Pregnancy
3 weeks pregnant

This week, you’ll need a little patience as you wait, wonder, and hope

The embryo-to-be, now securely implanted in the lining of your uterus, is starting to develop. Although you could do a home pregnancy test this week, you may end up disappointed or uncertain because at this stage a definite result is unlikely. It can be nerve-racking, wondering if an unwanted period is about to arrive and dash your hopes. Talk to your partner and share your feelings with him – he may be anxious, too.

 

Implanted embryo

 

 

1.The uterine lining secretes hormones that help to support the pregnancy.

 

 

2.The amniotic cavity, which later becomes the fluid-filled amniotic sac that protects the baby, develops from this area.

 

 

3.Chorionic cavity

 

 

4.The yolk sac is forming. It will nourish the embryo until the placenta starts functioning and make blood cells until the liver can do this.

 

 

5.The placenta starts to develop here. Soon the cells will penetrate the lining of the uterus.

 

 

6.The embryo consists of just two layers of cells that will divide very rapidly to form the beginnings of the baby’s body.

 

Your growing baby is now a size of a poppy seed, but despite its size there’s plenty of activity going on and this very week marks the beginning of embryonic period.

Your baby’s development

This week marks the beginning of the brand new embryonic period. Right from this week to the 10th week, your baby’s organs will start to develop, and some might even begin to function. As an embryo, your baby is the size of a poppy seed, which mostly constitutes of two layers: the hypoblast and epiblast, from which all of his or her organs will start to develop. The placentas cells are residing themselves into the lining of your uterus, leading to make spaces for blood to flow. This will further enrich the developed placenta to provide nutrients and oxygen to the growing body.

Also, at present you are growing inside you an amniotic sac – a place where your stomach will be housing the baby. This amniotic fluid will further cushion the baby as he or she grows and the yolk sac will help in producing your baby’s red blood cells, while help delivering nutrient to the baby until the placenta is fully developed and is ready to take upon this job!

Your baby is mostly getting developed in three major sections: firstly, his or her brain and central nervous system, which is already beginning to take shape in the form of neutral tubes; the heart and circulatory system is already beginning to form; and so are the lungs and intestines. Even though all the stages may be undetectable to the outside world (or maybe even you!), just the feeling of growing a baby inside you at this point in time could be a feeling of over joyousness!

It is this first growth stage, where your baby is most vulnerable to interfere with anything that might hamper his or her development.

Changes in you

This time, i.e. at the fourth week of pregnancy, your embryo is growing and developing inside the lining of your womb. The outer layer of embryo is ready to form links with mother’s blood for blood supply, while the inner cells goes into different part of baby’s body.

During this stage, the fertilised egg burrowing into your uterus can lead you to shed a few blood spots. By this time, you will barely have any pregnancy symptoms that will be starkly noticeable. If your body is sensitive enough, then you may feel bloating, queasiness, breast tenderness and some changes in your skin and hair.

If you undertake a sensitive pregnancy test at the doctor’s office, such as a blood test, then in some cases it is possible to get a positive pregnancy result just within a week after pregnancy. However, if you take a test at home at this early stage, in all possibilities you are going to get a negative result. For the most accurate and trustworthy results with home pregnancy tests, it is advisable to wait until a week after you have missed your period in order to take a positive home pregnancy test. This is because many urine tests are not that sensitive enough to detect a pregnancy test during the fourth week of pregnancy.If, however, you have found a positive pregnancy test at home, the you have to follow it up by visiting your gynaecologist.

If by any chance you are witnessing some of the common symptoms of pregnancy at the fourth week, then it is highly possible that you might put them down because you are about to encounter your periods. You might experience ‘that time of the month’ feeling, accompanied by slight spotting or light bleeding.

