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When you are 3 weeks pregnant, your fertilized egg is traveling through one of your fallopian tubes. You are pregnant, but will not be able to feel it – just yet. But already during next week, you might notice the very first signs of being pregnant.
Wavering between hope and despair is common and natural during this week. Waiting for that positive pregnancy test is tough!
Your Baby’s Development
By the end of this week, the fetal age of your baby is 1 week. Congratulations! 3 weeks pregnant, you now have a fertilized egg that is growing inside of you at a rapid rate!
The cell division that is happening in your body occurs approximately 30 hours after fertilization. It starts with dividing of 2 cells, then 4 and so on as your egg moves its way through your fallopian tube to your waiting uterus. Once it reaches your uterine wall, the egg has become a massive ball of cells and is referred to as a morula.
The morula will become hollow in order to fill with fluid and change into what we know now as a blastocyst. It can take nearly the remainder of the week for the blastocyst to attach itself to the lining of your uterus, also known as the endometrium.
At the very end of this week or during the 4th week of pregnancy, your egg will have implanted. Welcome home little one!
Yes, implantation – the big “happening” when 3 or 4 weeks pregnant, when does it actually occur?
Studies indicate that implantation occurs at some point 5-12 days after ovulation; according to research 9 days after ovulation is the average.
Some pregnant women can actually feel a stinging or experience some spotting during implantation. (Most women don’t.)
If you are a dedicated user of BBT measurement, you might also notice an increased BBT after implantation, that stays, rather than starts to fall back to indicate that menstruation is approaching. This extra temperature rise, on top of the rise just after ovulation, was actually the first sign of pregnancy for me three times. Very exciting!
The implantation site, where your egg attaches to the uterine wall, will eventually develop into the placenta that is essential for your baby’s development for pregnancy. During this time your body produces the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) that will let your body know to stop releasing eggs and to begin the production of estrogen and progesterone. With the increasing levels of hCG you may even be able to show a positive result on a pregnancy test at this point in time (but not just yet).
When you are 3 weeks pregnant, you really have only been pregnant for one week and you most likely won’t be able to “feel pregnant” yet, but do not worry, there will be plenty of time for you to feel the development of your new little one.
The symptoms of early pregnancy can vary from woman to woman, ranging from slight to severe depending on each individual. Spotting (implantation bleeding), tender breasts, or even nausea can be experienced either alone or a combination of many by any number of women who are in the first stages of pregnancy.
Other subtle signs of pregnancy can include a heightened sense of smell, food preferences or aversions, frequent urination, or even an extreme amount of fatigue all of a sudden.
Do not be alarmed if you aren’t showing any sure signs of pregnancy or even if you have a wide combination of many. Each woman’s body is different and each pregnancy is unique.
This is one of the most important times to make sure that you are taking in enough vitamins and nutrients your body needs in order to begin this new life.
Folic acid, which can be obtained through a high-quality prenatal vitamin supplement, will help prevent birth defects of the neural tube, such as spina bifida. A calcium supplement is also especially important since many women do not get enough calcium through a regular diet of leafy greens and milk products.
Iron will help increase your baby’s blood volume during this time of growth and development, so be sure to have a balanced diet including many fruits, vegetables calcium and proteins. To learn more about how to eat healthy during pregnancy, read this article.
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- The early signs of being pregnant
- What affects the odds of getting pregnant
- Charting BBT for ovulation and pregnancy detection
MayoClinic (2011), Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
Joanne Stone MD and Keith Eddleman MD (2008) The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood
Nilsson, L; Hamberger, L. (2004) A Child Is Born.
Soderberg, L. (2010) Mammapraktika. B Wahlstroms.
Image: Image of 3 weeks embryo thanks to the Science Museum