The 3rd week is considered as the earliest essential stages of pregnancy. The mother is still a few weeks shy from experiencing the effects of pregnancy hormones inside her body. At this point of time, it is still uncertain if the pregnancy will progress or not.
The mother in week three
The female body is about to experience various changes inside her reproductive system in the 3rd week such as:
Ovulation is when a mature egg cell is released from the ovaries. Below are the following step-by-step procedure of how ovulation occurs:
- The released egg passes through the fallopian tube. The eggs inside the tube are now ready to be fertilized.
- Every month, an egg cell matures within one of the ovaries. If no conception occurs, the uterine lining along with the blood starts to shed (menstruation).
Pregnancy week by week
Two parts of ovulation
Did you know that ovulation is divided into two parts? Below are the following:
This is the first half of ovulation. It begins in the first day of the last menstrual period and continues until ovulation. The cycle’s timeline varies from woman to woman which may last for about 7-40 days.
The luteal phase is the second half of the cycle which lasts for about 12-16 days. It begins from the day of ovulation until the next menstrual cycle begins.
During this cycle, the corpus luteum produces the progesterone hormones which thickens the uterine lining for implantation. The corpus luteum is the follicle where the egg came from. Once the egg is released, the follicle collapses and turns yellow. This follicle aids in nourishing the pregnancy until the placenta is formed.
Did you know that the process of sperm and egg combination only takes around 24 hours? In addition to that, below are the following step-by-step procedure of how fertilization takes place in pregnancy:
- Only one succeeding sperm (most dominant) out of a million can make it to the egg.
- Because of that, the other sperms who are also courting the egg cell will give up and die.
- Once the two cells have met, the egg cell builds a barrier to prevent other sperms from penetrating.
- The newly fertilized egg will later form into a zygote and starts to divide into numerous cells.
- Then the cells which are originally 2 (sperm and egg) will multiply to 12.
- The zygote which is still inside the fallopian tube starts to move down the uterus. As the zygote travels through the tube, the cilia (hair-like projections) waves and leads the zygote on the right direction as to avoid incorrect settling. The zygote will stay there for up to 37 weeks.
- Then the fertilized egg starts to weave its way down to the uterus. This will take for around 60 hours.
After the egg cell has been fertilized by the single sperm, here is what is going to happen next:
- After a week, the egg begins to travel from the point of fertilization in the fallopian tube (which lasts for 6 days). The egg finally starts to implant itself inside the uterus and the blastocyst (a cluster of 100 growing microscopic cells) takes place. At this point of time, the baby’s life depends on the nutrients stored within the egg cell.
- The outer cells will now start to form the placenta and the inner cells will form the unborn baby.
- The pregnancy hormone called hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin) is produced. The hCG signals the ovaries to stop producing egg cells and triggers the reproductive system to produce more pregnancy hormones (progesterone and estrogen), which supports the placenta’s development and keeps the uterine lining from shedding. hCG is also the same hormone responsible for the positive result that home pregnancy tests detect. On the side note if this hormone fails to produce, the uterine lining starts to shed and will result to her upcoming menstruation.
Week 3 symptoms
A mother-to-be will experience the following early symptoms during the 3rd week. Below are the sure signs of successful pregnancy:
- Bloating accompanied with gas
- Lower abdominal pain
- Rise in the basal body temperature
- Clearer cervical mucus
- Increased vaginal discharge
Changes during week 3
In week 3,the hormonal changes inside her body are not responsible for the signs and symptoms she is experiencing. However, a lot of women are stating otherwise. They have stated to encounter changes during this week.
Some women claim that they are able to confirm pending motherhood from day one. On the contrary, others may not feel any signs of pregnancy for weeks. Either way, the female body is gearing and preparing itself to give some place for the unborn baby.
Some women experience a strange sense of taste during this week. Most of what they eat during the 3rd week will taste odd and different than the usual flavor of the food or beverage they are consuming.
