What’s it like?
In theory your baby is still an embryo because it has the remains of a small tail, which will disappear in the next few weeks. Everything else is getting quickly bigger. Your baby is growing rapidly and will double in size compared to the previous week. The heart and brain are becoming more complicated, the eyelids start to form and your baby gains the beginnings of a nose. This is an exciting time for you and your partner.
Your baby’s growth
- Body size
Your baby doubles in size compared to the sixth week and it continues to change and develop in a fast pace, reaching a length of about 0.3 inches (8 millimeters) and looking increasingly more like a human being.
- Face characteristics
Your baby’s face starts forming. On its surface, a small pit appears which is called nasal pit. Further, instead of the nasal pit, the fold of the nose is formed and then, the nose itself. Also, the ears pavilions are finely shaping. The lenses in your baby’s eyes begin to form and the iris color is visible.
- Body appearance
Your baby is growing hands and feet. His or her body elongates and her neck straightens. Theoretically, your baby is still considered an embryo. The embryo has an arched shape, fitted with a small stem, namely the extension of the coccyx. This looks like a tail which will disappear in a few weeks from now.
- Internal organs
The brain is continuously and intensively developing. The heart is already divided into rooms, and the bronchial buds appear. The bronchial buds are ducts through which the air reaches the lungs.
What happens inside your body?
- Frequent urination
You will likely feel the need to go to the toilet more often compared to last week, because of the growing blood volume and the extra fluid that passes through your kidneys. As of now, you have about 10 percent more blood in your body than before conception. As your uterus grows, the pressure on your bladder will cause you to urinate more frequently. Unfortunately, frequent urination is unlikely to diminish throughout the gestation. In fact, researchers have shown that both frequency and volume of the urine tend to increase during pregnancy.
- Morning sickness
Between 50 – 90 percent of women experience morning sickness (depending on the study in question). Studies also find that morning sickness may be linked to a healthy pregnancy. But don’t worry if you don’t have it – count your blessings – you are just one of the lucky ones. The main cause of morning sickness is the hormone called hCG which is produced in large quantities until the placenta can take over nourishing your baby. The symptoms of morning sickness are worse if you are tired, hungry, stressed or suffer from anxiety. If you have twins or triplets, your symptoms might be more intense because of higher levels of hormones.
- The cervix
This week, a gelatinous plug is formed at the end of the cervix, which will seal the uterus in order to protect it. Often this jelly plug is eliminated when the cervix will dilate preparing itself for birth.
How different will you look?
The hormonal changes can generate skin blemishes. Dry peeling skin, cracks, hyper pigmentation or acne can occur. The pigmentations can appear on the forehead, nose and chin but they will disappear after childbirth. However, if you want to avoid their further pigmentation do not expose yourself to direct sunlight. Throughout the pregnancy, you will feel your body change, and maybe sometimes you will not feel as confident in your body. Try to keep in mind that these changes are temporary and after you give birth you can return to your old self.
How can you care for both of your loved ones?
If you are struggling to get her or yourself into the mood right now, not to worry, low libido is a common issue throughout the pregnancy. You might have strange feelings about having sex with a pregnant woman, but rest assured it’s perfectly fine to have sex, even good for both of you! Talk to her about your feelings and desires and listen closely to hers. The good news is that the second trimester will likely be better — most women notice their libido increases greatly as the second trimester approaches and the fatigue and nausea fade.
Tips to help you go through trimester
- Avoid certain foods: Partly cooked or raw meat or fish could be carrying toxoplasmosis. Caused by a parasite, this infection can reach your baby through the placenta. This parasite can cause hard-to-treat cysts throughout the body of your unborn baby or brain damage. Toxoplasmosis is also present in cat feces, so if you have a kitty, ask someone else to change the litter. Be careful around gardening – wear glove and wash your hands, nails and cuticles with an antibacterial soap afterwards since cat feces are common in garden soil.
- Take your vitamins: Try and make them part of your routine. Set an alarm, write it in your diary and take them at the same time each day. Studies show that about 75 % of women would be deficient in at least one vitamin or mineral without prenatal vitamins. The good news is that you don’t need a prescription – the over-the-counter prenatal vitamins are carefully designed for all your pregnancy needs.
- Make an album: As your body starts to change, some women enjoy taking a photo of themselves week-by-week in the same position to document the changes. Whether or not you plan to have another child, it can be a beautiful way to record the memories.
The seventh week can be a trying time in the pregnancy with fatigue, morning sickness, swollen breasts, frequent urination, insomnia and mood swings. The good news is that as you start the second trimester, your hormones will start to stabilize, and many of these signs and symptoms will become mere memories.