You are 6 Weeks and 5 Days 233 days to go…

By this stage, you may have experienced bouts of dizziness. It’s all part of your body and brain adjusting to the pregnancy.

Your baby today

This 3D ultrasound scan shows the embryo and its yolk sac, attached to the wall of the uterus. The yolk sac provides nourishment for the embryo until the placenta is fully functional, and produces blood cells until the liver can take over this role.

If you feel lightheaded, especially when you get up from lying down, be extra careful. Dizzy spells are common, especially as your pregnancy progresses and you get bigger, since your heart has to work harder against the forces of gravity to get blood to the brain.

Try to stand up very gradually, in stages, from lying to sitting to standing. Dizziness can also occur if you have been standing for a long period of time, since blood may collect in your legs. Keep moving to encourage the blood to be pumped back to your heart.

Alternatively, you may feel dizzy due to low blood-sugar levels. Other symptoms of low blood sugar include feeling sweaty, shaky, and hungry. Even if you’re feeling or being sick, try to eat little and often to ensure that your blood-sugar levels remain stable.

If you regularly feel dizzy, speak to your doctor, who will carry out some basic health checks.

Being a teetotaler

Your baby’s health is the most important consideration, so before you’ve announced your pregnancy, you may need to take steps to discreetly avoid drinking alcohol.

  • Buy the first round and get yourself a carbonated mixer and ice and a slice without the alcohol. Once everyone else has had one drink, they’re less likely to notice that you’re on the wagon. For the next round, say you’re pacing yourself and ask for a mixer.

  • Claim you’re detoxing or hungover and order a juice or a Virgin Mary.

  • Discreetly swap your full glass with your partner’s empty one.

Exercising regularly can help you sleep more deeply.

Insomnia is common in pregnancy, due to anxiety or difficulty in getting comfortable. Exercise is a destresser and will tire you out, increasing your chance of a good night’s sleep.

Keep on moving

The last thing you may feel like doing is exercising, but it can play a significant role in alleviating and preventing pregnancy symptoms. Although a run through the park or a walk downtown may not sound as inviting as a cozy nap on the sofa, exercise is invigorating and the effects will last. Try to think of it as being active, rather than “exercising.”

If after completing a physical activity you feel even more fatigued, decrease how hard and long you exercise. Always listen to your body. As you become more fit and your pregnancy progresses, these feelings of fatigue should diminish, usually by weeks 12–14.

You are 6 Weeks and 6 Days 232 days to go…

What will become your baby’s tiny arms and legs are beginning to develop during this seventh week of pregnancy.

Your baby today

At this stage of your baby’s development, the heart is a tubular structure, visible in the center of this image. It is, however, already providing your baby with a very simple circulation.

It’s still some weeks before your baby—still an embryo—will become recognizable as a human fetus. At the end of this seventh week, however, there are four simple limb buds, each slightly flattened at the end where, over the next two weeks, a hand or foot will form.

With the exception of muscle tone, which comes much later on, all stages of your baby’s upper limb development precede any developments in his lower limbs.

The eyes are the first recognizable landmarks to form on the face. At this stage, the eyes consist of two simple surface indentations, which then develop a second indentation within the first; the inner one will become the lens and the outer the eyeball. Your baby’s eyes are wide apart at this stage and his ears and nose have yet to form.

… Doctor
Q: Can exercising increase the risk of miscarriage?
A: There is no evidence to suggest that, as long as you’re healthy and have been given the all-clear from your doctor, exercise will put you at a greater risk of having a miscarriage. In fact, the benefits of getting regular moderate exercise while you’re pregnant far outweigh the risks to you and your baby.

The most important factors at this stage of your pregnancy are to exercise at the same level you did prior to being pregnant. Do not attempt any new high-impact and strenuous activity or take up a new sport. Follow the guidelines that are set out on page 18.

… Nutrition
Know your fish

Fish is packed with essential nutrients that are good for your baby’s development, so try to eat at least two portions a week.

You do, however, need to be careful of consuming high levels of mercury, present in trace amounts in nearly all fish and shellfish, since it can harm an unborn baby’s nervous system. The FDA and the EPA recommend the following for pregnant women:

  • Don’t eat fish that are highest in mercury, including shark and swordfish.

  • Eat up to 12 ounces per week of lower-mercury seafood like shrimp, salmon, pollock, catfish, and canned light tuna.

  • For fish caught locally check local advisories regarding mercury content. If no guidance is available, eat up to 6 ounces and consume no other fish that week.

You are 7 Weeks Exactly 231 days to go…

As your baby’s body continues to develop, it won’t be long before some very general movements will be visible on a scan.

Your baby today

This early vaginal ultrasound scan shows the first signs of pregnancy: the black central area is the fluid-filled cavity in which your baby (not visible) is developing. Within this is a small circular area, which is the yolk sac.

While you’re dealing with early pregnancy symptoms, your tiny embryo is tightly curled in your uterus. There is a short portion at the lower end of the spine that in other species goes on to develop into a tail. This portion now starts to disappear as more recognizably human features appear.

The ends of your baby’s limb buds flatten, like paddles, and begin to form short digits that will become your baby’s tiny fingers and toes. At first these are fused together—then, like the remainder of the skeleton, the digits grow around a soft framework of cartilage that will gradually harden into bone. As the upper limb buds lengthen, your baby’s elbows begin to form.

Your baby’s eyes continue to develop but won’t be fully formed until around week 20; his nostrils now appear as two shallow nasal pits.

… Doctor
Q: Help! I’m pregnant again and my little boy is only 12 months old. How will I cope?
A: Pregnancy can be exhausting, particularly in the first trimester, when your body is adjusting to the new demands placed upon it. Having a toddler to contend with at this time makes it even harder.

Find quiet activities to enjoy with your toddler and leave the rough and tumble play to someone else. Take time to nurture yourself, sleeping when your toddler naps, or just settling down on the sofa while he watches a DVD. Don’t feel guilty about putting your feet up: it’s important to take a step back at this stage and remember that your most important job right now is “growing” your baby.

Good friends

Keeping your pregnancy quiet in these early weeks is difficult. Whether you want to tell people you’re expecting is a matter of personal choice, but there’s a good reason to keep it quiet for the time being (see Keeping quiet).

You may, however, need to talk to someone (other than your partner), so confide in a friend. Choose someone who will indulge your need to discuss everything—from pregnancy symptoms to birth fears and baby names. The ideal candidate will find your food cravings and 4 am trips to the bathroom riveting… and provide bowls of ice cream and pickles, and advice around the clock.

Actual size of your baby

At 7 weeks, your baby’s crown to rump length is 0.31 in (8 mm).

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