What is happening now?
At 7 weeks of pregnancy (or 35 days after conception) you are now at the beginning of week 8. Your baby has more than doubled in size during the last week, to be just over 1 cm in length (or 0.4 inches) and is now looking more human.
Your baby's eyes have an optic cup, retina and lens and your baby's nasal pits are now present, which will eventually extend to become their nostrils. Your baby's inner ears and tongue are starting to form and their upper jaw and palate come together fusing as one.
Your baby's tadpole-like 'tail' is noticeably receding and their body is now slightly straighter. Your baby now has a pancreas and an appendix and the beginnings of their reproductive organs, although not distinctly male or female yet. By the end of this week a fine, transparent layer of skin covers their body. Their fingers (although still webbed) are now being defined as distinct thumbs and fingers.
Morning sickness or 'all day and all night sickness' is a common physical complaint during early pregnancy with nausea and/or vomiting, although you may be lucky not to experience it. It is not really known why morning sickness happens, but it is thought to be due to an increased metabolism, making the body's blood sugar level drop dramatically, hence the reason why eating often helps and why nausea tends to be worse in the mornings. You can find out more about morning sickness and some strategies that may help you cope with it here
Many women notice their sense of smell is more sensitive and that certain smells make them feel sick. Often odours that were previously tolerated (bacon cooking, garlic on a person's breath, a perfume or smoke from a cigarette) can now make you physically ill. This increased sensitivity returns to normal after the baby's birth.
A few women notice an increased amount of saliva. The medical term for this is ptyalism (pronounced tie-al-ism) and is often associated with morning sickness. Some remedies for morning sickness also help with this drooling, like eating dry, plain cracker biscuits and having small regular meals. This usually subsides when the nausea improves, often by 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy.
You can read more about the common physical signs of early pregnancy here
Do you have any questions? Ask our midwife Melissa here
Some women find that pregnancy is a stressful time, with work and lifestyle commitments as well as the impact of their pregnancy on career, finances and/or their relationships. Emotional stress can be an ongoing issue, especially if you have concerns, fears and anxiety about the pregnancy itself. If you are feeling stressed and anxious, perhaps talk with your partner or someone you trust. Sometimes professional counselling is needed to voice your concerns. You can read more about stress and relaxation and strategies to help support you at this time here
another great article to help you stress less in pregnancy.
Sometimes it's important to stop, sit back and celebrate your pregnancy. Here
are some ways to help you enjoy this beautiful time.
Partners may also be feeling anxious about finances, changes in their lifestyle or the woman's well-being. You can read about these here
Announcing your pregnancy to others
The 'right' time to share news of your pregnancy with family, friends, other children, work colleagues and employers is a very individual decision. Depending on your circumstances, it can sometimes be difficult to know when to let others know. You can read more about these issues here
Vitamins and minerals
Care should be taken when supplementing with high doses of vitamins and minerals, as it is possible to overdose on them, possibly leading to health conditions and/or unwanted side affects. Pregnant women need to be especially careful. You can read more here
Managing a fever
Having a prolonged fever for 24 hours or more during early pregnancy is something that should be avoided (above 38.5 degrees Celsius or 101.3 Fahrenheit). If you are unwell and have a fever you should contact your caregiver for advice. It is the general view that the risk of taking a medication (such as paracetamol) to lower your temperature is safer than having a prolonged fever. You can read more about prescribed medications in general here
Pregnant women and parents of new babies need to be very aware of their use and the safety of various natural therapies. The inappropriate use (or incorrect self-prescription) of some remedies is relatively common because many natural therapies are readily accessible without consulting a qualified practitioner. Problems can arise when a person lacks specialised knowledge about specific dosages for a remedy and/or their effects on the unborn or breastfeeding baby, as well as any possible interactions they may have with other natural therapies or prescribed medications. You can read more about natural therapies during pregnancy here
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