At the end of the 7th week of pregnancy, all the organs of the embryo will be fully developed. The embryo measures about 22 mm, his brain begins to set up.
From now on, the embryo is perpetually in motion. The mother does not yet perceive these movements, but on the ultrasound, they are clearly distinguished. Ultrasound also makes it possible to specify whether it is a twin pregnancy or not.
On the mother side, possible pregnancy pains tend to fade gradually. Including fatigue that often decreases at this stage of pregnancy.
On the other hand, many women experience high sensitivity to odors around the 7th week of pregnancy and develop unusual tastes for certain types of foods.
Reminder: the 7th week of pregnancy is 9 weeks of amenorrhea (no rules). Indeed, in France, gynecologists usually count the duration of pregnancy in weeks of amenorrhea (SA). 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).
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The steps and exams
As soon as your pregnancy is confirmed, make an appointment for a first examination at your gynecologist. It is after this first compulsory prenatal examination that you will obtain your maternity health record (or "maternity notebook", formerly "pregnancy notebook").
The maternity card is free. According to your department, it is sent to you:
- by your health insurance fund,
- maternal and child health services (PMI), or
- by your mutual.
If you do not receive it, ask your doctor.
Important : your first prenatal examination must take place before the end of the 3rd month of pregnancy (ie before 15 weeks).
Blood and urine tests in early pregnancy
Blood and urine tests of early pregnancy are provided by law. Some are mandatory, others must be proposed systematically during the first consultation:
- screening for rubella and toxoplasmosis, routinely necessary in the absence of written results that make immunity a given,
- screening for syphilis,
- blood group determination (ABO, Rhesus), if you do not have a complete blood group card,
- Irregular agglutinins (RAI) search,
- search for sugar and albumin in the urine.
Systematically offered examinations:
- AIDS screening (HIV),
- ultrasonography between 11 and 13 WA for measurement of nuchal translucency,
- biological markers for trisomy 21 screening.
In total, you will have to make 7 medical visits (to your doctor or your midwife) during your pregnancy and to practice various compulsory medical examinations. Including 3 ultrasounds, at the rate of one per trimester:
- 1st ultrasound of pregnancy
- 2nd ultrasound of pregnancy
- 3rd ultrasound of pregnancy
The six other visits to a doctor or midwife should be done every month, from the 4th month of pregnancy to the date of delivery.
These consultations and many exams are covered 100% by the Health Insurance (except for ultrasounds, the management of which varies according to the month of pregnancy).
In order to benefit from a 100% coverage of medical expenses, you must establish a declaration of pregnancy during the first trimester of pregnancy, ideally during your first medical visit. In principle, it is now, the doctor who establishes this declaration of pregnancy via internet. The practitioner declares this pregnancy with the Health Insurance Fund which in turn will contact the Family Allowance Fund. If the doctor has not done so, it is up to you to send this declaration to your social security and family allowance fund.
The mother at the 7th week of pregnancy (9 weeks)
From the 7th week of pregnancy, fatigue and the feeling of exhaustion gradually fade. At this stage of pregnancy, pregnant women may be very sensitive to odors, which may even cause vomiting.
The taste is also very developed. Also, many pregnant women suddenly feel an appetite for foods they did not like at all before and for rather surprising combinations of foods.
Conversely, previously popular foods or foods can suddenly cause nausea. Thus, expectant mothers often develop a real aversion to coffee or bread.
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While some pregnancy pains begin to disappear from the 7th week of pregnancy, another "secondary" effect - often apprehended by some women - can surface: hair loss related to pregnancy. Fortunately, this hair loss lasts only a few weeks generally and does not affect all pregnant women. Pregnant women often also suffer from digestive problems (constipation or bloating). But a balanced diet and sufficient hydration can generally limit these digestive disorders.
Important: It is advisable to check any pain or any symptom that seems suspicious to your doctor. It is better to consult once more than too little, even if most of the symptoms prove to be completely harmless and safe.
Do not take medicines or other products purchased in pharmacies without talking to your doctor - even when it comes to natural products or herbal products. Some plants, for example, can cause contractions. There are drugs that can be consumed even during pregnancy, but before starting any treatment, it is essential to seek the advice of your doctor or midwife.
The typical signs of pregnancy that are noticeable during the first weeks of pregnancy are rather related to unpleasant effects.
You should also know that in some cases, slight bleeding may occur at this stage of pregnancy, but in most cases they are completely innocuous. However, we advise you to talk to your doctor or midwife! If these bleeds are severe, accompanied by pain, it is imperative to contact the doctor promptly.
The embryo at the 7th week of pregnancy (9 weeks)The internal organs of the embryo continue to develop in the 7th week of pregnancy, the digestive system begins to set up. The little heart already has four cavities that will be the future atria and ventricles. The organs and nerve cells begin to perform their functions. The cells of the cardiac musculature are differentiated, and the liver begins to produce blood.
At the 7th week of pregnancy, the embryo measures about 22 mm. On ultrasound, we visualize the outline of the spine, while the small tail disappears. Then we distinguish the first fruits of the ears.
The first movements of arms and legs are also visible. Between the arms and hands, which measure about 5 mm, the wrists begin to form. The fingers are barely identifiable. At the level of the feet, the palm leaves are resorbed and the toes will appear.
Until now without any protection, the brain of the embryo is covered by cranial bones from the 7th week of pregnancy. As the brain will continue to grow considerably and will need space for its development, the cranial bones are attached to each other at so-called fontanelles in order to remain "flexible".
The different parts of the brain begin to develop and prepare for their future function. Some parts will be responsible for the perception of various sensory impressions (emotions, pain), others will control the hearing and the sight, or guarantee the fluidity of the movements.
At this stage of development, the nerves of the embryo are particularly fragile and vulnerable to toxic substances such as alcohol. Because the brain is essential for the development of the fetus, alcohol can cause irreversible damage, such as reduced mobility of the arms and legs.
How does baby grow up in the belly?
How many weeks of pregnancy can you see baby's fingers? How much does it weigh in the 5th month? And when is he able to discern the flavors?
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Note : As the pregnancy progresses, the size and weight of the baby evolve individually. The values and figures shown are therefore average values. The monitoring of these data is important during the pregnancy and testimony of the smooth running of the pregnancy.
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Authors: Dorothee Gebele, Dr. Nicolas Evrard