The seventh week is a period of additional intensive development that differentiates the baby’s physical appearance. By the close of the seventh week, the baby will be about 13 millimeters. It is at this week that the baby’s ‘tadpole’ shape starts changing so that it starts taking a more recognizable outlook.
Baby’s growth and development in week seven
The buds (arms and legs) that started growing in the sixth week advance more to become more elaborate. The fingers in each hand are starting to separate and several notching can be seen in a digital ray. In the foot bud, the ankles and toes start emerging with primary muscles appearing as joined and elongated cells.
The facial features become more elaborate as mouth and tongue start forming. However, these are only visible through an ultrasound scan because they are fully covered. Notably, the sense of taste develops concurrently with the growing mouth and tongue. Besides, the retina that started to form earlier extends forward so that the lenses become visible in the eye socket. Because the eyes have very differentiated features, more cells are seen developing rapidly and concurrently by the close of week seven.
The immune system continues to mature by the 7th week. Every new part that develops after the seventh week has more antibodies from the baby’s lymph system. Experts indicate that by the close of week seven, the antibodies can spring into action in case that of the mother is weakened. It works closely with the developing liver to remove toxins and have them removed through the umbilical cord.
While the baby’s heart started to form and beat in the last two weeks, it begins pumping some blood by the end of the seventh week. Though the circulation is primitive and is greatly assisted by the mother’s system via the umbilical cord, the heart is actually pumping blood through microtubules connecting already developed organs especially the brain and spinal cord.
Changes to expect in Mom’s body during week 7
At the seventh week, the baby is still very small to show significant bodily changes. However, mothers can really feel it because everything is working to keep up with the fast-growing body. Therefore, you should expect to see the following changes.
- First, you will start experiencing some weight gain. Though the weight is not coming from the size of the baby, it is possible to add up to a few pounds. The additional weight comes from the growing abdominal muscles, breast cells, and other fat deposits by the body that target helping the body during and after pregnancy.
- For ladies who are slim and focused on their bodily changes, it is possible to start noticing a small bump. This will become more pronounced in the subsequent weeks. Notably, some people who report about an emerging baby bump might be having a problem of bloat which is characteristic between the 6th and 12th weeks of the pregnancy because of elevated pregnancy hormones.
- The waist may thicken a little so that most of your pants appear tighter or even not fit all. At this point, many are those who spend a lot of time in front of the mirror trying to locate the baby bump. However, the thickening of the waist muscles is just like other parts of the body gaining extra fresh and fat in preparation for the remaining part of the pregnancy. You will have to wait even more weeks before the baby bump can be seen.
- Excessive salivation will become very common during this week and even the next one because of high pregnancy hormone. It can also be caused by heartburn which makes the body produce more saliva to neutralize the gastric acid. Though this problem easily ends by close of the first trimester, it is still possible to experience it in the second and even third trimesters.
- On the skin, there is extra sensitivity because of intensified blood flow near the surface to help shed off extra heat and even wastes. Besides, the skin will also become reddish especially on the thighs, stomach, and even breasts because of the additional fat deposits, stretch, and muscles development. In many cases, a dark middle line will be noticed right in the middle of the abdominal skin. This will disappear immediately after delivery.
- The vagina becomes very sensitive because of the high intensity of blood vessels passing there. The vagina will, therefore, appear violet and could emit more vaginal discharge compared to the first weeks of pregnancy. Because of this high blood supply, the vagina becomes extra sensitive, and many women enjoy sex even more.
Things to do during the 7th week
- Because of the intensive body changes and rapid developments, this is the week to increase focus on the developing the baby by scaling down on your regular work. If you have very engaging routines, you should consider delegating some of them so that you get more time to focus on the baby.
- As you start anticipating for the baby bump, it is time to start shopping for appropriate maternity clothes. Note that the clothes should be of different sizes to fit changing size of the baby bump. A good way to do this is purchasing them progressively so that you can remain stylish and attractive.
- Identify the right pregnant classes to learn about pregnancy. This will help you understand more about pregnancy and the developing baby.
- Continue taking your daily dose of folic acid and other supplements to assist the fast development of the embryo.
- Select the right food for the week that includes extra vitamins and proteins to support the developing baby and your changing body. It is particularly critical to use foods that supply a lot of iron such as liver, seafood, vegetable, and fruits.
- Because the heart is now well developed though at early stages, it is an ideal time to go for translucent nuchal screening so that if the baby has problems such as congenital heart issues or Down syndrome, they can be carried out.
- Continue filling your pregnancy diary and share experiences with other women at the same stage of pregnancy. This is not necessarily to cite problems, but to ensure you are in a functional group for holistic satisfaction.
- Ensure to avoid stress in all ways so that your body can concentrate on helping the baby to grow. At home, liaise with your spouse for assistance with common tasks and ensure that most of the time is spent resting.