The baby’s heart is divided into the left and right chamber. The buds on arms and legs become visible that will once grow into little fingers.
The primary breathing organs are formed as well. The head is much larger in comparison with the body. The eye lens, nostrils, pancreas, and bronchi are created.
Your baby is now the size of a pea grain, around 10 mm and is continuing to grow at a remarkable pace, his embryonic form is slowly starting to transform into an actual little person, with emerging arm and leg buds, and a beating heart.
Amazingly your baby has already gone through three sets of kidneys by week 7, but this week they’ll start developing their final set which will be ready for waste management. In the coming weeks, he will start to produce urine which will form part of the amniotic fluid.
At this point of your pregnancy, you should be very cautious around certain animals, ewes and lambs can carry an infection which causes miscarriage, and cat litter trays (cat poo, basically) can cause toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection.
Throughout your pregnancy, you will experience variations in certain hormones, which contribute to many of the pregnancy symptoms you may experience.
Following implantation of the fertilized egg, your body begins to secrete the hormone, human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) which is the hormone used to detect pregnancy. HCG is responsible for regulating estrogen and progesterone and contributes to frequent urination.
Progesterone, which is initially produced by the corpus luteum, rises throughout your pregnancy and continues to do so until the birth of your baby.
In early pregnancy, progesterone is responsible for increasing uterine blood flow, establishing the placenta and stimulating the growth and nutrient production of the endometrium (lining of the uterus).
Additionally, progesterone plays a vital role in fetal development, preventing premature labor and lactation, as well as strengthening the pelvic wall muscles to prepare your body for labor.
In addition to progesterone, the placenta is also essential in secreting hormones during your pregnancy such as:
- Human placental lactogen: this hormone is believed to handle mammary gland growth, which will be important for lactation following the birth of your baby. Besides, it plays a role in increasing nutrient levels in your blood, which is vital to the growth and development of your baby
- Corticotrophin-releasing hormone: this hormone is not only responsible for determining how long you will be pregnant, but it is also responsible for your baby’s growth and development. Later in pregnancy, the rise in both corticotrophin-releasing hormone and cortisol not only complete fetal organ development but also provide the mother with a surge of cortisol which has been linked with maternal attentiveness, increasing the mother-baby bond.
Another vital hormone in pregnancy is estrogen, which is responsible for fetal organ development, placental growth and function and mammary gland growth, which will be important for lactation following the birth of your baby.
Furthermore, estrogen is needed for regulation of other hormones produced during pregnancy.