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Week 8 of Pregnancy

Graphic of Week 8 of pregnancy. An illustration of a baby at week 8 in the gestational sac.

Week 8 of your Pregnancy

Discovering your baby’s progress since week 7

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Embark on the captivating journey from Week 7 to Week 8 of your pregnancy with the London Pregnancy Clinic. Witness the awe-inspiring progress of your baby’s development with our private early pregnancy scans. Week 8 is a milestone where your baby begins to move and grow at an astonishing rate, from tiny limb movements to the development of internal organs. Embrace the changes and find reassurance in observing your baby’s advancement.

As you step into Week 8 of your pregnancy, you’re entering a crucial phase of development. Your baby, now rapidly evolving, is preparing for the next significant steps in prenatal growth. At London Pregnancy Clinic, we share in your excitement and curiosity during this time. This week is often when expectant mothers, seek reassurance and connection to their growing baby through our private early pregnancy scans.

Key Concepts: fetal development

Movement and Growth: By Week 8, your baby, now the size of a raspberry (around 15mm), begins to move, although you might not feel it yet. These early movements are a sign of muscle development and coordination. The ultrasound may capture some of these movements, providing a heartwarming glimpse for expectant parents.

Organ and Brain Development: Major organs, muscles, and nerves start functioning, with the brain forming primitive connections between nerve cells, laying down the first neural pathways. This week also allows us to measure brain waves for the first time, a testament to the burgeoning complexity of your baby’s development.

Physical Features: The facial features of your baby become more defined, with the formation of the upper lip, the tip of the nose, and the eyelids. The limbs extend, and fingers and toes start to emerge from their webbed structure, marking a significant step towards their final shape.

Pregnancy Checklist at 8 Weeks

  • Book and attend your private early pregnancy scan: Capturing clear images during the 6-9 week Viability Scan is crucial for assessing your baby’s development and health. These dating Scans are pivotal, offering crystal-clear imagery that plays a crucial role in monitoring your baby’s development and ensuring their health. Beyond the clinical benefits, these scans foster a profound emotional bond, providing expectant parents with a reassuring glimpse into their baby’s growth and vitality. Our transvaginal scans employ advanced 4D ultrasound technology, enabling us to capture high-resolution images of your baby’s earliest movements, bringing you closer to the miracle of life unfolding within you.
  • Focus on your health and wellness: Your baby’s development relies on your well-being. Ensure you maintain a balanced diet, get regular, gentle exercise, and follow your healthcare provider’s advice.
  • Communication with healthcare professionals: Maintaining open and consistent communication with your healthcare professionals is paramount during this transformative period. Whether navigating the physical changes sweeping through your body or adjusting to the hormonal shifts, having a trusted medical advisor by your side can make all the difference. They are your primary source of support, guidance, and reassurance, dedicated to ensuring your pregnancy journey is as smooth and informed as possible.
  • Booking Appointment: If you haven’t yet scheduled your first antenatal appointment, now is the time to consider this essential step. The NHS offers comprehensive antenatal care starting with the booking appointment, which is a cornerstone of your prenatal care. Alternatively, our private midwife services at London Pregnancy Clinic provide a personalised care experience, ensuring you receive tailored advice and support that resonates with your unique pregnancy needs. This initial consultation is an invaluable opportunity to ask questions, express concerns, and set the foundation for a healthy pregnancy.

Developmental Milestones: Week 8

Embryonic Growth: The rapid growth, your little one measures approximately 15 to 20 mm in length, also known as the crown to rump or CRL. The embryonic form transforms, with fingers and toes delineating further, shedding their webbed guise for a more distinct appearance. 

Gestational and Yolk Sac Development: At 8 weeks the gestational sac typically ranges from 27 to 33 mm. The yolk sac is about 3.3 mm. The nurturing environment of your baby, the gestational sac, demonstrates healthy growth, enveloping your baby in a protective embrace. The yolk sac, though still visible, will soon pass the baton to the placenta, becoming the primary source of nourishment for your developing baby.

Heart Development: Fetal heart rate slightly increases to an average of 140-170 beats per minute (BPM) and will gradually stabilise around 12 weeks.

Other Development: By the week’s close, the blueprint for all essential organs and body systems is firmly laid out. The foundations for your baby’s gender are being set, though the grand revelation remains a few weeks away (too soon to see on ultrasound). Meanwhile, the eyes begin their journey with the retinas starting to form.

Umbilical cord: Formed by week 7, this vital cord acts as a highway, connecting your baby to the placenta. It facilitates a critical exchange: oxygen and nutrients flow in via the umbilical vein, while waste products exit through the umbilical arteries. At this stage, the cord measures approximately 50-60cm, possibly exhibiting up to 40 helical turns for added strength and flexibility.

What is seen on the Ultrasound: Week 8?

The heartbeat is now stronger and more rhythmic, it serves as a profound indicator of your baby’s health and vitality. For expectant parents of twins, this week may unveil the presence of two heartbeats, doubling the joy and anticipation. The ultrasound meticulously charts the development of each embryo, ensuring both are progressing beautifully on their journey.

