Over halfway through your first trimester, your baby is starting to move around and those pregnancy hormones are having an effect on you, too. Find out what to expect now that you're seven weeks pregnant.
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What’s happening at 7 weeks?
Here are the key things you can expect from your pregnancy at this stage:
- Your baby's moving around.
- Changes to your skin and hair.
- Pregnancy anxiety and worrying about miscarriage.
- Extreme tiredness.
How big is your baby?
Your baby is about the size of a Smartie – around 1cm from the top of their head to the bottom of their tailbone (or crown-to-rump, which is how they're currently measured).
At this point, your baby has emerging arm and leg buds, which are starting to flatten out – eventually forming the hands. These even have webbed fingers ready to separate and develop.
The tip of your baby's nose is starting to show, but although the inner ears are developing, the outer ears will take a couple more weeks to appear.
What's amazing is that if you were to have a scan this early on, you'd be able to see your baby moving around. You won't be able to feel it but you'd be able to see these jerky little movements.
What's going on with your body?
Your womb has grown to the size of a lemon by the time you're around seven or eight weeks pregnant. This, coupled with the increased blood in your body, means you’re nipping to the loo. A lot.
If you’re lucky, pregnancy hormones could be responsible for the sort of shiny locks and glowing skin usually limited to Hollywood A-listers.
If you’re unlucky, those same pregnancy hormones could be the reason for those spotty breakouts .
It might even mean you have extra saliva – just another 'perk' to being pregnant.
If you've been suffering from pregnancy sickness, it might be starting to take a toll now. Some women find that sucking on ice chips helps them feel better, or find more remedies for pregnancy nausea and sickness here .
What to expect this week: extreme tiredness
Stressful projects at work, the series of late nights when we've got a lot on socially, even sleepless nights worrying about a new job/moving house/wedding plans – we’ve all had times in our lives when we feel knackered.
However, NOTHING prepares you for the complete down-to-your-bones exhaustion you can feel during pregnancy.
And the worst thing is that you can’t say anything as, most likely, you haven’t told many people you’re pregnant yet. So here are some tips that might help you cope …
Try to snatch catnaps whenever you can
Some experts believe in the benefit of ‘power napping’ for up to 30 minutes at a time (but no longer) during the day.
If you’re at work this is clearly easier said than done, but perhaps there’s a medical room or meeting room you could discretely ask to use? Or a quiet corner of your local library? Just don’t forget to set an alarm on your mobile phone to wake you before 30 minutes is up!
Alternatively, wait until you get home and flop down on the sofa for a well-deserved nap before beginning your evening. If you already have kids, now's the time to arrange plenty of playdates for them, or ask friends and family members to do some babysitting.
Re-jig your bedtime routine
Doing this can help you get the best possible chance of restful sleep: go upstairs earlier than usual; enjoy a warm (not hot) bath; have a small amount of warm milk; play a relaxation tape; keep the room ventilated by having a window slightly open.
Sleep experts recommend that you make your bedroom a haven for sleep and sex only. That means no scrolling through social media in bed – the light from screens can make it harder for you to drift off.
Catch up at weekends
Cut back on your usual weekend activities and enjoy a few lie-ins instead. Arrange to meet friends for lunch, rather than late evening, and don’t stress about the housework.
Avoid drinking too much liquid in the hour or so before bedtime
You’ll be peeing enough as it is, without having to get up even more often.
Fight sickness and indigestion
If a funny tummy is keeping you up at night, try avoiding eating in the hours just before bed. You could also prop the head of your bed up slightly; the more upright you are, the less of an issue heartburn usually is.
Eating little and often throughout the day, rather than having big meals, can also help with sickness and indigestion. Steer clear of rich, fatty and acidic food, which can make heartburn worse.
What to do this week: know where to go for help and advice
As exciting as being pregnant is, those weeks leading up to your first scan can be an anxious time.
You know you're pregnant because a stick has told you so. But aside from that, you have no idea what's going on inside you, whether everything's OK, if the baby has a heartbeat ... and so on.
The NHS says your first scan can happen any time between 8-14 weeks. It's sometimes known as the 12-week scan, or dating scan.
It's possible to pay to have an earlier scan at a private clinic, but you'll probably only be offered a scan before this on the NHS if:
- you have a history of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
- you've had fertility treatment
- you're in pain or have any unexplained bleeding
Waiting for your first scan at 12 weeks can mean it's only natural to worry, especially about the chances of miscarriage, which are at their highest in the first trimester. You're only human to worry about bleeding, cramping and what to do if it happens to you.
Sadly, at least one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage , mostly in the first 12 weeks.
However, that means that the chances of not miscarrying are in your favour, so try not to focus too much on it. With every week that passes, your risk of miscarriage decreases.
It can be reassuring and helpful to know who to call or see if you do encounter any problems or have any worries you want to check out during your pregnancy.
Once you have your booking-in appointment with your midwife, she'll give you a book of antenatal notes and will tell you who to call and where to go in an emergency, depending on which stage of your pregnancy you're at.
Before that, you can always get advice from your GP, or by calling 111.
It's also a good idea to find out where your nearest maternity ward or early pregnancy unit (EPU) is, which you can do here .
If you experience any bleeding, stomach cramps or pains, call them or visit without delay. If you have any concerns about your health, your body or your baby while you're pregnant, it's always best to seek medical advice straight away.
Midwives and doctors are very used to answering questions from pregnant women – you're bound to have lots, especially if it's your first baby. Medical professionals would rather respond to 1,000 false alarms than risk missing one baby in danger, so when in doubt, reach out.
Your 7 week to-do list
1 Book a bra fitting appointment – if your boobs feel uncomfortable and your bras aren't fitting right, go and get fitted for a maternity bra at Marks and Spencer, John Lewis or an independent retailer. They'll offer advice about when to come back to get measured for your breastfeeding bra in your last few weeks, too.
2 If you haven't already arranged your first appointment with a midwife (booking appointment), contact your GP now to set it up. It needs to be done before you're 10 weeks pregnant, as there are some tests that need to be done before then.
3 Wear comfy clothes – even if you're not showing, you'll start filling out a bit around the middle and there's nothing worse than wearing jeans that dig in or worse don't fit by the afternoon! Pro tip: Hook a hairband around the button of your jeans, thread it through the buttonhole, and over the button again – that gives you a bit of extra breathing room, and with a long top, no one will know!
4 Wash your hands – if you're around children or animals, make sure you wash your hands really well to minimise your chance of catching anything that could be harmful to your baby.
5 Write down any questions – your midwife appointment is in a few more weeks still but starting to make a list of any questions or concerns in advance, is a good idea so you don't forget them.
What to watch this week ...
Get expert tips on what to expect at 7 weeks pregnant from our midwife.
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