During pregnancy, your baby grows at an astonishing rate. Each week of the pregnancy brings with it new developments. Taking care during pregnancy is very important. You can do this by following a healthy lifestyle and keeping your doctor’s appointments. Learn about the changes in your body during week three and the precautions you should take at this stage.
3 weeks pregnant
Congratulations! The third week is the time when the ovulation and conception happens. The sperm cell finds its way through the uterus to the egg in the fallopian tube. You may not be aware that you are pregnant. You may not have missed your period yet.
At this early in the pregnancy, you are not feeling any symptoms yet. This is so because pregnancy hormones cause most early pregnancy symptoms. Your body doesn’t have too much of these hormones yet to cause any significant symptoms. However, some women may have some of these symptoms as early as three weeks.
1. A heightened sense of smell
The increased levels of estrogen and hCG in your body can magnify every little smell around you, which may also lead to morning sickness. If you’re feeling morning sickness at this stage in your pregnancy, there is a good chance that you may be further along in your pregnancy than you thought. Or you may even be pregnant with twins.
2. Lower abdominal pressure
Feelings of pressure in your lower abdomen or period-like cramps without bleeding are common at this stage. These symptoms are the result of embryo implantation, increased blood flow to this area, and thickening of the uterine lining.
3. Implantation bleeding
You may notice a bit of spotting. Spotting happens when the fertilized egg burrows into the lining of the uterus.
4. Metallic taste
The changing hormones in the body can give you a metallic taste. Sipping on lemonade or citric juices can help.
Your body at week 3
You may not feel anything yet, but a lot of activity is happening inside your body. The sperm and the egg have found each other and formed a single cell called a zygote. Almost immediately, this cell starts dividing further as it makes its way through the fallopian tube to the uterus. This process takes about three to five days.
Once it is inside the uterus, the zygote becomes a hollow ball of cells called the blastocyst. This blastocyst attaches itself to the top of the uterine lining, a process known as implantation. Slight bleeding is normal at this time.
After the egg is released from the follicle that it came from, it is replaced with a group of yellow cells called corpus luteum. These cells produce enough estrogen and progesterone to support the baby for the next ten weeks until the placenta is ready to take over.
Your baby at week 3
At this stage, the zygote is the size of the head of a pin. Soon the zygote multiplies to become a hollow ball of cells called a blastocyst. Part of the blastocyst will become the placenta, which will produce human chorionic gonadotropin. Hcg is the hormone that is identified in the pregnancy tests.
The amniotic fluid is also collecting around the cells, and it will protect the baby throughout the pregnancy. Significant aspects of fetal development begin during this week, including the development of the brain, spinal cord, heart, and gastrointestinal tract.
Your child’s sex and other genetic characteristics like the color of hair, eyes, and skin, body type, and personality are set at the moment of conception. Your zygote has 46 chromosomes – 23 from you and 23 from your partner. These chromosomes are the blueprint that the body follows as it develops.
Pregnant with twins
If, during ovulation, more than one egg is released and a sperm fertilizes each, then more than one embryo may implant in your uterus. This process results in fraternal twins. When a single fertilized egg splits, it results in identical twins. Identical twins not as common as fraternal twins.
The likelihood of having twins is more where there is a family history of twins if you have been taking fertility drugs, or you are older than 35. If you had fraternal twins during your previous pregnancy, you are five times more likely to have another set of twins or multiples.
Your week 3 pregnancy doctor’s visit
It may still be early to take the home pregnancy test. It is best to wait for another week to get the best results. At this stage, you can begin your search for a healthcare provider that you would like to see throughout your pregnancy. Most clinics schedule the first appointment between 6 to 12 weeks.
However, if you have pelvic pain or vaginal bleeding, you must call your clinic immediately. The doctor may schedule an earlier appointment if you have suffered from recurrent pregnancy loss or anxiety. You can also make an early appointment with the doctor if you have questions for him.
Tips for week 3
1. Increase your intake of iron and vitamin C
Eating foods rich in vitamin C can help increase the absorption of iron in the body. You need extra iron to support your increased blood volume. Some vitamin C rich foods include oranges, kiwi, mango, strawberry, melon, tomatoes, and asparagus. Beef, poultry, dry fruit, and soy products are rich in iron.
Calcium helps your developing baby to build and maintain strong bones. It is also essential for the development of the heart, nerves, and muscles. Milk, Greek yogurt, pasteurized cheese are some excellent options for you.
Protein is essential for the development of your baby. Chicken, lean beef, eggs, fish, dairy, and legumes are rich in protein.
If you’re suffering from nausea and morning sickness, you may be losing fluid. It is essential to drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated.
5. Take prenatal vitamins
Continue to take your prenatal vitamins with folate. You need to have adequate amounts of folate in your system during this period of early development.
6. Avoid alcohol and drugs
Avoid alcohol, illegal drugs, certain medications, smoking, and caffeine during this time.
Take time to relax and enjoy your pregnancy. Stress can be harmful to you and your baby.
Tips for the partner
Pregnancy should be considered as a joint venture. Women who have joint and supportive partners feel less stressed and anxious. Early pregnancy can be emotional for any woman. Mood swings are common. Listen to her and offer support. Eat healthy meals together and avoid smoking, alcohol, and illegal drugs.
Ovulation and conception happen during Week 3 of pregnancy. The sperm and the egg find each other and form a single cell called a zygote. Once it is inside the uterus, the zygote becomes a hollow ball of cells called the blastocyst. This blastocyst attaches itself to the top of the uterine lining, a process known as implantation. At this stage, the zygote is the size of the head of a pin.
Some women may feel symptoms like a heightened sense of smell, metallic taste, lower abdominal pressure, and implantation bleeding. During this time, you must eat healthily, stay hydrated, take prenatal vitamins, and relax.