So you are now three weeks pregnant. You may be wondering what is happening in your body at this point; how that little baby starts to form and how you will experience certain changes. Think of it this way, with each day passing – your little miracle gets closer to becoming the fully formed human being you can’t wait to bring into this world!
The Embryo at 3 Weeks Old
At the start of the 3-week period, the stem cells will split up into 3 important groups: the ectoderm, the endoderm and the mesoderm. Each of these tiny layers are responsible for the formation of different body/nervous system parts. Here is the science:
The Ectoderm – a special layer of cells that will help the embryo develop nails, skin, hair follicles and sweat glands. Another related and extremely important layer is called the Neuroectoderm, which is responsible for the development and construction of the spinal cord, the brain, and peripheral nerves.
The Endoderm – the layer which is responsible for the formation of all major organs including the liver, the lungs, the intestines and the pancreas. The endoderm also plays a central role in the development of the gastrointestinal and respiratory linings
The Mesoderm – is responsible for the development of the heart, muscles, the bones, the kidneys and all the blood vessels.
This is the science behind the development of the embryo in the 3rd week of pregnancy. And now, let’s see some genetics below…
What About the Sex of the Baby?
Even though an ultrasound at this point in time is not capable of showing the baby’s sex, it has already been determined. When the egg is fertilized, it contains 46 chromosomes (the egg receives 23 chromosomes from the mother and 23 from the father). The mother will always provide the chromosome X, but the dad can give chromosome X or Y (depending!). If the embryo has chromosomes XX, it will be a beautiful little girl. If the embryo has chromosomes XY, in about 9 months you will have a bouncing baby boy!
You may not know you are pregnant yet, but you know you want a baby. Therefore, pay close attention to taking your daily dose of prenatal supplements. These will nourish your system with all of the most important nutrients, so that you can create for your baby the perfect environment for healthy growth.
What About ME?
After all this science, let’s see what changes occur within you. In reality, your hormones are creating havoc, but you will not feel the effects until later. You look good and you feel somewhat good at 3 weeks pregnant. In fact, you might not even be aware that you are pregnant, and you are still waiting for your period to arrive any day. But thanks to the miracle of life, that isn’t going to happen. Not anytime soon, anyway!
Some of the symptoms you might be experiencing at this moment in time include: cramping, sensitive breasts, general soreness, and so on. Yes, the exact same feeling you get before your period arrives. This is exactly why you might be so confused during this time. What’s going on with me? Did I miss my period? Maybe it’s the stress. But maybe not. However, you are pregnant, so congratulations!
If you are experiencing all these confused feelings and thoughts, the best thing to do is to purchase a test and then schedule a visit with your gynecologist. Surprise, surprise…
Diapers. These you will become very acquainted with. Now, when it comes to diapers, absorbance is always the prime factor. You want to get diapers that trap in as much wetness as humanly possible. This will help to keep baby from getting a diaper rash. Diaper rash is pretty much unavoidable. However, the dryer you can keep baby – the less often and the less severe the diaper rash will be. Remember that diapers do not have to be big and bulky to offer premium absorption. Many brands today offer great absorption with a thinner diaper, and without the premium price tag to go along with it.
After approximately 10 days, the embryo’s implantation process has been completed. At this point, the placenta is already forming. This is done through a combining of specific embryonic and maternal tissues. These tissues combine and form the early stages of the placenta and the umbilical cord.
When the placenta’s circulation is properly in place, the flow from the mother’s blood stream begins carrying water, nutrients, oxygen, and vitamins to the placenta, through the umbilical cord, and finally to the embryo. The baby is being nourished.
Medical technology advances every day. If older tests were capable of showing only pregnancies in the 4th or 6th week, today’s tests are much more sensitive. Ask your local pharmacist for a pregnancy test that is capable of detecting pregnancy in its very early stages. Some tests are capable of detecting pregnancy as early as four days after conception. If you had a missed period (if you generally have regular cycles), one of these early detection tests may come in handy. Remember, these early tests may not always be the most accurate. After about four weeks, your doctor can give you a clear result.