A subtle opening in the baby’s head marks the space where the brain will continue to grow and flourish. Far from alarming, this natural process is a testament to the body’s remarkable capacity to adapt and prepare for the months ahead. The ultrasound captures this phase with care, offering a glimpse into the brain’s early stages of development in a way that’s both reassuring and awe-inspiring. 

Another fascinating aspect of this scan is the appearance of two parallel lines, a preliminary indication of the fetal spine’s formation. This early sign of structural development underscores the incredible precision with which life unfolds. Both the umbilical cord and amniotic sac, vital to your baby’s development, will be seen during the scan. The umbilical cord, a lifeline to nourishment and oxygen, and the amniotic sac, a protective cocoon, are both visible. Together, they create an environment where your baby can grow, move, and thrive – which you may witness during the scan.

To ensure the most accurate observation, we may utilise transvaginal ultrasounds during these early stages. This method allows us to obtain high-resolution images and a clearer view of your baby’s early movements, compared to the traditional abdominal ultrasound. All pregnancies are unique but what happens during the ultrasound scan is similar for everyone.

  • Image showing what would an ultrasound show at 7 weeks of pregnancy. It shows an Ultrasound image by London Pregnancy Clinic that shows the gestational sac, fetal pole and yolk sac - for educational purpose.

    Gestational sac, fetal pole and yolk sac at 7 weeks of pregnancy as seen on ultrasound scan.

  • Image showing what would an ultrasound show at 8 weeks of pregnancy. It shows an Ultrasound image by London Pregnancy Clinic that shows the gestational sac, fetal pole, amniotic sac and yolk sac - for educational purpose.

    Gestational sac, fetal pole and amniotic sac at 8 weeks of pregnancy as seen on ultrasound scan.

Thinking ahead: Week 9?

Looking forward to Week 9, anticipate witnessing continued growth and development during your next scan. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and prepare for your upcoming prenatal appointments. Consider discussing prenatal screening options (like NIPT, which we offer complimentary counselling for during our Viability Scan) and dietary adjustments with your healthcare provider to support this vital growth phase.

Morning sickness may persist during Week 8, but it’s a common and typically harmless part of pregnancy. It’s often a result of hormonal changes and is expected to improve as you approach the second trimester. For severe cases, seek professional advice for management strategies.

Week 8 of Pregnancy FAQs


  • 8 week pregnancy is how many months?

    At 8 weeks pregnant, you’re right around 2 months along, though doctors usually track pregnancy progress by week for more precise development details. This means you have roughly 7 months until your amazing arrival! Remember, this is just an estimate, and your little one might choose to come a bit earlier or later. Exciting times ahead!

  • what’s happening during week 8 of pregnancy?

    At 8 weeks pregnant, your little one is making incredible progress! Here’s the summary:

    • Grows rapidly to 15-20mm (crown-to-rump).
    • Fingers and toes become more distinct, losing their webbed appearance.
    • Heart rate increases to 140-170 BPM and will stabilize soon.
    • Blueprint for all organs and body systems is established.
    • Gender starts to develop, but still too early to reveal on ultrasound.
    • Eyes begin to form with developing retinas.
    • Gestational sac grows to 27-33mm, protecting the baby.
    • Yolk sac still visible but becoming less important as the placenta takes over as the main source of nourishment.
    • Umbilical cord (formed in week 7) transports oxygen and nutrients to the baby and removes waste. It’s about 50-60cm long and might have twists for stability.
  • week 8 of pregnancy and no morning sickness?

    At 8 weeks pregnant, you might be surprised to be experiencing no morning sickness, especially if it’s a common concern among expectant parents. Rest assured, the absence of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy does not necessarily indicate any underlying issues.

    Here’s what you need to know:

    • Individual Response: The experience of pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness varies greatly among individuals. While it affects 70-80% of pregnant people, the remaining 20-30% may report minimal to no symptoms.
    • Fluctuating Symptoms: Even within the same individual, symptom intensity can fluctuate throughout pregnancy. While you might feel good now, mild nausea could still develop later.
    • Spectrum of Severity: “Morning sickness” encompasses a range of experiences, from occasional mild nausea to frequent vomiting. You might be falling on the less intense end of the spectrum.

    Therefore, the absence of morning sickness at 8 weeks is not a cause for concern. However, if you have any questions or worries about your pregnancy, or experience other concerning symptoms, always consult your healthcare provider for personalised guidance and reassurance.

  • Common symptoms during eight weeks pregnant

    Feeling the early flutters? Here’s what to expect at 8 weeks:

    • Fatigue: Your body’s working overtime, so exhaustion is common. Prioritise rest and listen to your needs.
    • Frequent urination: The growing uterus puts pressure on your bladder, leading to more bathroom trips.
    • Morning sickness (and maybe not just in the mornings): Nausea, vomiting, and food aversions are a rollercoaster for many. Stay hydrated and find remedies that work for you.
    • A symphony of sensations: From metallic tastes to heightened smells, your senses might be on overdrive. Embrace the unique experience!
    • Mood swings: The hormonal dance can stir up emotions. Be kind to yourself and seek support if needed.
    • Sore breasts: This is all thanks to hormonal changes preparing for milk production.
    • Bloating and cramping: Your uterus is expanding, which can cause these temporary discomforts.
    • Light spotting: While uncommon, it can happen. If concerned, consult your doctor.
    • Other changes: You might notice thicker hair, skin pigmentation changes, or a milky discharge – all normal pregnancy variations.

