After your egg is fertilized (and so now known as a zygote), it makes an astounding transformation by dividing several times and turning into a ball of cells about the size of a grain of sand. This cluster is called a blastocyst, and it will now travel from your fallopian tube to your uterus, the place it will call home for the next nine months. Of course, you won’t notice all of this action going on, and most likely it would be too early to take a pregnancy test, however, you may experience some signs of pregnancy.
You might have heard of something called implantation bleeding, which occurs anywhere from six days to two weeks after conception. This happens when your little blastocyst attaches to the wall of your uterus. Some women don’t have any bleeding, while others only see slight spotting and some may have what seems like a full-on period.
There may also be a slight rise in your basal body temperature upon conception. This is because your body is producing more estrogen and progesterone, which help it prepare for the changes it will undergo and may also lead to some unwanted side effects, like nausea. If youve been tracking your temperature for conception, you may notice this very early sign of pregnancy.
Speaking of nausea, you may soon begin to experience telltale morning sickness, which, deceivingly, can occur at any time of the day. Feelings of nausea can happen with or without vomiting and may be triggered by certain smells because your olfactory senses are now heightened. Your sensitive sense of smell may also cause cravings or aversions to certain foods. Many women note changes in their breasts soon after conceiving. They may become tender, swollen or fuller than usual. Additionally, hormonal changes may make your nipples appear darker.
Other symptoms that the surge in hormones may cause are fatigue, mood swings, dizziness and constipation. If any of these get severe, contact your health care professional to find safe, effective ways to alleviate them, At 3 weeks pregnant, it has been three weeks since the first day of your last menstrual period. It’s possible that you conceived at the end of last week (when you were ovulating), and you are indeed pregnant. Even though you won’t miss your period until next week, your baby is growing inside your womb.
Dramatic changes are taking place inside your womb. Your partner’s sperm has fertilized an egg, and conception has taken place. Between five and 12 days after you ovulate, the fertilized embryo will be busy burrowing itself into your uterine wall. During this time, you may start to experience some implantation discomfort.
Mild abdominal cramping is normal early in pregnancy, and it’s a sign of implantation. Your body is adjusting to your new pregnancy hormones, and the new little one growing inside of you. Implantation cramping can be one of the first signs that conception has taken place. Your cramps are typically mild and brief (only lasting one or two days).
Implantation spotting or light bleeding may occur in early pregnancy, and it can come with mild cramping. Implantation bleeding isn’t anything to worry about, and it’s often caused by the fertilized egg burrowing into your uterine lining. Spotting should be very light, and it may be pinkish or light brown in color. (It is never bright red or heavy like a normal period.)
In addition to signs of implantation, there are several early pregnancy symptoms to expect. Although you haven’t missed your period yet, you may start to feel the effects of pregnancy hormones this week. Nausea and vomiting –This is a common early pregnancy symptom complaint of pregnancy. You may begin feeling nauseous right away. Some women may experience both nausea and vomiting.
Elevated body temperature is a universal symptom during the early weeks of pregnancy. If you have been tracking your basal body temperature, and you’ve noticed that it has stayed high for over 15 days in a row, there’s a good chance that you’re pregnant. Fatigue is a very common early pregnancy symptom. Soon after conception, you may feel exhausted and tired for no reason. Fatigue will last throughout your first trimester, and it’s due to the increased levels of progesterone surging through your pregnant body.
Tender, swollen breasts are another pregnancy symptom that you should expect now. Your breasts may feel sore and painful to touch, similar to how they feel right before your period, but early pregnancy breasts tend to be 10 times more uncomfortable.
Urinary frequency – You may begin to urinate more frequently soon after you become pregnant. Feeling bloated – You will have a sense of bloating that is similar to the feeling you have during menstruation.
Home Pregnancy Tests
Home pregnancy tests are more accurate the longer you wait. They test a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone begins to enter the mother’s system about five to seven days after the egg is fertilized.
If your last period was only three weeks ago, your body may be just beginning to secrete hCG, which can make it hard to get an accurate pregnancy test. The amount of hCG you secrete in your urine will double every 29–53 hours for the first 30 days after implantation. Waiting just a few extra days before taking a home pregnancy test can improve your chances of getting an accurate result.
Which Brand Offers the Most Accurate Home Pregnancy Test?
If you take a home pregnancy test at just three weeks after your last period, many pregnancy tests may give a negative result even though you may be pregnant. Most women may only secrete about 12.5 mIU/mL of hCG in their urine at this point in the pregnancy, and the vast majority of home pregnancy tests can’t reliably detect such a small amount of hCG (most require up to 100 mIU/mL).
