The third week of pregnancy is 5 weeks of amenorrhea (5 weeks of absence or absence of menstruation ). It is during this period that a pregnancy test (urine or blood) can be done to find out if you are pregnant.
In France, gynecologists usually count the duration of pregnancy in weeks of amenorrhea (AS). Thus, the calculation of the pregnancy begins on the 1st day of the last period, so about 2 weeks before the fertilization (before the actual beginning of the pregnancy). Because it is only in the middle of the woman's cycle, around the date of ovulation, that the egg can be fertilized by a spermatozoon. And so in reality, the 1st week of pregnancy is the 3rd week of amenorrhea (SA).
And so how is it for the future mother at the 3rd week of pregnancy? And where is the development of the embryo?
Ultrasounds of pregnancy week after week:
At the third week of pregnancy, the future mother is in the early stages of her pregnancy. At this stage, it is normal for her body to begin to react to the hormonal changes produced by pregnancy, starting with the ongoing absence of menstruation (amenorrhea).
At this stage, the uterus in which the embryo is fixed (we speak of nidation in medical terms) is already beginning to grow and change. In addition, the cervix is "plugged" by a "mucous plug" to protect the uterus against ascending pathogenic germs. Of course, these changes are not yet visible from the outside.
Moreover, in women, there is a strong increase in the secretion of hormones, especially progesterone. These hormonal changes result in some inconvenience that can vary from one woman to another. These discomforts, which often appear as early as the third week of pregnancy, can last for several weeks.
Thus the daily life of a pregnant woman at 3 weeks of pregnancy is often punctuated by various troublesome troubles (especially the first weeks).
Thus, the woman is prone to various ills and disorders, more or less unpleasant like:
- Tension and swelling of the breasts, is one of the first signs of your pregnancy; your breasts can sometimes be painful.
- Fatigue and nausea can occur from this first month, so take rest ... if you can. Adopt a healthy diet, and split meals if you suffer from nausea. And do not forget to drink enough water at least 1.5 liters of water a day.
- Constipation is a condition that affects one in two women during pregnancy. Adopt a diet high in fiber, drink enough, and go for a walk!
- Under the influence of hormones, the vagina becomes more flexible and white discharge may occur.
- Vaginal infections are more common during pregnancy. If you have suspicious losses, do not hesitate to consult your doctor or midwife.
It can never be repeated enough: at 3 weeks of pregnancy and until delivery, it is strongly recommended not to drink alcohol, to smoke, or to use drugs or other drugs. illicit substances, this could lead to serious problems or a risk of malformations for the baby. In the case of a background treatment that requires taking medication regularly, it should be discussed with the doctor.
The latter can also propose solutions, or even treatments, against the different "ills" of pregnancy described above. But do not take any medication without first asking for a doctor's advice.
It is possible to continue physical activities adapted to your pregnancy, walking is not only a good solution against constipation, it also promotes better blood circulation and avoids feelings of heavy legs.
Walk at least 30 minutes a day. Unless you have a medical contraindication, you can continue a non-traumatic physical activity that you are already doing but in moderation, without straining, knowing how to stop when the body claims it.
To fully live your pregnancy, be careful not to avoid mandatory or recommended examinations, or consultations provided by the doctor or midwife.
The first consultation
It must imperatively be done before the end of the first quarter, that is to say before the 15 SA. So at 3 weeks of pregnancy (5 weeks), you still have a little time. However, you can very well consult history to confirm that you are well pregnant and that everything is fine. The opinion of a doctor is all the more important that you had not necessarily planned your pregnancy, and that you may be suffering from a particular disease (epilepsy, thyroid disorder, diabetes ...).
This first consultation is essential, because it is during this one that you will obtain information on the follow-up of your pregnancy, on the preparation for the birth, and the whole organization concerning the networks of perinatality.
We will give you information on:
- The blood and urine tests that you have to bend to monitor the pregnancy.
- Prevention of possible diseases. Or what to do if you suffer from a particular condition.
- Provide the first ultrasound, and trisomy 21 screening (if you wish).
- Plan the pregnancy declaration and the administrative procedures involved.
The first preparations
Also, from the 3rd week of pregnancy, you can already consider some preparations ...
- The choice of maternity will meet the criteria of safety and comfort. But also to necessities of material contingencies, like the way.
- The choice of preparation for childbirth: you can already learn about the various courses offered. It's never too early to make arrangements.
Good to know: Diet during pregnancy:
At the 3rd week of pregnancy, things have already evolved well on the side of the embryo. The embryonic cells multiplied after the fertilization that took place 21 days ago and begin to organize.
At this stage of pregnancy, it has been two weeks since the embryo settled "warm" in the cavity of the uterus to develop.
We can now discern the external embryonic leaflet. Within a few days, it will form two folds, which will eventually close on themselves to form the neural tube: at the end of this tube, some cells are already a preliminary stage of what will become the future brain.
Around the 15th day, the first nerve fibers are born from the brain stem to the spinal cord. These primitive nerve cells are of course not yet functional.
About the 22nd day of life of the embryo, the newly formed heart cells retract and the heart begins to beat. Of course, at this stage of development, it is not yet the heart with its complete anatomy, nor definitive, but rather a kind of heart tube that folds on itself. Cardiac activity is essential for subsequent development of the embryo.
At the 3rd week of pregnancy, the embryo measures about 1.5 mm, and its weight reaches 1 gram. He now has a head and a tail. This is also a great moment for the future mother, because in general, we can begin to see the embryo during a vaginal ultrasound (although we still do not distinguish much).
The embryo will then grow at a rapid rate and gradually isolate itself in the amniotic cavity. The amniotic cavity is the shelter in which your baby will live until he is born; at this stage of pregnancy, the gestational sac, which is about 7 mm in diameter, is already filled with a liquid.
The circulation of blood in the future placenta is put in place. The embryonic cells which continue to multiply at a very high speed, will progressively organize themselves. Little by little, they are destined to differentiate themselves from each other to, later, constitute tissues and organs.
How does baby grow up in the belly?
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Test your knowledge!
The risk of miscarriage
This risk of miscarriage exists during the first weeks of pregnancy (and therefore in the third week). This spontaneous abortion occurs on average in 15% to 20% of pregnancies. This risk is greater for pregnancies occurring after age 40, in the case of parental genetic diseases, certain diseases in women (bleeding disorder, infection, etc.), maternal urinary disorders, etc.
The signs of a miscarriage are more or less obvious, especially at 3 weeks when the embryo is not yet very developed. Generally, more or less bleeding occurs. As we are in the third week of pregnancy, this can sometimes be confused with rules occurring late ... Sometimes the woman can feel unwell.
If such symptoms occur when you have just had a positive pregnancy test, you should consult.
It also happens that a miscarriage occurs without the woman realizing it ...
After a spontaneous miscarriage, sometimes the doctor or midwife prescribes a contraceptive pill to shift a little the occurrence of a future pregnancy. If these miscarriages are repeated (more than 2), medical investments can be made to better determine the cause.
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Authors: Marla Gulamo De Morais, Dr. Nicolas Evrard