    Every pregnancy is unique. Some women experience all these symptoms, while others have none. If you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider.

    Note: The information provided in this blog is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

  • I am bleeding when I’m 8 weeks pregnant – what do i do?

    Bleeding during pregnancy, even at 8 weeks, requires immediate medical attention. While occasional light spotting can be harmless, it’s crucial to seek professional guidance right away, as bleeding can also be a sign of a more serious issue. Early pregnancy can experience bleeding due to various factors, including implantation, cervical changes, miscarriage, or ectopic pregnancy.

    To ensure the well-being of both you and your baby, contact your midwife or GP without delay, especially if the bleeding is persistent or accompanied by symptoms like severe pain or dizziness. They may conduct an examination, ultrasound, or blood tests to determine the cause and provide appropriate care.

    Remember, prioritising your health and seeking prompt medical attention is vital when experiencing any unexpected bleeding during pregnancy.

    Note: This information is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare provider for any questions or concerns you may have regarding your pregnancy, especially if you experience any bleeding.

  • 8 weeks pregnant. Twins?

    At 8 weeks, twin miracles are developing! Their tiny bodies, about 15m cm long and 1 gram each, showcase rapid progress. Limbs and kidneys form and human features become distinct. Beating hearts, now divided into chambers, race at 150 BPM.

    Ultrasound magic at 8 weeks might reveal twin gestational sacs, fetal poles, and even fluttering heartbeats, confirming your double joy. However, it’s vital to be aware of vanishing twin syndrome, where one twin stops developing in early pregnancy. While symptoms like morning sickness and fatigue could be more intense with twins, discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider. They can guide you through this unique pregnancy journey and ensure optimal care for you and your remaining little miracle.

  • Week 8 pregnancy bump…

    At 8 weeks pregnant, don’t expect a visible bump just yet! Your little one is still tiny! While you might feel bloated or have slightly swollen breasts due to hormonal changes, a true baby bump typically appears closer to 12-16 weeks, when your uterus grows enough to peek out of your pelvis.

    Here’s what’s happening instead:

    • Rapid internal growth: Your baby is forming all their essential organs and systems at lightning speed!
    • Uterine expansion: Your uterus starts expanding to make room for your growing baby, but it’s still tucked inside your pelvis.
    • Bloating: Bloating and gas due to hormonal changes are common early pregnancy symptoms, causing a temporary “puffy” feeling.

    So, relax and enjoy this early stage of pregnancy! Remember, every woman’s body experiences pregnancy differently, and a visible bump can appear earlier or later depending on various factors.

  • NIPT? what’s that?

    Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is a groundbreaking screening tool offering peace of mind during pregnancy. This simple blood test examines cell-free fetal DNA in your blood to assess the risk of specific chromosomal abnormalities in your baby:

    Down’s syndrome (Trisomy 21): Detected with >99% accuracy.
    Edward’s syndrome (Trisomy 18): Detected with 97.4% accuracy.
    Patau’s syndrome (Trisomy 13): Detected with 93.8% accuracy.

    These figures represent detection rates reported by Harmony NIPT. Additionally, NIPT boasts a remarkable <0.1% false positive rate for all three trisomies, calculated at a 1/100 risk cutoff.

    And there’s more! NIPT can also determine your baby’s sex with >99% accuracy, offering an early glimpse into your growing family.

    Key benefits of NIPT:

    • Non-invasive: No needles or risks to your baby.
      Highly accurate: Provides valuable information about your baby’s health.
    • Early detection: Offers time for informed decision-making if needed.
    • Optional sex determination: Satisfies your curiosity early on.

    Remember: NIPT is a screening test, not a definitive diagnosis. Consult your healthcare provider for further information and personalised guidance. We at LPC offer multiple NIPTs (PrenatalSafe, Panorama, Unity, SMART TEST, Illumina, Harmony) and out specialists will help you choose the best option for you!


Conclusion

At Week 8, while some challenges may arise, such as the potential for hyperemesis gravidarum or the need for reassurance regarding pregnancy progression, London Pregnancy Clinic is here to support you. Our expertise and advanced scanning technology provide the care and answers you need during this transformative time.

Stay tuned for more updates as you progress through this incredible journey, and remember, our team is always here to support you every step of the way.


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Week 7 of Pregnancy

Graphic of Week 7 of pregnancy. An illustration of a baby at week 7 in the gestational sac.

Week 7 of your Pregnancy

Discovering your baby’s progress since week 6

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Embark on the transformative journey from Week 6 to Week 7 of your pregnancy with London Pregnancy Clinic. Experience the wonder of your baby’s growth with our private early pregnancy scans. Week 7 brings rapid development, from distinct heartbeats to the formation of facial features. Embrace the new changes and the reassurance of seeing your baby’s progress.

Stepping into Week 7 of your pregnancy, you’re embarking on a remarkable phase. Your baby, swiftly growing and developing, is now ready for the next stage of prenatal monitoring. At London Pregnancy Clinic, we understand the excitement and curiosity that comes with this week. It’s a time when many expectant mothers like Sarah and Emily seek reassurance through our private early pregnancy scans.

