When you are 7 weeks pregnant,your embryo is starting to look just a little bit human, with tiny arm and leg buds, eyes and a hole for the mouth. The tail is still there, though, as you can see in the photo to the left.
The hormonal changes occuring will make mom tired, sensitive and possibly nausated, to mention some of the more common pregnancy symptoms. Eating healthy and avoiding some foods is now very important.
In this article:
Your Baby’s Development
The fetal age of your baby is now 5 weeks. Once you hit 7 weeks, your baby is now the size of a tic tac ranging in length from 1/3-1/4 of an inch long (0.6-0.8 cm).
Even if your baby is growing quickly, his or her total weight is only about the same as an eyelash. Not very heavy yet! And still, your little tic tac is approximately 10,000 times larger than when you conceived. Wow!
If you were to have an ultrasound, you may notice that your baby still has the resemblances of a tail, but that will disappear in the next few weeks.
The brain of your baby is developing at a rapid rate of 100 cells per minute.
Your baby’s face is more defined this week than before, with a mouth hole more visible and ear indentations. Your baby’s eyes are wide open now, even though the irises aren’t developed so far and the eyelids are forming.
Arm and leg buds are now visible even though they resemble paddles more than human arms. The arms are capable of bending at the elbow now. Don’t worry, you will be able to see full-grown arms and legs in no time at all and feel all of the movement from the limbs right within your own belly.
You can also see the umbilical cord now that feeds your baby from the placenta.
If you are curious on what your baby looks like in this early stage of pregnancy, the book A Child Is Born by Lennart Nilsson. has detailed photos of 7 weeks embryos (and from the rest of the pregnancy too), showing the tiny “hands”, “eyes” and much more. It’s a wonderful book!
You can also watch several fetal development videos here.
For anyone (everyone..?) worrying about miscarriage at this stage, read about miscarriage statistics by week here. The risk is falling rapidly!
Your uterus is now double the size compared to when you first got pregnant and it is expanding quickly. You may experience some mild cramping or twinges during this rapid growth time.
One of the major effects of pregnancy hormones is experiencing mood swings; you could be ecstatic one moment with the growing life within you, while the next moment you may want to burst into tears at the slightest thing. This is a very normal part of pregnancy and you are not alone with your emotional roller coaster ride.
The hormones responsible for your moods, may also result in weird, vivid dreams at night. Don’t worry if you start to have weird dreams about your child and pregnancy, or even dreams unrelated to anything normal. Anxiety about becoming a new parent can creep into your subconscious and have a direct effect on your nighttime dreams.
The possibility of miscarriage is still very real, and a big stress for many pregnant women. It can be a very difficult time, especially since you have just gotten used to the idea of being a parent. In most cases, even if you have had one miscarriage before, you are still certainly more likely to carry your baby to full term with no complications. If you feel very stressed about the situation, ask for an early ultrasound. If the doctor or midwife can see an embryo with a beating heart and of the right size when 8 weeks pregnant (i.e next week), chances are very high that it will not be a miscarriage. I asked for that in my third pregnancy, and it was a really great relief.
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- Effective remedies for morning sickness (and not)
- The exciting signs of being pregnant
- Miscarriage statistics week by week
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 7 weeks belly by Mylissa