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Week 3

How Big is the Baby at 3 Weeks Pregnant?

At this point in time at pregnancy 3 weeks your baby is too small to detect with the naked eye even though he is growing remarkable fast. By about pregnancy week 3 your baby consists of a ball of cells that can fit into the head of a needle. As you continue to monitor your pregnancy week by week you will find your baby resembles a blob more than a baby, but this will change rapidly in the weeks to come.

Many people wonder at pregnancy week 3 what their chances might be for having twins. Twins generally occur when more than one egg is released from your ovary or ovaries. Your eggs can be fertilized by two separate sperm, which would result in fraternal or dizygotic twins. Identical twins develop when one egg is fertilized but later divides into two. When twins are identical they have the same chromosomal makeup, so they have to be the same gender and have the same physical characteristics.

Multiple combinations are possible when triplets and quadruplets result. Three or more eggs for example can be fertilized to result in triplets. One fertilized egg sometimes splits into identical twins and another egg may be fertilized separately to result in triplets. The human body is endless with possibilities. The entire process is truly remarkable.

If you have a family history of multiples you are more likely to conceive multiples than someone who does not. Just because you have a history of twins in the family however does not guarantee that you will have twins. Women who are 'multiparous' meaning they have had more than one baby, are more likely to have twins than first time moms. Multiples are more and more common nowadays in part due to reproductive technology and assisted fertility.

Your Baby's Growth and Development

By pregnancy 3 weeks very few women will know for sure that they have conceived and are pregnant. Though you have not yet missed your period, your baby is growing inside of you. Right now your baby is an embryo consisting of a ball of cells that is rapidly multiplying and expanding. If you were to look at your baby through a magnifying glass you would see a group of cells that does not resemble a human form (at least not yet!). By 3 weeks pregnant your baby is about the size of the head of a sewing pin during this week, or about .006 inches long. That's pretty small. The biggest happening during 3 weeks pregnant is fertilization. When an egg joins with sperm, for a baby to be conceived the sperm must penetrate the outer layers of your ovum in order to reach the egg. Of the hundreds of sperm surrounding the egg, one will penetrate the ovum. This sperm then commingles with the chromosomes of the female ovum.

A baby is basically made up of a combination of chromosomes from you and your partner. Both of you contributes 23 chromosomes to the development of your baby. Three days after your egg is fertilized, a 9-cell embryo is formed.

During pregnancy week three amniotic fluid will begin to collect around the ball of cells that comprises the embryo. This occurs in a cavity that will eventually become the amniotic sac. The amniotic fluid will help cushion your baby during the entire nine months of pregnancy. During week three your ball of cells even uses a primitive circulation system that is made up of tunnels connecting your baby to the uterine wall. The placenta will not develop until another week or so, but rest assured until that point in time your baby will receive all the nutrients he needs from you.

Your Growth and Development

You may be anxious by pregnancy at 3 weeks to uncover any physical changes of pregnancy that may or may not be occurring during this time. Most women will not realize any true changes however for a few more weeks. You may however, be able to detect that you are ovulating during this time. Some women are able to tell when they ovulate. The biggest giveaway is pain or cramping on one side of the abdomen. Other women produce an increased amount of clear and stretchy discharge.

One giveaway that you might have conceived by pregnancy at 3 weeks is a small amount of bleeding. This sometimes occurs during conception, though many women miss this or assume it is just pre-menstrual spotting. This bleeding is often referred to as implantation spotting, and is thought to be caused by the egg burrowing into the uterine lining. Usually this happens at about 6 days after fertilization or closer to the end of this week.

Remember that in the early weeks of pregnancy it is vital that you take care of yourself. The best way you can do this is to begin eating healthy and adopting a wellness oriented lifestyle. If you haven't already, you should consider an exercise regimen, provided you have clearance from your doctor to do so. If you have never exercised prior to becoming pregnant, you can still adopt a healthy and active lifestyle, though you will have to do so gradually and carefully during pregnancy. If you have already been active, you can usually continue your routine with a few modifications during your pregnancy.

Changes in You

By pregnancy at 3 weeks you will probably not be aware of any significant changes as mentioned above. You may as we mentioned before be aware that you are ovulating. This might be a good time to pack your scale away for a while. Weigh yourself one time for the record. You may find that you are slightly bloated due to ovulation. As your pregnancy continues, you'll find your waistline expanding.

Some women enjoy keeping track of the incredible shifts in their size during their pregnancy week by week and shape throughout 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 toward your baby. You will also put on about 7 pounds of maternal fat stores, to help support breastfeeding. Take this time to appreciate and embrace the remarkable changes that are about to occur in your body, and remember that every pound gained is a pound that is going to help support your baby throughout your pregnancy.

If you are trying to get pregnant you are probably filled with excitement and anticipation. Unfortunately you won't be able to test for pregnancy for another 10 days or so. Even the most sensitive pregnancy tests usually cannot detect a pregnancy until two or three days before your period is scheduled to arrive.

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