Key Concepts: fetal development

Baby’s Fast Heart Beat: During week 7, your baby’s heart rate accelerates, typically beating between 120 and 160 times per minute. This rapid heartbeat is a healthy sign of your baby’s growth and development. It’s an exhilarating moment for many parents, often heard for the first time during a viability scan.

Facial Features: By Week 7, your baby, roughly the size of a blueberry, shows significant development. The viability scan often reveals more distinct features and movements. The embryo’s facial features start taking shape, with the brain developing at a remarkable pace.

Rapid Development: 7 weeks marks the start of a huge growth spurt. During this period (between 7 and 20 weeks) your baby’s body parts will grow rapidly and organs such as the heart and brain will develop and increase in complexity. The basic structures of all major body parts and organs are formed during this time, with much of the growth being focused on the brain. Your baby’s brain cells are being generated at a rate of 100 per minute! The first blood vessels of the circulatory system appear. The appendix and pancreas are now evident, and inside the mouth, tooth buds, a tongue and the palate are all developing.

Pregnancy Checklist at 7 Weeks

  • Book your private early pregnancy scan: Clear 7-week scan images can provide valuable information about your baby’s development and well-being. Ultrasound scans, especially the Viability Scan, offer emotional moments for expectant parents, providing a tangible connection to their growing baby and reassurance about their well-being. Despite natural concerns or anxieties, these routine and safe procedures offer valuable insights into the baby’s development.
  • Monitor your health and well-being: As your baby continues to grow rapidly, take care of yourself by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating nutritious foods, and staying active as recommended by your healthcare provider.
  • Keep an eye on your nutrition: Keep focusing on foods supporting fetal development and ensuring you get essential vitamins and minerals.
  • You’re not alone, talk to professionals: During the early stages of pregnancy, it’s crucial to communicate with your healthcare provider as your hormones and body begin to change. They can offer guidance, support, and reassurance for any questions or concerns. Your provider has the expertise to address any issues or uncertainties that may arise, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them whenever needed.

Developmental Milestones: Week 7

Embryonic Growth: The embryo now measures between 9mm to 10mm long (from crown to rump – CRL) and is 10,000 times bigger than it was at conception. Your baby’s fingers and toes are now formed, although not separated, giving them a paddle-like appearance. The embryo shows flurries of rapid movements at this stage. The liver is now producing red blood cells, and will continue to do so until bone marrow is formed which then takes over the production of red blood cells.

Gestational and Yolk Sac Development: At 7 weeks the gestational sac typically ranges from 18 to 25 mm. The yolk sac is about 3 mm. Both continue to grow steadily. The yolk sac provides nutrients and aids in blood cell formation until the placenta takes over this role. In Week 7, the gestational and yolk sacs play a critical role in your baby’s development. The gestational sac envelops the embryo, but its presence doesn’t guarantee a normal, healthy pregnancy. An anembryonic pregnancy, or blighted ovum, may occur, where the gestational sac lacks an embryo. This can be caused by various factors. If they are significantly smaller, it may indicate a potential first-trimester pregnancy loss. Seek guidance from early pregnancy specialists and obstetric professionals for further evaluation and support.

Heart Development: Between weeks 6 and 7 of pregnancy, the baby’s heart rate speeds up, usually ranging between 120 and 160 beats per minute.

Baby Features Development: By the end of week 6, the ears are continuing to form while the eyes are now covered with the beginnings of what will later become eyelids. Now at week 7, your baby’s fingers and toes are formed, although not separated, giving them a paddle-like appearance. 

What is seen on the Ultrasound: Week 7?

As you enter Week 7 of your pregnancy, the ultrasound offers a more intricate view of your baby’s development, building upon the observations from Week 6. This scan is a window into a world of rapid growth and transformation taking place within you. During the 7-week ultrasound, expect to see enhanced and more distinct images. The heartbeat, which was a delicate flicker last week, is now more pronounced and rhythmic, beating confidently as a testament to your baby’s vitality. 

The gestational sac, your baby’s first nurturing environment, continues to grow, signifying healthy progression. Inside this protective sac, the yolk sac remains visible, providing essential nourishment. It’s a critical component until the placenta fully develops and takes over the role of supporting your baby.

The embryo itself is undergoing remarkable changes. Now resembling a tiny being with a more defined head and a tail-like structure, the embryo’s curved form is more noticeable. This is the period when major organs start forming. The healthcare provider may measure the embryo from head to tail, known as the CRL. Alongside, the size of the gestational sac is also measured, providing further information about the pregnancy’s progression.

This week’s ultrasound is pivotal for confirming the pregnancy’s viability, as it checks for the presence of a heartbeat and helps rule out any complications. Depending on the clarity needed, the ultrasound may be performed trans-abdominally or transvaginally, with the latter often providing a clearer view of these early developmental stages. Each pregnancy is unique, and these developmental milestones may vary slightly from one individual to another but what to expect during the ultrasound scan will remain the same.

  • Image showing what would an ultrasound show at 6 weeks of pregnancy. You can see the fetal pole, gestational sac and yolk sac. It shows an Ultrasound image by London Pregnancy Clinic that shows the gestational sac and how small it is - for educational purpose.

