7 weeks and 4 days pregnant
The upper and lower limb buds that will form the legs and arms are clearly visible by now. The baby’s head is still curled over the chest, but the beginnings of ears can just be detected as raised areas at the base of the head.
Your baby’s facial features are beginning to develop and over the next few weeks will become much more defined.
Your baby has ears! Low down, near the jaw line, the ears form, each arising from six small mounds, fusing together to give your baby her unique and individual ear shape. As the face and jaw forms and your baby’s neck extends, moving away from the chest wall, the ears will migrate upwards; they will come to lie at the same level as her eyes by about 12–13 weeks.
The lips and nose are now beginning to take shape. To form the upper lip, two separate ridges of tissue grow from each side of your baby’s face to fuse with the small piece of tissue in the midline extending downwards beneath the nose (the grooved part of the upper lip).
At around this stage, your baby’s small and large bowel lengthen. Because they have insufficient room to expand inside the still very curled-up embryo, the intestines appear as a bulge on the surface of the abdominal wall. This bulge is covered by a membrane, into which the umbilical cord becomes attached. The bowel will continue to grow in this embryonic sac until 11–12 weeks when it will be reabsorbed into the abdominal cavity, leaving just the surface attachment of the cord.
According to one study, eating apples during pregnancy could reduce the risk of your child developing asthma.
Following a Mediterranean diet may have the same effect. Researchers found that the babies of mothers who ate plenty of fish, olive oil, fruit, and vegetables were up to 30 per cent less likely to wheeze as well as 50 per cent less likely to develop skin allergies.
Scrupulous food hygiene is important in pregnancy for a number of reasons. First, your immune system is under extra pressure during pregnancy, making you more susceptible to food poisoning. Second, there’s a risk that food-borne illnesses can affect the health of your baby, so it pays to be cautious. Do the following:
Wash your hands carefully and regularly, with hot water and soap. Make sure they are completely dry before preparing food, as bacteria spread more easily on damp skin.
Keep food in your fridge until you plan to prepare it, and cook it thoroughly before serving.
Serve food piping hot, as germs can multiply in lukewarm conditions.
Refrigerate leftovers straightaway, and reheat them well, only once.
Thoroughly clean your hands, implements, and work surfaces.
Set the correct temperature on your fridge and freezer.
Make time for preparation and take the precaution of washing all fruit and vegetables. Keep raw foods away from cooked foods.