3 Weeks Pregnant

Congratulations on making it to 3 weeks pregnant! Now’s when early pregnancy symptoms may start to appear and you can begin prenatal care. Let’s look at what’s happening with your baby, body changes to expect, and your pregnancy to-dos this week.

Baby Development at 3 Weeks

At 3 weeks pregnant, your tiny embryo is going through major developmental changes as cells rapidly divide and organize into specialized parts of the body. Here’s what’s forming:

  • Neural tube – Becomes the brain, spinal cord and nervous system.
  • Heart – Starts beating around day 22, often visible on ultrasound now.
  • Blood vessels – Veins and arteries that will supply oxygen and nutrients.
  • Arm and leg buds – Proto-limbs begin developing but are still tiny nubs.
  • Placenta – Implantation is complete and the placenta now forms to nourish the embryo.
  • Amniotic sac – Fluid-filled membrane housing the embryo.
  • Yolk sac – Nourishment source before the placenta fully functions.

Even though the embryo is only the size of a peppercorn, all major organs are starting to take shape at three weeks pregnant. The heart will almost double its beats per minute this week.

Common Pregnancy Symptoms at 3 Weeks

As pregnancy hormones ramp up, you may notice some of these typical symptoms around 3 weeks:

  • Sore breasts – Tender, swollen breasts from rising estrogen.
  • Fatigue – Progesterone relaxes muscles and causes tiredness.
  • Nausea – HCG and estrogens may trigger early nausea.
  • Bloating – Hormones slow digestion causing abdominal fullness.
  • Mood swings – Estrogen and progesterone fluctuations.
  • Cramping – Normal as the uterus expands.
  • Constipation – Progesterone slows down your digestive tract.
  • Increased urination – More blood flows through the kidneys.
  • Sensitivity to smells – Early sign of ramping up senses.

Not every woman has symptoms this early. Don’t worry if you feel normal – every pregnancy is different!

Your 3 Weeks Pregnant Checklist

  • Choose an obstetrician or midwife if you haven’t already to oversee your prenatal care and delivery.
  • Make your first prenatal appointment for around 8-10 weeks.
  • Continue taking a daily prenatal vitamin with at least 400 mcg of folic acid.
  • Read up on what foods to avoid and nutritional needs during pregnancy.
  • Limit caffeine to 200 mg per day or less. Avoid alcohol, smoking, drugs, chemicals.
  • Reduce strenuous activity and change exercise routines to be pregnancy-safe.
  • Deal with stress through yoga, meditation, journaling, or other relaxation techniques.

Follow your doctor’s recommendations for any tests or bloodwork needed. Stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, and listen to your body. Take it easy and soak in this exciting new chapter!

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