To be 3 weeks pregnant means conception has begun and it has been three weeks since the last day of the last menstruation. The baby has begun to grow, however it can not be seen with the human eye alone. During week 3 of pregnancy, the baby is approximately the size of a needle head and is basically a cluster of cells. Although there have been no missed periods, a pregnancy test can detect that fertilization has occurred a few days after the third week ends.
The size of the embryo at this stage is approximately 0.006 of an inch and even if the image was magnified, it bears no resemblance to the shape of a baby. Up until week 3 of pregnancy, the baby is a combination of the mother’s and father’s chromosomes, which are cells that continue to multiply throughout the term of the pregnancy. In week three, protective fluid begins to build around the embryo which is called amniotic fluid and although the sac is yet to form, the fluid is there for it to grow around later.
When a woman is 3 weeks pregnant, the placenta won’t begin to form for at least another week: The embryo grows small tube like links to the wall of the uterus, where it sources all nutrition until the placenta is ready.
The majority of women won’t notice any side effects of being pregnant until they are at least five or six weeks along. However, a small number of women can begin experiencing morning sickness at 3 weeks pregnant and others may have cramps on one side of their abdomen or can even notice an extra clear, mucous-like discharge. Commonly, women fly through the third week without knowing they are pregnant until they have missed their first period, while others claim they “just intuitively knew”.
For those women who are aware that they have conceived, week 3 of pregnancy is a time to start planning for the future: It is a time for their whole lifestyle to be analyzed and reviewed for areas that may require change or improvement. The aim is to lead as healthy a lifestyle as possible for the entire term of the pregnancy, so things such as alcohol and smoking should be stopped immediately. Daily water intake needs to be sufficient and diet should be full of fresh, natural and healthy food. Exercise is also extremely important and ensuring fitness levels are maintained when they are 3 weeks pregnant is going to set a strong foundation for good health throughout the whole nine months.
The most important thing at any stage of pregnancy is to remain calm and free of anxiety or worry. The more relaxed and stress-free the mother is, the calmer and more secure the baby’s environment will be inside of her. Every woman should remember that for their bodies, pregnancy is the most natural thing it can do, so let it happen without feeling anxious about everything being okay. It is still important at 3 weeks pregnant to maximize their time alone, because before they know it they will have another little person with them pretty much everywhere they go!