This is the week a miracle takes place – your baby is conceived
If you ovulated and the egg met a sperm, amazing things will happen fast. It takes just four days from fertilization for a single egg to divide into a ball of 58 cells. By the end of the week, this ball, called the blastocyst, will have reached the uterus, where it will start to implant in the lining. It will be a couple of weeks before you know whether you’ve conceived, but special hormones kick in now to help maintain the pregnancy.
1.Cells surrounding the egg secrete chemicals that aid egg development.
2.The sperm’s head carries genetic material, along with enzymes that enable the sperm to penetrate the egg’s tough outer layer.
4.The whip-like tail of the sperm propels it up the Fallopian tube to meet the egg.
5.Cell cluster within the blastocyst’s fluid-filled cavity forms the beginnings of the embryo.
8.Lining of uterus
9.The outer cells of the blastocyst anchor into the lining of the uterus.
10.Maternal blood vessels
While your soon-to-be baby (now a blastocyst) is growing, it is during the third week of pregnancy that your baby’s sex, appearance and even some of his personality and intelligence traits can be determined at fertilisation.
Your baby’s development
It is after the amalgamation of your egg and your partner’s sperm that you have been able to from a cluster of cells inside your body, which will soon result into a real live baby in your arms. Best feeling in world, right?
Right before being a foetus and embryo, at this stage your baby is a blastocyst (a blastula or cluster of cells in which some differentiation of cells has occurred), which is growing multiplying and rapidly at this very point. A part of blastocyst will soon become placenta, an organ detected by pregnancy tests. Now, the amniotic fluids will collect around the cells and will protect and cushion your baby all around the pregnancy term.Placenta is producing the pregnancy hormone, called hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which dictates your ovaries to not release any more eggs while triggering a spike in the production of estrogen and progesterone. It is this hormone that lets your uterus to not shed its lining – and its tiny passenger – while increasing the growth of the placenta. It is during this time your little baby is going to witness significant foetal development, such as development of heart, spinal cord, brain and gastrointestinal tract.
At this stage, the sex of your baby has already been defined, which you might not know until birth. The fertilised egg contains a total of 46 chromosomes, out of which 23 are from the mother and 23 are from your father. While the mommy’s chromosomes are called X, the dad’s chromosomes can be X or Y chromosomes.
Right now, the size of your baby cannot be properly determined, because as of now it is just a group of cells and not exactly a baby. It is in actuality the size of the head of a normal sewing pin and is around .048 mm or around .0019 inches long.
Changes in you
One of the biggest change you are going to witness in you that suddenly some scents might seem stronger to you than ever. This is because of the hormone estrogen, which magnifies every little fragrance manifold. Be it good, bad or ugly, a heightened sense of smell is a very real experience in the third week of pregnancy. Be it the spices getting toasted in your neighbourhood’s kitchen or the garbage in the street corner, your keener nose is going to pick up every whiff and smell. In such instance, try wearing squeaky clothes, living in a clean and tidy house and often using unscented toiletries.
Apart from this, you might start losing weight because of vomiting, nausea and loss of appetite, all caused by the hormonal changes. You might also witness some cramps and vaginal discharge. Having said that, unless there is nothing out of the normal pregnancy happening in your body, your obstetrician is going to probably suggest you to up your nutritional intake without stopping going to work or cancelling out activities at this stage.
Some women might also experience fatigue or a feeling of exhaustion, due to the increased levels of progesterone in their body. At times, the extra effort required to make your baby might seem like you have just ran a marathon, while in reality all you would have done is put in a day at work.
Apart from these, many women tend to suffer from food aversions. Being repulsive to some foods you used to love earlier is totally normal during this time of the pregnancy.
Nutrition for you
Ideally speaking, in a perfect world you would be meeting your daily requirements of vitamins and minerals, just by in taking the right amount of healthy and balanced diet and eat right all the time. More so as a pregnant woman, when the nutritional requirements should be totally on point.
Multivitamins are a must:
- Start by popping in some prenatal multivitamins, a subject on which your doctor can through perfect light.
- Women should consume a minimum of 0.8 mg of folic acid in their daily nutritional requirement every day. Even though it is naturally found in many green vegetables (such as spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, kale, and mustard green), also known as folate, it is a must for your baby’s healthy development.
- Women with low iron stores, should be building their iron stores by forming healthy red blood cells, which are responsible for transporting oxygen to the womb and to the other cells in your body. Organ meats, beef liver, chicken, duck, rice, breads and cereals are iron-rich foods.
