The second week ended at the point that the uterus closed to help protect the developing blastocyst as it translates into an embryo. The blastocyst development moves to another stage where it will now become more recognizable. The baby (blastocyst) cells multiply rapidly starting with those in the inner parts and then on the outer parts so that the blastocyst can now transform into an embryo.
Here, the blastocyst holds onto the placenta cells that help to transfer nutrients from the dense networks of cells and blood veins. At around the middle of the third week (17-18 days), the blastocyst transforms into an elongated embryo. From this point, your baby becomes an embryo with the development of the following parts developing fast. This can be seen in three parts;
The central nervous system and sensory systems
Connecting tissues that include respiratory tract, digestive system, muscles, and bones.
Gastrointestinal tract and respiratory tract systems.
Notably, the development becomes more specific and intensive because all the three parts’ cells keep multiplying so that the baby takes a different elongated shape.
Other critical developments in week three include:
The formed embryo folds to form a hollow tube which with three germ layers. This means that the head, sex, and lower parts that will form the legs have already been determined by 19th -22nd day.
The heart starts forming in the middle of the upper part of the elongated embryo. It starts with only short tubules at the midline that grow larger and expand to a visible disc by close of the 21st day.
Changes to expect in Mom’s body during week 3
While the baby is growing very rapidly, the impacts are more pronounced during this week. Unlike other stages that were characterized by weight gain, you are likely to experience sudden weight drop as pregnancy hormone takes control of everything. Here is what to anticipate;
Intensive morning sickness (nausea and vomiting). At this stage, the baby’s development is approaching the peak and pregnancy hormone very elaborate. You will experience regular morning vomiting and nausea especially in the morning and any other part of the day.
Loss of appetite and food aversions will also intensify during the third week and the remaining part of the first trimester because of hormonal changes.
Progressive vaginal discharge will be experienced throughout the week because of progressive developments. Make sure to keep note of the discharge to ensure that it is whitish-milky and report to a medical expert if it has signs of blood.
As you keep vomiting and losing appetite throughout this week, you are likely to lose weight. It is prudent to ensure that you are taking all the necessary nutrients and a lot of healthy fluids.
Extra breast tenderness and sharpness of the nipples becomes easily noticeable during the third week. The breasts will also become extra sensitive as pregnancy hormones start preparing the ducts. The ducts and sacs will keep growing in later trimesters so that you experience progressive growth all through.
Other symptoms that are characteristic of the third-week include;
Fatigue nasal congestion
Things to do during the 3rd week
As the most intensive development period of the first trimester, the third week demands a lot of care so that you do not delay the formation of any baby’s part. Besides, by this time, the signs will paint a picture beyond reasonable doubt that you are indeed pregnant. Therefore, your to-do list may continue growing and include the following;
Continue taking your daily 400 mg of folic acid faithfully so that the embryo’s development is properly supported.
If you had not taken a pregnancy test, this is an ideal moment to take an at-home test to confirm the myriad of changes and symptoms you are experiencing.
Though it is still early (doctors encourage pregnant ladies to wait until the end of 4th week) you might consider talking to a doctor. He can run a more comprehensive test but will still insist that you take another test by the end of the 4th week.
Start thinking about an appropriate insurance cover to take once the pregnancy has been confirmed so that you do not keep worrying about the costs at any stage and even later during delivery.
Because the heart of the baby has already developed, start thinking of additional screening and talk to your doctor about the ideal time to take them. These tests include nuchal translucency screening to help establish whether the baby may be having issues like Down syndrome or congenital heart issues and start appropriate remedies immediately.
Ensure to stick to a highly nutritious diet that gives you and the developing baby all the nutrients and energy to grow. Important foods to include seafood, a lot of vegetables, fruits, and non-saturated fat. You should also take essential oil, eggs, red meat, nuts, and whole grain meals for iron supply.
Continue taking your pregnancy exercises so that the body stays in the best shape for better embryo development at this stage. However, you should keep the exercises as mild as possible and avoid dangerous activities that can cause you and the developing baby injuries.
While it is no doubt very early and you are very excited that at last, you are pregnant, consider starting to work o baby’s names. You will find the process enthralling as you and your partner search for the great names that will inspire the kid into a great national and international portrait.
Avoid all forms of sickness and injuries that can compromise your health especially those that can bring infections. For example, it is crucial that you stay in very clean environments and observe top body hygiene to prevent germs that might require you to take medication.
Remain blissful and keep off stress as much as possible. This is an ideal time to give your body a special treat at a holiday point with your partner so that you have more time together and bond more the ‘three’ of you.