Pregnancy

      Your 7th week

      Your baby is the size of a blueberry this week! His arms and hands will become more defined, and iodine will supercharge your baby’s growth during this time1. Discover which foods contain this mineral! 

       

      Do you know which part of your baby grows really, really fast? If you guessed his head, you’re right! You’ll be glad to know that his brain is growing rapidly3, as well as his heart, and left and right chambers. At the same time, air passages are starting to form within the lungs — these will eventually grow into a more complex network of bronchi4.

      Can’t wait to picture your little sweet pea’s face? This week, you may spot two tiny nostrils! His mouth is taking shape too, with lips, a tongue and tooth buds appearing2. Meanwhile, his eyes and inner ear structures will continue to develop, although it will be some time before these can function properly3.

       

      Your Baby

      Your baby will look less tadpole-like this week as his tiny little arms and legs are now developing. At 7 weeks pregnant, your baby measures anywhere between 4mm and 10mm long.

      Length 4-10 mm

      Your Body

      It is absolutely normal to feel like you have been constantly running at full speed as your heart beats faster now to transport more blood. Your breathing has also increased as your baby requires fresh oxygen. Do take a break when you get out of breath or feel exhausted.

      Are You Getting Enough Iodine?

      During this stage of pregnancy, pay attention to this forgotten mineral – iodine. Iodine contributes to the normal development of hormones produced by the thyroid gland5. These hormones assist in regulating metabolism and keeping cells healthy6.

      During the first trimester of pregnancy, your baby relies on you for thyroid hormones as his only develops between the 13th to 15th weeks. Though he may produce his own thyroid hormones later, your baby would still need a supply of iodine to make these hormones. During pregnancy, iodine requirements are increased by 67%! Hence, the recommended amount of iodine for pregnant women is 250 mcg per day8.

      Iodine has also been shown to contribute to normal cognitive function7. Good sources of iodine include fish and other seafood, and dairy foods like milk and yogurt. If you’re not sure whether you’re getting sufficient levels of iodine, talk to your doctor about taking an iodine supplement today!

      What’s Next?

      As you watch your belly grow, consider replacing your regular salt with an iodine-fortified version to increase your iodine intake. You can also boost your iodine levels by including the following foods into your diet9,10.

      • Fish (such as cod)
      • Prawns and other pregnancy-safe seafood (make sure they are cooked)
      • Milk
      • Yogurt
      • Seaweed

      Our AptaAdvantage Tip

      It is best to avoid hectic sports during pregnancy. However, you could participate in lighter endurance sports such as swimming, walking or yoga to keep the body fit in a gentle way. Do consult your doctor for any sports that you should avoid. Pay attention to your heart rate (not more than 140/minute) and take enough fluid.

      1. European Union. Commission Regulation (EU) No 957/2010 of 22 October 2010 on the authorisation and refusal of authorisation of certain health claims made on foods and referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health Text with EEA relevance. OJ L 279 2010;13-7.

      2. Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013. p. 32.

      3. NHS UK. You and your baby at 0-8 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-4-5-6-7-8.aspx [Accessed June 2014]

      4. Curtis GB, Schuler J. Your pregnancy week by week. 7th ed. Cambridge: Fisher books, 2011. p. 98-9.

      5. European Union. Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health Text with EEA relevance. OJ L 136 2012;1-40.

      6. NHS UK. Vitamins and minerals – Iodine [Online]. 2012. Available at: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Iodine.aspx [Accessed June 2014]

      7. European Union. Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health Text with EEA relevance. OJ L 136 2012;1-40.

      8. Iodine supplementation in pregnant and lactating women 2017. Available at http://www.who.int/elena/titles/guidance_summaries/iodine_pregnancy/en/ [accessed November 2017].

      9. Gandy J (ed). Manual of Dietetic Practice. 5th ed. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell. 2014. p. 759.

      10. BDA. Iodine fact sheet [Online]. Available at: www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/Iodine [Accessed July 2014]

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