Your Pregnancy: Week 7
This week your baby has a growth spurt. He starts off the week the size of a BB pellet and finishes it off almost double the size — as big as a green pea!
• Your baby's brain is growing, his eyes and nostrils are forming, and his arms and legs look like small fins with bumps on the ends. Eventually these bumps will develop into fingers and toes.
• The main air passages of your baby's lungs have formed and so have the left and right chambers of his heart. In fact, his heart has started to beat with enough strength to carry cells through his blood vessels.
Your placenta is forming right now
Your baby is currently nestled in the lining of your uterus and some of the cells in the lining are forming the placenta. Once the placenta is fully developed, it will look like a slab of beef liver. It will start to maintain your pregnancy by transmitting nutrients and oxygen from your blood to your baby through the umbilical cord. Until then, your own body and hormones are on the job.
You're not alone. Many women feel very tired in early pregnancy, because it takes lots of energy to create a baby. In fact, fatigue is often one of the first signs of pregnancy. So go easy on yourself and make sure you get enough rest. Chances are you'll start to feel less tired around Week 12, when the placenta is fully formed.
If you're tempted to use extra caffeine to combat the fatigue you're feeling now, resist the urge. Just as nutrients pass through your blood to your baby, so do caffeine and other substances that enter your blood stream. Current guidelines suggest it's best to limit yourself to two or three cups of coffee a day — less if you also drink tea or cola.
What can you do instead? Exercise is probably the last thing on your mind, but it may help you sleep more deeply at night, so you feel rested during the day. Otherwise, realize that this is a temporary downturn in your energy levels and make getting rest a top priority. Nap if you can, and go to bed early. Your body is working hard, and deserves the rest!
Wondering what to drink to replace your coffee habit? Herbal tea can be a great substitute, but not all are safe for pregnancy. Check out our list of teas to avoid.
Wondering how you’ll afford time off work and the added expenses of a new baby? Good for you. Figuring out your finances now will help alleviate money stress and let you focus on the fun stuff in the months ahead. Get started with our Maternity Leave 101.