Heightened sense of smell
A woman’s sense of smell becomes stronger when she is ovulating. This will make her more sensitive to the alluring smell of her spouse’s pheromones. As a result, she will be in the mood for love-making.
Increased hormonal levels
After fertilisation, the hCG hormones fills up the reproductive system with estrogen and progesterone. The following hormones trigger the female reproductive organs to prepare for pregnancy.
Increased blood levels
The blood levels increases drastically during pregnancy to provide nutrients and oxygen for the unborn baby. Did you know that increased blood levels brings several benefits in pregnancy? Below are the following:
- Increased blood flow aids in frequent urination. This is because the kidneys are filtering the blood from any impurities
- More blood pulse within the body makes the outer appearance aglow
Loosening of the ligaments
The muscles begins to loosen the ligaments to make room for the unborn baby. During the process, a pregnancy hormone named the relaxin will work on the ligaments and muscles by relaxing them.
The breasts begins to swollen because the blood flow increases (brought by the increased pregnancy levels) as a preparation for breastfeeding. This goes along with the development of milk ducts and milk-producing cells. Layers of fat also contributes to the increased bust size during pregnancy.
When the pregnancy reaches the 3rd month, her breasts begins to produce colostrum. Additionally, some women even experience leaking at this time.
A pregnant woman is feeling over fatigue for a variety of reasons which include:
- The heart is working harder to pump the increased blood levels throughout the body
- Energy is low due to nausea, by which, it decreases the appetite for food. Additionally, it limits her choices of food
- She feels sleepy more often due to the pregnancy hormones such as, Progesterone which has a sedative effect
A woman’s emotions may be slightly on the edge since she is in a situation of rushing time to confirm her pregnancy.
The baby in week 3
The cells are finally combined and will now start the growth and development of the baby for nine months.
On the side note, if a woman releases two eggs and both of which have been fertilized, the pregnancy will result to non-identical twins. Other than that, if one egg is fertilized by a single sperm and divides separately, the pregnancy will result to identical twins.
The baby’s size
The unborn baby is barely the size of a pin head during the 3rd week. The developing baby is still a cluster of cells and hormones (blastocyst) which divides and multiplies at the same time everyday.
The baby’s gender
Did you know that the gender of the baby has already been determined the time of the cell fusion? The fertilized egg contains 46 hormones. 23 of which belongs from the mother and the other 23 from the father.
The mother always provide the X chromosome while the dad can provide both the X and Y chromosomes.
If the chromosomes are both X, the XX zygote will be a girl. If the sperm is Y bearing, then the XY zygote will be a boy.
Tips for week 3 pregnancy
To be able for a pregnant woman to surpass the 3rd week, it is necessary for her to know the tips for the pregnancy to progress.
There are a lot of tips to do during the week 3 of pregnancy, below are the following that a woman must imply and apply:
- Always take pre-natal vitamins which consists folic acid
- Consult a physician before engaging to any kind of physical activities to avoid injuries. If she feels some pain, stop doing such exercises for a while and consult the doctor if necessary
- If a pregnant woman is going to the dental clinic, she must let her dentist know that she has a bun in the oven. X-rays at this stage of pregnancy is harmful for both the mother and the unborn baby
- Be aware of the environmental hazards she is surrounded to. Avoid being exposed to air pollution, pesticides and poisons. These environmental factors have some adverse effects to the early cell division of pregnancy
- Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for it is harmful to the baby’s development
- Avoid taking any medication such as recreational drugs for it will cause birth defects to the unborn baby
- Once her breast begins to swollen, it is necessary for her to buy a pregnancy or nursing bra to relieve breast pain
- Eat atleast 3 servings of protein per day. Proteins help the developing baby to spur some new tissues
- Eat cereals with berries as a daily breakfast. Iron combined with vitamin C enriched foods serves as nutrients which supports the increased blood levels
- Did you know that if a mother did not consume plenty of calcium during pregnancy, the developing baby takes it from the mother’s bones? That is why a mother-to-be is necessary to drink atleast 3 daily servings (1,000 mg) of low-fat milk or calcium-fortified cereal