- Lastly, pregnant women should consume a minimum of 1,000 milligrams of calcium on daily basis. This is because your child should get enough calcium else your baby will start drawing calcium from your bones, putting you at risk of brittle bones condition later in your life. It is mostly found in low-fat yogurt, cheese and other such milk products.
- Metallic taste: Your hormones can wreak havoc on your system, which can make your taste buds turn wild. Facing a frequent metallic taste in your mouth might continue until the second trimester of your pregnancy. You can tackle this by sucking on some citrus juice or sipping some lime water. Also do make it a point to always brush your tongue with a tongue cleaner whenever you are brushing or gargle with salt water in order to keep the metallic taste at bay.
Nutrition for baby
Nutritional requirements for your baby consists of:
- Eating 3 serving of proteins in day: This is totally important to support your growing embryo. Protein helps in spurring new tissue for the baby-to-be. You can start by eating skinless chicken, lean beef, besanchilla or soybean veggies.
- If you are a vegetarian: You should totally take additional Vitamin D and B12 supplements.
- Things to avoid:Totally avoid smoking, illegal drugs, certain medications, alcohol, and caffeine at this stage. This is because remember, your baby is consuming whatever you are just consuming, good or bad.
- Add some berries in your cereal: Add Vitamin C-rich foods to your daily diet in order to dial up the absorption of iron in your body. This will help in supporting your increased blood volume.
- Fatigue, tired and exhausted all the time! During this period, women might feel extremely exhausted and tired for no particular reasons at all. Owing to the increased level of progesterone in your pregnancy body, a simple day at work might seem like a running on treadmill for hours.
- Check upon your basal body temperature: Even your basal body temperature tends to stay high regularly. Though if this is occurring for a few days it is okay, however if the body temperature stays elevated for around 12-18 days in a row, then it is time to visit your gynaecologist.
- Check for the signs of ectopic pregnancy: Some women, also might notice small stains of red spotting or reddish or brown stains around the time they are about to get their last period. If this is accompanied by pain, then you should totally visit your healthcare provider as it could be a sign of ectopic pregnancy.
- Dealing with implantation bleeding: Implantation bleeding occurs anywhere from sixth day to two weeks after conceiving. This happens when your tiny blastocyst lines itself to the wall of uterus. While some might not experience any sort of bleeding, others might witness slight spotting and some might even go through a full-on period.
- Deal with you and your partner’s worries: Even if this was a planned pregnancy, you and your partner are bound to be gripped with pregnancy anxiety. Hence, it is important to be open with each other and discuss your concern with each other and your gynaecologist openly.
- Tell-tale signs of morning sickness: Soon, you are going to undergo through the warning signs of morning sickness. Right from feeling nauseated to vomiting consistently, morning sickness is going to soon occur as soon as the first trimester ends.
What do the experts suggest?
“Due to hormonal changes, women at this stage witness morning sickness and to avoid this they should eat in small quantities frequently. At the same time should avoid greasy, fried and spicy food that takes longer to digest and causes acidity. Exercise is restricted at this stage until the Anomaly scan. An anomaly scan is a detailed ultrasound scan that rules out all major abnormalities in the various organs of the body like brain, heart, kidneys etc. It is usually done at 18-20 weeks of gestation. Before starting exercises, placenta localisation has to be done to check the location of placenta. If the placenta is low-lying then the exercises has to be changed accordingly as any wrong exercise could lead to bleeding.”
Dr.Mangala Ramachandra, Consultant Obstetrics & Gynaecologist Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore
Seasonal Pregnancy Care
Summer –In summers, wear cotton undergarments that fit you snugly. Totally stay away from staying in sweaty clothes for a longer period of time. Opt for cloth materials and fabrics, which are easy to wear and remove and avoid the ones that are too tight. Make sure to clean yourself properly after visiting washroom and carry a sanitiser with you wherever you go.
Monsoon –As the humidity rises, make sure to wear clothes that are loose and soft around the tummy. Also, do keep a damp tissue next to your bed side and at your workplace to wipe off the pesky grim and dust whenever you must. Do make it a point to use unscented soaps and cleaning products to clean your private parts, as this assists in balancing the pH levels in your blood.
Winter – Especially during winters, soon-to-be mothers might urinate frequently, but that in no ways you restrict your intake of water and other healthy fluids. You might also witness a sense of bloating, a feeling that is similar to having periods.
Care during seasonal changes – You might also experiencesome elevated levels of body temperature, which is not just seasonal temperature, but anything that is up and above 15 days of high temperature would mean you are pregnant.
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