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7 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby's Development

Although your baby’s brain development will continue long after birth, right now the embryo’s brain is growing very fast. This means the head is bigger than the rest of the body, and the forehead is especially large. As the brain and spinal cord develop, the number of nerve cells multiply. In fact, 100 brain cells form per minute!

The embryo won’t have a visible outer ear for several weeks yet, but at seven weeks the inner is developing and there are small dimples where the ears will be. There are also dimples where the nose will be. The eyelids are starting to grow and cover the eyes. The eyelids will fuse shut and remain closed until much later in your pregnancy.

Where your baby’s arms will eventually be, there are now these little buds with paddle-shaped ends. These tiny buds are made of cartilage, which will eventually become bone. The flat, paddle-shaped ends will become hands.

If you have a prenatal checkup scheduled for this week, and you have an ultrasound exam, you may have an opportunity to hear something amazing: a heartbeat! The embryo now has a rhythmic heartbeat. Don’t worry if an ultrasound isn’t scheduled for you at seven weeks pregnant, your doctor will arrange one soon enough. In the meantime, if you’re wondering when you are due, get an idea by using our Due Date Calculator.

How Big Is Your Baby at 7 Weeks?

Your little one is growing fast! When you’re seven weeks pregnant, the embryo is about the size of a blueberry, measuring about 10 mm long from crown to rump – in other words from the head to the bottom.

Embryo at 7 weeks pregnant

Mum's Body at 7 Weeks Pregnant

Healthy habits should take centre stage now, and you should be careful about not catching an infection as some infections can harm the baby. If you think you have an infection, see your doctor right away. You may also be more susceptible to certain infections during pregnancy. One example is toxoplasmosis, an infection that’s passed through raw or undercooked meat and cat faeces. Avoid coming into contact with the bacteria by

  • only eating well cooked meat
  • washing your hands thoroughly before and after preparing food
  • taking yourself off kitty litter duty for the rest of your pregnancy
  • washing fruit and vegetables to remove soil.

The signs of toxoplasmosis include flu-like symptoms such as a fever and achy muscles. If you or your GP suspect you might have toxoplasmosis a blood test will be taken to check. This is a serious infection that can harm your little one, but your doctor will know what steps to take if they diagnose you with it.

7 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

  • Food cravings or aversions. Feel like pickles and chocolate for dinner? Can’t stand the smell of eggs even though you normally love them? Your food preferences and tolerance for strong odours may change during this time, and pregnancy hormones may be responsible. If you find yourself craving any non-food items, like dirt or chalk, talk to your midwife right away. This could be pica, a condition caused by low iron levels.
  • Nausea. Of all of this week’s symptoms, morning sickness might be the most bothersome because it’s often in full swing by this stage making you feel absolutely miserable. Luckily, many mums-to-be report that it disappears during the second trimester so hang in there. In the meantime, eat small meals throughout the day, opt for bland foods instead of those that trigger your nausea, and rest up.
  • Constipation. If your digestive system is sluggish at around seven weeks pregnant, it’s usually nothing to worry about. It may be one of the gastrointestinal symptoms (like diarrhoea or indigestion) that you might experience due to fluctuating hormones. Drink lots of water, exercise, and add more fibre to your diet. Contact your doctor if these lifestyle changes don’t get things moving along.
  • Spotting. Light spotting at seven weeks pregnant is probably normal but if you notice heavier bleeding or if you’re at all concerned, call your doctor or midwife.
  • Cramping. If you feel mild uterine cramps, what you’re experiencing is probably normal. Your uterus is expanding and is now the size of a lemon, so some discomfort is to be expected. If the cramping is severe or long-lasting, or if you feel pain other than cramping, call your midwife.
  • Fatigue. You may continue to feel exhausted at seven weeks pregnant. Take good care of yourself by resting as often as you can. This could even mean saying no to certain activities, or asking others to help with some chores.
  • Frequent urination. As your uterus grows it places pressure on your bladder. This could see you heading to the bathroom more often. Don’t reduce your water intake; you should be drinking eight glasses of fluid a day. Instead take practical steps like going to the toilet before you head out the door, or pre-planning where the nearest toilets are in advance.
  • Metallic taste in your mouth. Although this symptom might alter how certain foods taste, it’s usually a temporary change that will clear up on its own.
  • Bloating. You might be able to manage this symptom by changing what and how often you eat. Test eating six small meals a day, instead of three bigger ones and see if that helps. Eat slowly, sip – don’t glug – water, and avoid eating just before bed.