Once you know you’re pregnant, it is about time you should be ditching all those bad habits: smoking, being addicted to illegal drugs, drinking alcohol and so on. Consult with your general physician and friends and zero-in on a gynaecologist and visit him or her for your first prenatal appointment. If you have had problems with previous pregnancy, have a medical condition or have weird symptoms that need to be checked, get all the issues sorted with your healthcare provider. Ask your doctor regarding continuing with over-the-counter or prescribed medicines and be sure to inform your doctor in case of any concern. By this time, you should already be popping in a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin that contains a minimum of 400 mcg of folic acid. In some cases, you might also need a higher dose of folic acid, hence do ask your doctor regarding his or her recommendations.

Do note that by all means, the next six weeks are going to be super critical for your baby’s growth and development, and you have to be well-informed and extra cautious about it. As of now, the rudimentary versions of the umbilical cord and placenta are already functioning and are delivering nutrients and oxygen to your body.

Lastly, if you have been trying to conceive for more than a year now, but with no success, then you surely need to talk to your healthcare provider about examinations for you and your partner to spot a possible fertility problem(s). While the results may not be joyful, it is indeed the first steps towards the road of treatment and of achieving your ultimate aim: having a healthy baby.

Nutrition for you

  1. Bulk up on these big ‘5’ nutrients:
  • Now right before conception and especially in the first six week of pregnancy, no nutrient is more crucial for your baby’s growth and development than the folate – its synthetic form is called folic acid. This particular B vitamin can slash the risk of any sort of neutral-tube defects by an astonishing 70 percent. This can be derived from various sources, such as legumes, citrus fruits, poultry, pork, fish, dark green leafy vegetables and shellfish. But it is important to understand that folate from food isn’t that well absorbed as folic acid.
  • You also must consume around 1,200 mg of calcium from low-fat dairy products, fortified orange juice and soy products. This helps with the growth of foetus during the second and third trimester, especially when your baby’s bone and teeth development reaches its peak.
  • Iron is difficult to absorb by the body, hence consuming an iron supplement or prenatal vitamin with iron in it is a must.
  • During this time, even your zinc requirement boosts by 15 mg per day. Found in a plenty amount in meat, seafood, wholegrains, nuts and legumes, one must be weary of zinc deficiencies in the body, as it can lead to birth defects, problematic foetal growth and even premature delivery in some cases.
  • Fibre is also super important for a pregnant woman’s body as it keeps constipation (which can further lead to haemorrhoids) at bay.

2. Include a varied variety of healthy foods in your diet: What this does is satiates your requirements of important nutrients and allows the baby to feed upon a variety of foods via the amniotic fluid. Right from spinach to blueberry to carrots and bananas, the more colours of fruits and vegetables you eat, healthier your baby is going to be!

3. Go for local, seasonal and organically grown foods: This will help in developing a healthy immune system for the baby. Also, it is often seen that prenatal pesticide exposure tends to later lead to immune dysfunctions in kids, hence eating whatever is seasonally and organically grown should be your preferred option.

4. Opt for foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids: This is because it helps in boosting your baby’s brain and cognitive development. It also helps in lowering the risk of post-partum depression afterwards and helps in perking up the language comprehension, vision and memory skills of your child in early days. Walnuts, lean fishes and flaxseed oils are a healthy source of Omega-3 fatty acids. However, please be careful to only include fishes that are low in mercury levels, such as Alaskan salmon, herring, sardines and anchovies.

5. Opt for nutrient-dense foods: Foods that are packed with multiple nutrients are apt for you. Often known as double duty foods, these include eggs, peanut butter, yogurt, chicken and dairy products that are high in iron, calcium and protein.

