Has it set in yet? Can you believe you’re ACTUALLY pregnant? Or does it still feel like a dream? If you find yourself fighting the urge to buy pregnancy tests in bulk and take one every day, know that you’re not alone. Lots of mamas (or maybe all mamas?) have a hard time believing they’re pregnant until they start showing or start having pregnancy symptoms. Speaking of symptoms, you might be feeling the dreaded first-trimester morning sickness. Ahem, ALL-DAY sickness. If you are, make sure to eat small meals throughout the day, drink lots of water, and try to get outside for some fresh air and exercise. And of course, don’t forget those saltine crackers! Unfortunately, food aversions go hand-in-hand with that nausea, making it even harder to find foods you can stomach. Make sure you’re taking your prenatal, since eating healthy, nutrient-rich foods might be kind of difficult right now. But don’t stress about it too much. Just eat as healthy as you can until the nausea passes, usually by the end of the first trimester.
If this isn’t your first pregnancy, you might start showing soon. But most first-time mamas don’t start showing until their second trimester. Right now, you’re probably just starting to notice that your favorite skinny jeans are feeling a little tight. Don’t worry, this is probably mostly due to bloating. You probably don’t need maternity clothes quite yet, but it never hurts to be prepared when a baby’s involved, right? And when extra hormones are in the mix and you’re starting to feel those renowned pregnancy emotions, a little retail therapy can’t hurt either. Your belly isn’t the only thing that’s growing! By seven weeks, some mamas have grown a full cup size. Unfortunately, the same hormones (estrogen and progesterone) that have caused this (usually) welcomed change, and other pregnancy symptoms, also make your breasts more sensitive and tender and start causing changes that will help your body prepare for breastfeeding. At this point, you’re probably finding yourself running to the bathroom all the time, even in the middle of the night, which isn’t helping your overall fatigue and decreased energy levels. This is because your uterus is twice as big as it was a few weeks ago, and it will only continue to grow in the next 33 weeks. You can thank the increased blood volume and extra fluid currently running through your body for your next several bathroom trips, as they are making your kidneys work overtime. In fact, right now you have 10 percent more blood in your body and when you finally (don’t worry, you WILL get there) make it to delivery day, you’ll actually have 40 to 45 percent more blood!
If you think your kidneys are working overtime, listen to this: You’re not the only one whose kidneys are changing. In fact, your baby is currently working on creating his or her FOURTH set of kidneys! These kidneys will start producing urine soon, which makes up a large portion of your amniotic fluid and also creates the bubble that baby will live in for the next few months. And the one you probably wish you could keep him protected in for the rest of his life. That’s not the only thing baby has been working on! Even though he or she is only the size of a blueberry (quarter inch long), baby has actually doubled in size since last week and is 10,000 times larger than a month ago. Most of that growth is in the head and brain (including eyes and eyelids, nose, mouth and tongue, too), but arms and legs are also beginning to develop. Soon you’ll be able to start counting the fingers and toes on those tiny hands and feet!
Since your first doctor appointment is coming up in the next couple of weeks (or sooner if you're high-risk), you probably want to start preparing for your appointment by compiling a list of questions to ask your doctor or midwife. Don’t count on your pregnancy brain to remember all of these questions. Grab a notebook and pen and start your list now. Some questions you might want to ask include what foods are safe to eat, signs of complications to watch for, what medications are safe to take while pregnant, how much weight you should gain throughout your pregnancy, and if you should make any changes to your exercise routine.