    Gestational sac, fetal pole and yolk sac at 6 weeks of pregnancy as seen on ultrasound scan.

  • Image showing what would an ultrasound show at 7 weeks of pregnancy. It shows an Ultrasound image by London Pregnancy Clinic that shows the gestational sac, fetal pole and yolk sac - for educational purpose.

    Gestational sac, fetal pole and yolk sac at 7 weeks of pregnancy as seen on ultrasound scan.

Thinking ahead: Week 8?

As you approach Week 8, expect further growth and development. Your next scan will provide more details about your baby’s progress. Keep following health guidelines and get ready for your next prenatal appointment. To support this critical growth phase, discuss upcoming screenings (we offer free counselling during our Viability Scan for NIPT) and nutritional adjustments with your healthcare provider. Approximately 75% of pregnant women experience morning sickness, which is a common symptom during week 7 of pregnancy. Rest assured, it’s a normal part of the journey. Despite its name, it can happen at any time of the day and is likely caused by hormonal changes and uterine muscle stretching. Nausea and vomiting usually improve between weeks 12 to 14 of pregnancy. Seek medical advice for severe morning sickness and remember, relief is on the way in a few weeks! Hang in there!

Conclusion

Week 7 of Pregnancy FAQs


  • How does 7 weeks pregnant look like?

    At 7 weeks pregnant, your tiny miracle experiences remarkable growth!

    • Baby development: This stage marks rapid progress. Your little one, roughly the size of a grape (around 9-10mm long), showcases significant development. The brain, crucial for future cognitive function, grows quickly, leading to a prominent forehead. Meanwhile, eyes and ears continue their formation, laying the groundwork for sight and hearing. Tiny limb buds, precursors to arms and legs, begin to transform into cartilage, the foundation for future bones. Nerve cells multiply rapidly, supporting your baby’s incredible growth spurt.
    • Maternal experiences: As your baby thrives, your body adapts. The womb expands to accommodate your growing miracle, reaching around the size of a lemon. Common symptoms like fatigue, tender breasts, frequent urination, and morning sickness might arise, though remember, that every pregnancy is unique, and your experiences may differ.

    Disclaimer: Remember, this information is for general knowledge only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider for personalised guidance and to address any concerns you may have.

  • What to expect when 7 weeks pregnant?

    As your baby flourishes, you may notice personal changes as well:

    • Morning Sickness: A common symptom, though it doesn’t affect everyone.
    • Fatigue: It’s normal to feel unusually tired as your body nurtures your growing baby.
    • Sore Breasts: Hormonal changes may cause tenderness or swelling.
    • Food Preferences: You might find your taste preferences changing.
    • Enhanced Sense of Smell: Scents may become more intense.
    • Mood Fluctuations: Hormones can lead to emotional variability.

    Additional experiences some women report include:

    • Metallic Taste: An odd but temporary sensation.
    • Headaches: Ensure you’re well-hydrated and consult a doctor if headaches are frequent.
    • Light Spotting: While it may be alarming, it’s not always a sign of trouble. Seek advice from your healthcare provider for reassurance.
    • Cramps: These can resemble period pains but are generally less severe.

    Advice to Remember:

    • Stay Hydrated: Drinking water is crucial for your changing body.
    • Maintain a Healthy Diet: A balanced diet benefits both you and your baby.
    • Listen to Your Body: Rest as necessary and focus on self-care.
    • Seek Support: For any concerns, professional guidance from your healthcare provider is invaluable.

    Each pregnancy journey is distinct. Embrace this special time and the transformations it brings.

  • Can you feel movement seven weeks of pregnancy?

    At 7 weeks into pregnancy, feeling your baby’s movements is usually too soon. Typically, the initial signs of fetal movement, or quickening, are experienced between 13-25 weeks, with some noticing these sensations as early as 13-16 weeks. Initially described as a flutter, these movements can be subtle, often mistaken for gas or similar sensations. The timing of when these movements are felt can be influenced by various factors, including the placenta’s position, the volume of amniotic fluid, and the mother’s body mass index. However, at week 8 of pregnancy, the baby starts moving inside the womb and that can be seen during an ultrasound scan.

  • I am bleeding when I’m 7 weeks pregnant – what do i do?

    Prompt medical attention is crucial for bleeding at 7 weeks of pregnancy. Light spotting may not always be concerning, but professional consultation is essential to rule out serious conditions such as miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Immediately contact your midwife or GP, especially if accompanied by severe pain or dizziness, for assessment and appropriate care.

    Note: This is educational content and not medical advice. Consult your healthcare provider for any pregnancy-related concerns, especially bleeding.

  • I am having twins during my 7 weeks viability scan

    Discovering you’re expecting twins at your 7-week viability scan is a possibility, thanks to the precision of modern ultrasound technology. Particularly, a transvaginal ultrasound can effectively identify twins as early as 6 weeks into pregnancy. This type of scan can reveal the presence of multiple gestational and yolk sacs, fetal poles, and even distinct heartbeats, all indicative of a twin pregnancy. Notably, during the 7-9 week period, transvaginal ultrasounds are highly reliable for assessing the specifics of twin pregnancies, such as chorionicity and amnionicity.


