fret, just try taking again in 2-3 days.
You are now carrying an embryo inside of you. This is an exciting time, although the abrupt hormonal changes can make it a demanding one too. If you notice abrupt changes or nothing at all, don’t worry. Both are perfectly normal and are simply your body’s way of adjusting to your new pregnancy.
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