By now you must be sure you’re expecting and have probably already paid a visit to your ob-gyn. A missed period, a positive home pregnancy test and some PMS-like symptoms such as low back pain, cramps, and sensitive breasts are obvious signs that are hard to miss.
This can be one of the most exciting parts of early pregnancy as the heartbeat is first detected between 6-7 weeks of pregnancy, usually through a vaginal ultrasound. Your doctor may finally congratulate you as the existence of an embryonic heartbeat is a promising sign of the status of the pregnancy. After the heartbeat is detected, the chance of the pregnancy continuing ranges from 70-90 percent.1
Baby At 7 Weeks
So what does baby look like at 7 weeks pregnant? This is the stage where the fetus looks more like a tadpole and less like a baby and measures only about an inch (2.5 centimeters). It weighs less than an aspirin pill!2
Mommy At 7 Weeks
According to a study, nearly 90 percent of women with successful pregnancies experience symptoms within 8 weeks of the LMP (Last Menstrual Period). So if you are 7 weeks pregnant with no symptoms, you still have a week left to go.3
What Are The Signs Of Pregnancy At This Stage?
Throughout the first trimester of pregnancy, you will notice a similar set of symptoms and signs. Some pregnant women may experience them more intensely while others may not as every pregnancy is different. Often, the same woman might experience a different set of symptoms with each of her pregnancies. Some women may need to visit the loo more often due to frequent urination, while others may have mood swings from hell. So here’s what to expect at 7 weeks pregnant.
1. Breast Changes
Pregnancy is like nature’s very own boob job. You go through an increase in the volume of your breast tissues while you are expecting. The nipples and areola also change in color and become darker as your pregnancy progresses.4 Your breasts will also feel extra sensitive and sore around this time.
2. Slight Bleeding
Several women experience slight vaginal bleeding and spotting during the course of pregnancy and many of them go on to have successful pregnancies. According to a study involving 4342 Chinese women, as many as 1050 experienced an incidence of vaginal bleeding. The results suggested that first-trimester vaginal bleeding poses an increased risk of low birth weight, preterm delivery and small for gestational age.5 If you experience an episode, make sure you inform your doctor about it. Excess bleeding can indicate a miscarriage.
3. Morning Sickness
Officially called nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, morning sickness usually starts before 9 weeks of pregnancy. Contrary to what the name suggests, it can strike at any time of the day and may even last for a better part of the day. You should get some relief from it by the second trimester (14 weeks of pregnancy). Though for some women, it can last for several weeks or months or even the entire duration of pregnancy.6
4. Weight Fluctuations
Although pregnancy is associated with steady weight gain, the severity of your morning sickness may make you lose a little in the initial stages. An extreme case of morning sickness is called hyperemesis gravidarum, wherein you are unable to keep any food or drink down. In such cases, it is possible for your weight to fluctuate.7
5. Food Cravings
While on one hand, you experience morning sickness and food aversions, on the other you have strong food cravings. They might even linger on until you satisfy them.
According to a study, there was a strong link between experiencing cravings and aversions prior to pregnancy and experiencing them during pregnancy. So if you’re someone who’s always had a sweet tooth, you’ll probably crave it more during pregnancy.8
6. Increased Vaginal Discharge
Among the many strange, mysterious and miraculous things that happen to a woman during pregnancy, increased vaginal discharge is one. Almost all women experience increased vaginal discharge during pregnancy, some throughout the 40-week course. In a study of 2395 Brazilian women, 43 percent had pathological vaginal discharge during pregnancy. This happens because, during pregnancy, genital mucosa becomes thinner and has greater surface area. While it is usually nothing to worry about, it does make pregnant women more susceptible to infections.9
7. Back Pain
You may have noticed low back pain earlier or you may just begin to experience it at week 7 of pregnancy. As your uterus expands to accommodate your growing baby, it puts a strain on your back muscles. To protect your back during this long period of continuous strain, wear comfortable shoes with appropriate arch support, avoid bending over at the waist and sleep on a firm mattress.10
8. Fatigue And Sleepiness
Your body goes through such a huge gamut of changes during the first trimester of pregnancy that it is bound to take a toll on your energy levels. Hormonal changes are probably the chief reason for fatigue. Your body is also producing more blood to carry nutrients to your growing baby, and that can leave you drained as well. Increased progesterone levels also come into play and are responsible for making you extra sleepy.11
No, don’t confuse that partially swollen 7 weeks pregnant belly for a baby bump! You may experience bloating before or during the seventh week of pregnancy. Mixing solids and liquids can often make the stomach feel fuller and, in some pregnant women, can cause gas, bloating, and acid reflux. So it is best to eat small portions and not consume food and drink immediately.12
|↑1||Concerns Regarding Early Fetal Development. American Pregnancy Association.|
|↑2||Pregnancy Week 7. American Pregnancy Association.|
|↑3||Sayle, Amy E., Allen J. Wilcox, Clarice R. Weinberg, and Donna D. Baird. “A prospective study of the onset of symptoms of pregnancy.” Journal of clinical epidemiology 55, no. 7 (2002): 676-680.|
|↑4||Cox, David B., Jacqueline C. Kent, Tammy M. Casey, Robyn A. Owens, and Peter E. Hartmann. “Breast growth and the urinary excretion of lactose during human pregnancy and early lactation: endocrine relationships.” Experimental physiology 84, no. 2 (1999): 421-434.|
|↑5||Sun, Lu, Fangbiao Tao, Jiahu Hao, Puyu Su, Fang Liu, and Rong Xu. “First trimester vaginal bleeding and adverse pregnancy outcomes among Chinese women: from a large cohort study in China.” The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine 25, no. 8 (2012): 1297-1301.|
|↑6||Morning Sickness: Nausea And Vomiting Of Pregnancy. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.|
|↑7||Quinla, J. D., and D. ASHLEY Hill. “Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.” American family physician 68, no. 1 (2003): 121-128.|
|↑8||Crystal, Susan R., Deborah J. Bowen, and Ilene L. Bernstein. “Morning sickness and salt intake, food cravings, and food aversions.” Physiology & behavior 67, no. 2 (1999): 181-187.|
|↑9||Fonseca, Tânia Maria, Juraci A. Cesar, Raúl A. Mendoza-Sassi, and Elisabeth B. Schmidt. “Pathological vaginal discharge among pregnant women: pattern of occurrence and association in a population-based survey.” Obstetrics and gynecology international 2013 (2013).|
|↑10||Back Pain During Pregnancy. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.|
|↑11||Fatigue During Pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association.|
|↑12||Einarson, Adrienne, Caroline Maltepe, Rada Boskovic, and Gideon Koren. “Treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy An updated algorithm.” Canadian Family Physician 53, no. 12 (2007): 2109-2111.|