Conclusion

Week 7 is a period of significant progress in your pregnancy. London Pregnancy Clinic is here to support you with expert care and detailed scans. Remember, every pregnancy is unique, so embrace your journey with confidence and excitement. Stay tuned for our next update as you continue this incredible journey.

Stay tuned on what your baby’s week-by-week growth will look like on our blog.


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Week 6 of Pregnancy

Minimalist flat design illustration of a 6-week fetus resembling a small tadpole next to a large yolk sac, representing an ultrasound image for a private early pregnancy scan at the specialist London Pregnancy Clinic, capturing the essence of a 6 weeks early pregnant ultrasound scan.

Week 6 of your Pregnancy

Discovering your baby’s progress since week 5

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Having progressed from the foundational moments of Week 5, Week 6 ushers in a new chapter of pregnancy. It’s a time when your little one, just past the size of an apple seed, shows the first signs of a heartbeat, symbolising vibrant growth and transformation. This period marks an exciting phase of development, building upon the crucial milestones of Week 5.

Welcome to Week 6 of your pregnancy journey, an exhilarating time filled with significant milestones. This week often marks the first opportunity for mothers-to-be to witness the wonders of their growing baby through early scans. As the heartbeat begins and the baby continues to develop, understanding the changes and knowing what to expect can provide comfort and excitement during this special time.

Key Concepts: fetal heartbeat

The First Beat: Around 6 weeks, your baby’s heart begins to beat with a rhythm that will continue to guide their growth throughout the pregnancy. This is a critical milestone in cardiac development, indicating healthy progression.

Observing the Heartbeat: During a 6 week ultrasound, often called a Viability/Dating Scan, you might be able to see the fetal heartbeat for the first time. It’s a profound moment for many parents, symbolising the new life growing inside.

Understanding the Rate: A fetal heartbeat at 6 weeks can range between 90-110 beats per minute and will increase in the coming weeks. This rapid rate supports the fetus’s growing need for oxygen and nutrients as development accelerates. The heart rate is a vital indicator of fetal health. A strong and clear heartbeat offers reassurance of the pregnancy’s viability and normal development.

Pregnancy Checklist at 6 Weeks

  • If you haven’t already, now is the time to schedule your first private early pregnancy scan. This will confirm the pregnancy’s viability and provide valuable information about the baby’s development. You can read more on what to expect during your ultrasound scan here.
  • Continue focusing on nutrition, especially foods rich in folic acid, iron, and calcium. Stay hydrated and get plenty of rest to support your body’s increased needs.
  • Be aware of common symptoms such as morning sickness, fatigue, and breast tenderness. Find strategies that help manage these symptoms, whether it’s through dietary changes, rest, or gentle exercise.
  • As your body continues to change, consider comfortable clothing options and start planning for future needs. Also, begin to think about discussing your pregnancy with your employer to understand any potential work adjustments or benefits. Sharing your news will come naturally when you’re ready, but taking care of yourself and planning ahead? Now that’s just blooming smart!

Developmental Milestones: Week 6

As you enter Week 6, your baby is rapidly growing and developing. Here are some of the key milestones:

Embryonic Growth: The baby, now about the size of a sweet pea, is growing quickly. The length may be around a quarter of an inch or 3-4mm. At this stage of pregnancy, the baby will continue to grow at a pace of 1mm a day. This is a critical period for organ formation. The brain, heart, and other vital organs begin to take shape and grow.

Yolk Sac Development: At 6 weeks of pregnancy, the yolk sac plays a pivotal role in the development of your baby. During this time, it’s normal for the yolk sac to be slightly larger than the fetus. Typically, it continues to grow, usually in a linear fashion until around 10 weeks of gestation. It’s responsible for providing nutrients to the developing fetus and assisting in blood cell formation until the placenta is fully developed and ready to take over this role.

Heart Development: One of the most monumental moments in early pregnancy occurs — the detection of the fetal heartbeat. While it might still be early, and not all scans will reveal a heartbeat at this stage, many parents can witness the rhythmic flickering of their baby’s tiny heart on the ultrasound screen.

Baby Features Development: Tiny indentations where the eyes will develop and small buds that will grow into ears start forming, laying the foundation for your baby’s face. Likewise, limb buds begin to emerge, signaling the future development of arms and legs. These developments are subtle yet signify a period of rapid and complex growth as the basic structures and organ systems start forming.

What is seen on the Ultrasound: Week 6?

As you progress into Week 6 of your pregnancy, the ultrasound experience evolves, bringing new developments into view. Building upon the foundational observations of Week 5, the Week 6 ultrasound typically offers a more detailed glimpse into your baby’s development.

The gestational sac continues to house and protect your developing baby and its increased size from the previous week is a positive indication of ongoing growth and development. Moreover, the yolk sac will still be visible and may have increased in size, mirroring the embryo’s growth. It continues to perform its vital role until the placenta is ready to take over.

One of the most significant and emotional moments that happens when you are doing the 6 weeks pregnant ultrasound is the detection of the heartbeat. Unlike Week 5, where the embryo and its heartbeat are usually not yet visible, the viability scan often provides the first visual confirmation of the baby’s heartbeat. This is seen as a rhythmic flickering on the ultrasound screen.