7 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

  • If you have a pre-existing skin condition like eczema, acne, or a fungal infection it may get worse while you are pregnant. Acne is one of the skin conditions that is most likely to flare up during the first trimester before improving as your oestrogen levels rise from the second trimester onward. After your baby is born, the level of acne you have will return to what it was pre-pregnancy. Your doctor or midwife will be able to give you advice on how to treat or manage any skin conditions you have during your pregnancy.
  • You might find you’re more in touch with your body and picking up its signals. It’s good to listen to your body and familiarise yourself with some of the pregnancy warning signs you should not ignore like bleeding, severe vomiting, itchiness all over, or discomfort when you pee or poo. Sometimes what worries us ends up being nothing to worry about, but it’s good to get checked out just in case.
  • Although the chance of ectopic pregnancy is quite low, it’s worth knowing about because there is still a chance it can be diagnosed until you pass the 12-week mark. An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilised egg implants in the fallopian tube – not in the lining of the uterus. This kind of pregnancy cannot progress and requires medical treatment, so if you notice tummy pain, vaginal bleeding, shoulder pain, and pain when you pee or poo, speak to your doctor.
  • If your pregnancy symptoms have you feeling down, keep in mind that you're just over a month away from your second trimester, when many of these pesky first trimester symptoms start to subside. Even better news: many mums-to-be report an uptick in their energy levels in the next trimester. Still, if your mood swings seem particularly severe or if you have a mental health condition you need help with, chat with your doctor. They will have good strategies for how it can be managed throughout the rest of your pregnancy.

7 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor

  • If you’re seven weeks pregnant and not nauseous anymore, bleeding, have a brown discharge, or have no symptoms of pregnancy at all, ask your doctor for a check-up. There might be a harmless explanation, but it’s best to be on the safe side.
  • Do you need to take any supplements, like folic acid?
  • Are there any special precautions you should take at work during pregnancy? Should you tell your employer that you’re pregnant yet?
  • Talk with your doctor about any possible risk factors you have that may complicate your pregnancy or labour, and ask how these will be handled when the time comes.

7 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Do you have a midwife yet? If not, it’s a good idea to find one and schedule an appointment before you hit the 10-week mark. Your GP can help you find one. Where the appointment happens depends on the services in your area but it could be that the midwife comes to your home, or that you have to go to a nearby hospital or Children’s Centre. When making the appointment, find out what the midwife would like you to take with you.

Think about whether you plan to go on holidays over the next few months. If you already have a holiday booked, make sure you’re still going to be able to go. The second trimester might be the perfect time for a relaxing trip, but you may need to adjust your booking if you have flights scheduled around your due date.

Read up on what else you may experience in the final few weeks of the first trimester.

Sign up for even more pregnancy tips here:

7 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Sign up for even more pregnancy tips here:

Do you have a midwife yet? If not, it’s a good idea to find one and schedule an appointment before you hit the 10-week mark. Your GP can help you find one. Where the appointment happens depends on the services in your area but it could be that the midwife comes to your home, or that you have to go to a nearby hospital or Children’s Centre. When making the appointment, find out what the midwife would like you to take with you.

Think about whether you plan to go on holidays over the next few months. If you already have a holiday booked, make sure you’re still going to be able to go. The second trimester might be the perfect time for a relaxing trip, but you may need to adjust your booking if you have flights scheduled around your due date.

Read up on what else you may experience in the final few weeks of the first trimester.

Sign up for weekly pregnancy tips: