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Pregnancy

      7 weeks pregnant: Pregnancy Symptoms & Baby Development

      Read time: 4 minutes

       

      7 weeks pregnant is how many months?

      Month 2 (Trimester 1)

      Baby development at 7 weeks

      Your baby’s arm buds are emerging and flat, paddle-like hands are forming¹. 

      Iodine

      Discover why you might want to consider taking a daily Iodine supplement2

      Eat well

      Feed your baby's future with a healthy, balanced pregnancy diet.

      Baby development at 7 weeks

       

      What does my baby look like? And, what size is my baby?

      At 7 weeks pregnant, your baby measures anywhere between 4mm1 and 10mm2 long and is roughly the size of a  blueberry. They are developing a more baby-like appearance3, with arms buds becoming longer, and flat, paddle-like hands emerging2.

      At this stage, your baby’s head is growing faster than their body; a reflection of the rapid and intense brain growth that’s happening2. Their heart is also developing, and has divided into distinct right and left chambers. At the same time, air passages are starting to form within the lungs – these will eventually grow into a more complex network of bronchi3.

      If you were able to see your baby’s face, you’d be able to spot two tiny nostrils. Their mouth is taking shape too, with lips, a tongue and tooth buds appearing1. Meanwhile, their eyes and inner ear structures continue to develop, although it will be some time before these function properly2.

      Pregnancy at 7 weeks (first trimester)

      What’s happening in my body?

      While it’s common to feel a little bloated at 7 weeks pregnant, it’s unlikely that you’ll look pregnant, or see any signs of a bump yet. 

      Early pregnancy symptoms at 7 weeks4

      Early pregnancy symptoms vary from person to person. At 7 weeks, you may experience any of the following signs of pregnancy, or no symptoms at all:

      Your breasts may become larger and feel sore. You may also find your nipples stick out more than usual and darken in colour as your body begins to prepare for breastfeeding. 

      During the first 12 weeks, hormonal changes can leave you feeling tired or exhausted. 

      Morning sickness affects up to 80% of mums-to-be in the first trimester5. It can strike at any time of the day or night and varies from mild nausea to sickness throughout the day.

      The pregnancy hormone progesterone slows down your digestion which can lead to bloating and excess gas6.

      Light cramping and spotting are common in the early stages of pregnancy7,8. If the pain becomes severe (stronger than period cramps) or if bleeding becomes heavy, you should talk to your GP.

      Frequent trips to the bathroom are one of the most common symptoms of early pregnancy, as your growing uterus begins to put pressure on your bladder.

      Pregnancy hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, soar during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy9, affecting how you’re feeling emotionally. Get plenty of rest and light exercise to keep you feeling like yourself.

       

      Focus on iodine

      Iodine is a trace mineral found in foods like fish, milk and cheese and is important for healthy brain development10. Despite being present in many foods, a scientific study found that iodine deficiency is a public health concern11. If you’re not sure you’re getting sufficient levels of iodine, talk to your GP or midwife about taking an iodine supplement.

      If you're not sure you're getting sufficient levels of iodine, talk to your GP or midwife about taking an idodine supplement.

      Replacing your regular salt with an iodised version is a great way to increase your iodine intake. You can also boost your iodine levels by including the following foods in your diet12,13.

      learn more about iodine

      THE
      SCIENCE
      BEHIND

      IODINE

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      Iodine helps make the hormones produced by the thyroid gland14. These hormones assist in regulating your metabolism and keeping cells healthy15. Iodine has also been shown to contribute to normal cognitive function14. Scientific studies have led experts to believe that iodine may be more important in pregnancy than was previously thought.

      The current recommended daily intake (RNI) of iodine for women between the ages of 19 and 50 is 0.14mg16. Maintaining an adequate intake during pregnancy will support normal growth in your baby, as well as helping to regulate your own thyroid hormones.

      How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?

       

      Weight gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy weight, and varies a great deal from mother to mother. Most women gain between 10kg and 12.5kg (22–28lb) while pregnant, some of which is the weight of the growing baby17. Learn everything you need to know about weight gain in pregnancy.

      LEARN MORE

      If you haven’t been to see your GP yet, you should make an appointment so they can start planning your antenatal care, including your first ultrasound scan.

      1. Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013. p. 32.

      2. NHS UK. You and your baby at 0-8 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-4-5-6-7-8.aspx [Accessed September 2019]

      3. Curtis GB, Schuler J. Your pregnancy week by week. 7th ed. Cambridge: Fisher books, 2011. p. 98-9.

      4. NHS. Signs and symptoms of pregnancy [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/signs-and-symptoms-pregnancy/ Page last reviewed: 6 October 2018. Next review due: 6 October 2021.

      5. Noel M. Lee, M.D., Gastroenterology Fellow and Sumona Saha, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine. Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy. 2011. Pub 2013. [Online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3676933/

      6. NHS Start 4 Life. 1st trimester, week 10 [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/week-by-week/1st-trimester/week-ten/

      7. NHS. Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/vaginal-bleeding-pregnant/ Page last reviewed: 26 January 2018. Next review due: 26 January 2021.

      8. NHS. Stomach pain in pregnancy [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/stomach-pain-abdominal-cramp-pregnant/ Page last reviewed: 1 May 2018. Next review due: 1 May 2021.

      9. Claudio N. Soares and Brook Zitek. Reproductive hormone sensitivity and risk for depression across the female life cycle: A continuum of vulnerability? 2008. [Online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2440795/

      110. NHS. Iodine supplements could help mums, babies and the economy [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/news/pregnancy-and-child/iodine-supplements-could-help-mums-babies-and-the-economy/

      11. Bath SC, Rayman MP. Is iodine deficiency during pregnancy a public health concern in the UK? Nutr Bulletin 2013;38(4):400-404.

      12. Gandy J (ed). Manual of Dietetic Practice. 5th ed. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell. 2014. p. 759.

      13.  BDA. Iodine fact sheet [Online]. Available at: www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/Iodine

      14. European Union. Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health Text with EEA relevance. OJ L 136 2012;1-40.

      15. NHS UK. Iodine – Vitamins and minerals [Online]. 2012. Available at: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Iodine.aspx Page last reviewed: 3 March 2017. Next review due: 3 March 2020.

      16. Department of Health. Report on Health and Social Subjects 41. Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom. London: TSO, 1991.

      17. NHS choices. How much weight will I put on during my pregnancy? [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2311.aspx?CategoryID=54 Page last reviewed: 18 October 2018. Next review due: 18 October 2021.

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