In addition to the heartbeat, you might also start to see the fetal pole, which represents the early development of your baby. The fetal pole often referred to interchangeably with “embryo” in early pregnancy. Visible as a small structure near the yolk sac during an ultrasound, the fetal pole’s presence and size provide important information about the pregnancy’s progress.

  • Image showing what would an ultrasound show at 5 weeks of pregnancy. It shows an Ultrasound image by London Pregnancy Clinic that shows the gestational sac and the newly developed yolk sac - for educational purpose.

    Gestational sac and yolk sac at 5 weeks of pregnancy as seen on ultrasound scan.

  • Image showing what would an ultrasound show at 6 weeks of pregnancy. You can see the fetal pole, gestational sac and yolk sac. It shows an Ultrasound image by London Pregnancy Clinic that shows the gestational sac and how small it is - for educational purpose.

    Gestational sac, fetal pole and yolk sac at 6 weeks of pregnancy as seen on ultrasound scan.

Thinking ahead: Week 7?

Looking ahead to Week 7, anticipate more pronounced development in your baby’s structure and form. This week, the embryo continues to grow and refine its features, including the brain and facial characteristics. Your body will also adapt further to pregnancy, with symptoms evolving and deepening. As you prepare for this next stage, consider discussing upcoming screenings (we offer free counselling during our Viability Scan for NIPT) and nutritional adjustments with your healthcare provider to support this critical growth phase.

Week 6 of Pregnancy FAQs


  • Is no heartbeat at 6 weeks normal?

    At 6 weeks, not detecting a heartbeat can be quite common, often due to the limitations of ultrasound technology. At London Pregnancy Clinic, we utilise the latest technology to enhance detection rates. Sometimes, a lack of heartbeat might simply indicate an early scan, possibly within the 5th week of pregnancy rather than the 6th. Early pregnancy ultrasounds might not be sensitive enough to pick up the heartbeat of a very small embryo. In such early stages, a transvaginal ultrasound, being more sensitive than a transabdominal one, is usually preferred. Typically, cardiac tissue begins to pulse at around 5–6 weeks of pregnancy, appearing as a heartbeat on the ultrasound, even though the heart itself is not fully formed.

  • Why is there bleeding at 6 weeks of pregnancy?

    Experiencing light bleeding or ‘spotting’ at 6 weeks of pregnancy can be quite normal. This is often just implantation bleeding, occurring as the embryo embeds itself in the womb lining, typically around the time your period would have been due. Changes to the cervix due to pregnancy hormones might also lead to light bleeding, particularly after intercourse.

    However, it’s crucial to distinguish between harmless spotting and more severe conditions like miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, which require immediate medical attention. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms, contact your nearest A&E. Remember, while light spotting can be part of a normal pregnancy, always consult with your healthcare provider for any concerns.

  • At 6 weeks pregnant where is the baby located?

    During week 6 of pregnancy, an ultrasound scan will typically show the gestational sac, yolk sac, fetal pole, and perhaps the heartbeat – these will all be part of your 6 week scan photos. Physically, your 6-week pregnant bump might not be noticeable to others, but you might start feeling some changes like cramping and bloating, making your belly feel a bit larger.

  • What does 6 weeks pregnant look like?

    Your little one is in the early stages of development, assuming the classic fetal position, curled up with leg buds folded inward. Looking somewhat like a tiny tadpole, complete with a small tail, the fetus is nestled securely in the uterus, not ready to move any time soon.

  • What to do when you’re 6 weeks pregnant?

    When you’re 6 weeks pregnant, focus on nutrition that’s rich in calcium, iron, and folate. Include foods like dairy, dark leafy greens, fortified cereals, and beans in your diet. Steer clear of potential hazards like raw meats, deli meats, raw seafood, and raw eggs. If you’re experiencing light bleeding or discomfort, consider booking a viability scan from around 6 weeks to check for any issues and confirm the ongoing health of your pregnancy. The ideal time for this scan is at 7 weeks, but earlier scans might be necessary for some women to ensure everything is progressing as it should.


Conclusion

As you prepare for your first private ultrasound, remember that seeing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time is a special milestone — one of many you’ll experience in your journey through pregnancy. It’s a time of celebration and joy, as well as a reminder of the incredible journey that lies ahead.

Stay tuned on what your baby’s week-by-week growth will look like on our blog.


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Week 5 of Pregnancy

Graphic of Week 5 of pregnancy. An illustration of a baby in the ultrasound machine.

Week 5 of your Pregnancy

Discovering your baby’s progress since week 4

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Having journeyed through the early whispers of Week 4, we now step into the heart of your pregnancy story: Week 5. It’s a chapter filled with vibrant growth and transformation. Imagine your little one, still as tiny as an apple seed, beginning a significant journey into the embryonic period.

Week 5 of pregnancy, it’s all about growth and transformation. Your little one is busy developing, cell by cell, quickly growing from the size of a poppy seed in week 4 (watch video here) to an apple seed. We’ll explore these changes together, learn how to take care of yourself during this time and get a peek into your baby’s development with early ultrasounds. So, let’s dive into Week 5, where every day brings something new and amazing in your pregnancy journey. So let’s navigate the changes unfolding, how to care for yourself, and what to expect from medical check-ups.

