Your little one is approximately 1/3 of an inch long by the end of the week, measuring from crown to rump. Not much bigger than a blueberry. Your baby’s weight is less than a gram; oh so tiny! Your baby has a whole lot of growing to do before he or she reaches delivery weight, but the growth and development continues very rapidly during this embryonic period.
Your baby’s umbilical cord continues it’s development, which is vital for providing nourishment to your unborn baby. Along with the umbilical cord, facial characteristics are continuing their formation, with the beginnings of eyes including the lenses and pigmentation of the irises. The black pigmentation is visible under the skin covering your baby’s eyes. The eyes are still located more to the side of the head at this point in development.
Two holes are visible on your baby’s face, which will soon form into the nostrils of the nose. Your baby’s head is bent forward on his or her chest and the tiny brain inside is going through some rapid changes, with the brain as well as the spinal cord almost complete. Cavities and passages necessary for circulation of spinal fluid have formed.
Although your baby’s small heart is still bulging from his or her body right now, it has grown and developed two more chambers; for a grand total of four. It is pumping blood throughout your baby’s body and beating at approximately 150 beats a minute, which can easily be picked up by ultrasound by the end of this week. It would look like a tiny flicker on the monitor.
At this early stage of your pregnancy, you probably still haven’t put on much weight; possibly just a few pounds. If you’ve been bothered by food aversions and morning sickness, you may have actually lost a few pounds instead. Your waistline may be about the same as it was before you became pregnant, although if this is your second or third pregnancy, you may notice a difference now. Even though you’re not noticing a big change in your abdomen, your uterus is gradually growing larger. Big changes will come soon!
Your caloric intake needs to be more, now that you’re eating for two. During pregnancy is not the time for dieting. It is recommended that pregnant women consume an added 300 calories a day, particularly during the second and third trimesters. You need to pay extra attention to the quality and variety of foods you eat to ensure that you and your baby are getting enough calories. Junk foods should be avoided, when possible, because they lack nutritional value and are considered “empty” calories. Good eating habits during pregnancy will also result in less complications and discomforts including heartburn, constipation, fatigue; to name a few. If you need help choosing the right foods or have questions about improving your diet, talk with your doctor or midwife.
The major hormonal changes associated with pregnancy may be causing you to feel run-down. Fatigue is a common complaint of pregnancy. Many women feel sluggish throughout pregnancy, particularly early-on and also during the third trimester. This is very normal now and generally your energy level will pick back up when you start getting into the second trimester. It’s no wonder you feel the way you do, because your body is working over-time to grow a new little human! Make sure you nap when you are able and get plenty of rest at night. If your fatigue becomes worrisome or doesn’t seem to let up soon, you may want to talk with your doctor or midwife, because anemia can make you tired, as well.
Have you noticed your breasts changing? You may have been experiencing sore nipples and tender breasts for a couple of weeks already, but what about the circular area around your nipples darkening? Your areolas are normally pinkish, but many pregnant women gradually notice their areolas change to a darker shade and sometimes get bigger around. The bumps surrounding your nipples (called “Montgomery’s tubercles”) elevate and enlarge around this time; maybe even earlier. Sometimes these changes are so gradual, you won’t notice much of a difference until much later in pregnancy; sometimes not at all.