In this article, you'll be able to read about everything related to your pregnancy in week 7. You'll find information about the baby's development, how the mother's body is changing, and tips you may need along the way. When you are 7 weeks pregnant, the embryo is the size of a blueberry.
Baby: Now the heart is beating
This week the embryo's heart starts beating!
Sometime around the sixth or seventh week, the heart starts to beat, usually around day 22-25 after conception, and the heart rate is between 110-170 beats per minute. That's about twice as fast as an adult! Now there are also a lot of other changes taking place.
This week, what will become the arms start to form, and by the end of the week, the legs take off. A fun fact is that the arms will always be one step ahead of the legs in development. Fingers and toes are also starting to develop now!
Now the embryo begins to resemble a curved caterpillar in shape. The legs are curved and not yet visible, so the length is measured between the head and tail at this point. Midwives refer to this measurement as CRL (Crown-Rump-Length) during ultrasound measurements. The tiny embryo has more than doubled its length this week compared to the previous one and is now about 7 millimeters between head and tail.
At birth, the umbilical cord is about 40-50 cm long. One end of the cord is attached to the placenta and the other to the baby's navel. At this stage, the umbilical cord is called the staple line and is still very short. As the pregnancy progresses, it grows to become long, thick and elastic.
It may seem that the umbilical cord is very fragile? But in fact, it is sturdy enough to withstand all fetal movements throughout pregnancy. The umbilical cord is surrounded by a layer of protective jelly and has several small blood vessels in it that carry nutrient and oxygen-rich blood to the fetus. The blood vessels then help to transport the deoxygenated blood away via the umbilical cord.
Mom: 7 weeks pregnant
Are you falling asleep in the middle of the workday or walking around with a banana in your pocket and constantly feeling nauseous? It may be tough, but don't worry - it's all part of the journey and symptoms that hopefully won't last too long, usually disappearing as the second trimester arrives (though it's different for everyone!).
By the seventh week of pregnancy, the vast majority of women know they are pregnant, when their period should be about 1-2 weeks late depending on the length of the menstrual cycle. Many women experience pregnancy symptoms, but not all. The uterus grows and presses against the bladder, so you may feel the need to urinate frequently.
The body goes through a major change during pregnancy and many women experience sensitivity to certain smells or tastes. If you are more tired than usual and have an increased need for sleep, it can be reassuring to know that this is perfectly normal.
Visit to the midwife
Have you booked your first appointment with your midwife yet? If not, now is the time to do so! During your first appointment with your midwife, you will receive important information for the rest of your pregnancy and the birth.
When you go for your first visit, you'll have both blood and urine tests to check things like blood type (maybe even the baby's blood type), HIV, hepatitis and review your rubella protection. The midwife will also measure your blood count, blood sugar and blood pressure. Then you will have a discussion and you will be asked questions about your health and relationship with alcohol, tobacco, nicotine and drugs.
These are all factors that can affect the health and development of you and your baby. Therefore, some of your midwife's visits are dedicated to discussing these and your physical and mental health. If you have an addiction, counseling and support is available through clinics or helplines focusing on alcohol consumption or smoking, as well as support and help to live a healthy life both during and after pregnancy.
Remember that the healthcare journey during pregnancy differs from region to region. Talk to your midwife about what applies where you live.
If you want to share your thoughts and experiences with other pregnant or parenting women, you can always turn to Baby Journey - The community! Find out more here!
In the first trimester, most likely at the health talk or registration meeting, you will usually be informed about prenatal diagnosis and the options available or included in your area. Prenatal diagnosis involves finding out information about the baby using ultrasound and chromosome tests. Depending on where you live in Sweden, different options may be offered, or you may have different options recommended to you based on heredity or previous pregnancies.
The most common chromosome test offered in Sweden is called KUB, which shows the probability of the fetus having a chromosomal abnormality. Keep in mind that the test is voluntary and that the results are estimates and not definite answers. Before you decide to do a test, whether it is KUB or any other chromosome test, it may be good to think about why you want to do the test. Also think about how a probability of chromosomal abnormalities would affect you and what you would do with that information.
A NIPT test, which stands for Non Invasive Prenatal Test, may also be offered depending on the results of the KUB test. In a NIPT test, three pairs of chromosomes are analyzed but with a higher level of certainty than KUB, along with an ultrasound and blood sample from the pregnant woman. You can also pay for this test yourself if you wish and it is not offered.
Depending on the results of the KUB or NIPT, samples of placenta or amniotic fluid can also be taken, which can provide a definite answer to the baby's chromosomes if needed. This is done in a hospital.
Fetal diagnosis differs between regions. On 1177 you can see information films about early fetal diagnosis and tips on how pregnant women can think about different options and decisions.
If you enter pregnancy with a high BMI, risk of gestational diabetes, eating disorders or similar, you will receive help from your midwife. Don't be afraid to bring this up to get the right support! It is your right during your pregnancy journey to get the support you need.
You can read about week 6 here.
You can read about week 8 here.