How big is your baby?
This week the newly united sperm and egg make a home for themselves in your womb. Size wise we're still talking almost microscopic size sperm and egg. It will still be a few weeks before your the cells grow to a visible size.
How is your baby growing?
The mass of cells, which has been steadily dividing since fertilisation, is called the ‘blastocyst’. A very scientific name for something that you will soon be calling ‘baby’.
About a week after fertilisation – called week 3 of your pregnancy because it is about 3 weeks from your last period – the blastocyst is ready to burrow its way into your womb lining (endometrium). This is called ‘implantation’ and can be one of the most tricky points in early pregnancy.
What’s happening to your body?
In order to make the lining of the womb as healthy as possible, the blastocyst now starts to produce a hormone referred to as hCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin), which triggers other hormonal activity. It’s this hCG that can be detected in urine samples when you’re doing a pregnancy test.
Once implantation has occurred, the placenta will start to form. The placenta not only creates the pregnancy hormones needed for you to physically change during pregnancy, but also acts as a feeding mechanism and protects the foetus from your immune system. Just as blood delivers oxygen and other vital nourishment to parts of your body, so blood will do the same job for your baby, via a network of vessels in the placenta.
Already, you might notice some early signs of pregnancy, such as feeling extremely tired, even if you don’t know yet that you are expecting a baby.
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