Nutrition for baby

  • Do not start eating in large quantities, justifying ‘eating for two’: Thisis a complete no-no as when moms tend to eat a lot at this stage, they have a tendency to become obese, increasing the babies risk of obesity later in life. It is super imperative to base your pregnancy weight-gain goal based on your height and pregnancy weight. Medical experts tend to disagree that you need more calories in your first trimester. Especially if you are overweight, you just don’t. Eat until you feel full and satisfied and practice portion control.
  • Don’t chomp up on refined carbs: Because this will spike up your blood glucose levels, resulting in fatter newborns – directly being linked to overweight babies as they grow up.
  • Keep a close tab on food safety at the back of food labels: Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat, seafood or eggs as it has harmful bacteria called E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella.
  • Drink 12-18 ounces of liquid in a day: It is really hard to stay hydrated during pregnancy, as whatever you might load up on seems to be leaking from your blood vessels while going into your tissues. But having said that, drinking enough liquids is super important as it prevents preterm labor. Hydration also keep kidney stones, dizziness, headaches and constipation at bay. To check how hydrated you are: check your urine colour, if it is light yellow to clear you are hydrated, and if it is dark yellow or brownish yellow, you aren’t well hydrated.

Common worries

  • Your pregnancy symptoms might be amplified if you are carrying twins: This is because when carrying two babies inside of you, you are bound to have higher hormone levels. You are even more likely to suspect sooner that you are pregnant, when compared to you are carrying one baby. You can undergo a pregnancy test to find out whether you are pregnant or not at this stage, but you won’t know whether you are carrying twins or not, until your first doctor’s appointment, which usually happens around week 8.
  • Implantation bleeding: Just around you finishing your period or right before your period, if you witness any sort of spotting in the fourth week of pregnancy, do not panic. Usually, this is a sign that the embryo has implanted itself into the uterine wall, which is a good and natural thing to happen. Even if you do not have any spotting at all, there is nothing to worry as only a very small percentage of women suffer from implantation bleeding. 
  • Feeling of hormones being on a rampage: This time around if you are feeling any PMS-like symptoms, then these are pregnancy hormones acting up and everything is normal. From moodiness to mild cramping to bloating, PMS-like symptoms are very much a part and parcel of a normal pregnancy.

What do the experts suggest?

“While some women might be in tune with their body and might witness changes associated with pregnancy, and others won’t. You mind can surely play tricks with you and the only sure-fire way to confirm a pregnancy is by taking a pregnancy test. It is often seen that waiting for a missed period before taking a pregnancy test, tend to resultin positive outcomes. If you have just received the great news, then do not stop doing your regular exercise. It will helps in strengthening your body and will help in contributing towards better growth and development of your baby. Do drink enough fluids as your body is increasing its blood flow and baby must be able to fight fatigue and possible constipation. During this stage, taking care of your teeth is really important as women might be prone to bleeding gums and many such problems. Make sure to brush twice in a day and floss in every couple of weeks to get rid of build-up of plaque. If you have swelling or sensitivity of gums, then do massage your gums with doctor-suggested anti-inflammatory cream.”

Dr.Mangala Ramachandra, Consultant Obstetrics & Gynaecologist Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore

Seasonal Pregnancy Care

Summer –Do not cut back on fluids as you need the hydration now more than ever. Guzzle down a lot of cooling foods as yogurt, fresh fruits and buttermilk. People who face acne and other such skin allergies during summer season should not be eating a lot of spicy food as spicy food raises body temperature leading to skin irritation and allergies.

Monsoon –During monsoons, humidity levels are high and your body’s capability to digest food properly takes a setback, hence make it a point to avoid heavy and oily foods, and opt for immunity fighting foods, such as mangoes, apples, pomegranates and pears. 

Winter –Wear proper clothes during winter, and makes sure to keep your neck and feet warm. In order to get adequate relief from sore breasts, do make a point to wear a supportive and well-protected bra during the day and even at night.

Care during seasonal changes – Nausea is often uncommon during this stage, but if you face some, try to eat small and regular meals and totally give the foods that trigger your sickness a miss.

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Namrata Dhakane

| Sep 17, 2017

I am having backache. What may be the reason for this? my LMP was 25 July 2017 and have positive urine test also

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