In a clinical study examining 18 different tests, only First Response: Early Results home pregnancy test reliably detected pregnancies with 12.5 mIU/mL of hCG. Other sensitive (but less accurate) test brands included Clear Blue Easy: One Minute and Clear Plan Easy. Many other brands become very reliable once you are just a few days further along in your pregnancy—with each passing day, your home pregnancy test results will be more reliable. By waiting as long as you can, you can save yourself both frustration and money.
Mom’s Pregnancy Changes and Symptoms
As your pregnancy continues, you’ll find your waistline expanding. Some women enjoy keeping track of the incredible shifts in their size and shape during their pregnancy, whereas others dread the inevitable weight gain. Remember that it is natural and healthy to have weight gain during pregnancy.
Most women will gain between 25 and 35 pounds during their pregnancy, more if they are carrying multiples. Much of this weight is distributed among the placenta, uterus, amniotic fluid, fluid in the tissues and your baby. You will also put on about 7 pounds of maternal fat stores, to help support breastfeeding.
Most women notice they have to pee more urgently and frequently now. The constantly need to urinate is a classic early pregnancy symptom that almost all pregnant women will experience to some degree. It may feel like your bladder has shrunk, and you may be running to the bathroom every ten minutes.
You may now have nausea and even vomiting which is a typical early pregnancy symptom. Roughly 75% of pregnant women will experience some form of vomiting or nausea in their first trimester of pregnancy.
Growth and Development of Baby
At 3 weeks pregnant, your baby is now just an embryo that consists of a ball of rapidly multiplying cells. This ball of cells a blastocyst is making its way through the fallopian tubes to your uterus, where it will imbed (implantation) itself into the lining of your uterus.
A part of the blastocyst will eventually form the placenta. Now, the developing placenta will start to release a pregnancy hormone called the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) into your bloodstream and your urine. (A home pregnancy test will give a positive result if it detects HCG in your urine.)
Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is only produced during pregnancy, and it tells the ovaries that it should not release any more eggs.” HCG also triggers the increase production of female hormones, estrogen and progesterone. This prevents your uterus from shedding its lining and keeps your baby’s safe for the next nine months.
By the end of this week, you might be able to take a home pregnancy test and get a positive result. But keep in mind that your HCG levels may be too low for a home pregnancy test to detect it, so if you get a negative result, try again a few days later.
At three weeks pregnant your tiny baby is roughly .006 inches long – the same size as the head of a sewing pin. The amniotic fluid is starting to collect around your baby and the amniotic sac (bag of fluid that your baby will swim in for the next nine months) is developing.
Your Diet and Nutrition in Pregnancy
Your diet and nutrition in pregnancy are vital elements of a healthy pregnancy. The healthier you eat, the healthier your body is and the higher the likelihood that you’ll give birth to a healthy baby in 40 weeks.
Eating a balanced diet during pregnancy will ensure that your baby has the best environment to grow in for nine months, and it also decreases the likelihood of nutritional deficiencies that can complicate your pregnancy.
When you’re pregnant, you will want to follow the USDA’s MyPlate (which replaced the Food Guide Pyramid in 2011). MyPlate icon is divided into five food groups:
Foods within the grains group are made with wheat, rice, oats, barley, cornmeal, or another cereal grain. Examples of grain products include breakfast cereals, bread, pasta, oatmeal, grits, and tortillas. For a balanced diet, make sure that you eat whole grains (when you can).
Eat plenty of different vegetables or 100 percent vegetable juice for a healthy diet. Vegetables are organized into five subgroups: dark green vegetables (which are plentiful in folic acid, so make sure you get them into your diet); red and orange vegetables; beans and peas; starchy vegetables; and other vegetables. Half of your plate at each meal should be fruits and vegetables.
Along with vegetables, you will want to eat a wide assortment of fresh fruit or 100 percent fruit juice. Fruits can be a substitute for a sugary dessert, and they can be eaten fresh, canned, frozen, and dried.
Calcium is a vital nutrient in pregnancy, so make sure that you eat dairy products into your everyday diet. You may want to drink one glass of milk with breakfast, or enjoy a milk-based dessert (pudding, ice milk, frozen yogurt, ice cream) for a treat. Cheese and yogurt are also included in the dairy food group.
A balanced diet must include protein. You can find protein in both vegetable and meat. Protein can be found in lean meats, poultry, eggs, beans and peas, nuts and seeds, and seafood. Make sure that you choose lean, low-fat sources of protein. Vary the different protein sources that you consume as well.
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