Key Concepts: embryonic period

During Week 5 of your pregnancy, a crucial phase begins as your baby, the size of an apple seed, enters the embryonic period. This week marks the foundation for major organs and systems. Hormonal changes, especially increases in progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), are vital in supporting this stage. These hormones maintain the uterine lining and ensure the continuation of progesterone production, crucial for pregnancy health. As a result, you might notice early symptoms like fatigue and nausea. Understanding these changes is key to navigating the early stages of your pregnancy journey.

Pregnancy Checklist at 5 Weeks

While it’s still early in your pregnancy, there are some important steps you can take:

  • Confirm your pregnancy with a test if you haven’t already.
  • Schedule your first prenatal appointment to discuss your health and pregnancy. At London Pregnancy Clinic its called the Viability/Dating Scan
  • Begin focusing on a pregnancy-safe diet and lifestyle, emphasising foods rich in folic acid and essential nutrients.

Developmental Milestones: Week 5

Growth of the Gestational Sac: This week, the gestational sac, housing your developing baby, continues to grow. It’s a clear sign of your pregnancy’s progression, providing a protective and nourishing environment for the embryo.

Yolk Sac Development: The yolk sac plays a crucial role at this stage, providing essential nutrients before the placenta is fully operational. It also contributes to the early stages of the circulatory system by producing blood cells, supporting the developing embryo’s needs. This process is essential for supporting the growing needs of your embryo and is closely tied to the growth of the gestational sac.

Heart Development: Now your baby’s heart begins its incredible journey. Initially emerging as a simple tube-like structure, it’s preparing to pulsate and evolve into a sophisticated four-chambered heart in the coming weeks. Although it’s not beating just yet, this early stage sets the stage for one of life’s most vital rhythms.

Brain and Spinal Cord Formation: Alongside the heart, the neural tube, which will become the brain and spinal cord, starts to take shape. This tube forms the bedrock of the entire nervous system, integral for everything from physical movements to cognitive functions. It’s a complex process that lays the foundation for your baby’s future mental and physical capabilities.

Emergence of Other Organs: Week 5 also marks the beginning of other organ formations. Organs like the kidneys and liver start to form, albeit in their very preliminary stages much like the heart.

What is seen on the Ultrasound: Week 5?

During the Week 5 ultrasound, expect to see the gestational sac (which has dramatically increased in size since Week 4), the first structure visible on an ultrasound, indicating your pregnancy is progressing well. This small, fluid-filled sac is where your baby will develop. Inside it, the yolk sac may also be visible, which is crucial for providing nutrients to the developing embryo and for blood cell production in these early stages. However, it’s important to remember that at this stage, the embryo itself and its heartbeat are usually not yet detectable.

It’s common not to see the embryo or hear a heartbeat during a Week 5 ultrasound. The embryo is still very small, and the heartbeat typically becomes detectable around the 6th or 7th week of pregnancy. While we know it’s tempting to have an early ultrasound, we at London Pregnancy Clinic recommend waiting until at least week 6 for your first scan. This crucial ultrasound provides a tangible glimpse into your pregnancy, offering reassurance and joy as you embark on this extraordinary journey.

  • Gestational sac at 4 weeks of pregnancy as seen on ultrasound scan.

    Gestational sac at 4 weeks of pregnancy as seen on ultrasound scan.

  • Image showing what would an ultrasound show at 5 weeks of pregnancy. It shows an Ultrasound image by London Pregnancy Clinic that shows the gestational sac and the newly developed yolk sac - for educational purpose.

    Gestational sac and yolk sac at 5 weeks of pregnancy as seen on ultrasound scan.

Thinking ahead: Week 6?

Looking forward to Week 6, expect continued development of your baby’s facial features. You may also start experiencing more pronounced pregnancy symptoms like nausea and fatigue. It’s a time to start preparing both mentally and physically for these changes.

Week 5 of Pregnancy FAQs


  • How common is it for my baby to have a heartbeat at 5 weeks?

    Your baby is an embryo (not a fetus just yet) and can have a heartbeat at 5 weeks of pregnancy, but it is not very common. The fetal heartbeat usually starts to beat between 5 and 6 weeks gestation, and it may be detectable via ultrasound around this time.

    Here are some reasons why the heartbeat might not be detected on an ultrasound at 5 weeks:

    • The embryo is too small.
    • The heartbeat is too faint.
  • What if there is no yolk sac at 5 weeks?

    Patients have asked us why is there no sac seen when 5 weeks pregnant. The yolk sac is usually visible on an ultrasound between 5 and 6 weeks gestation. If there is no yolk sac visible on an ultrasound at 5 weeks, it could be a sign of a miscarriage. 

    However, it could be a sign that the estimated gestational age is wrong. This could happen if your last menstrual period was inaccurate or if you were ovulating later than you thought.

    In this case, we may recommend a follow-up ultrasound in a week or two to see if the yolk sac has developed.


Conclusion

Week 5 of your pregnancy is a time of rapid and incredible changes. While you might start feeling different physically and emotionally, remember, these are signs of your baby’s healthy development. Stay informed, take care of yourself, and prepare for the exciting journey ahead. If you have any concerns, our team at London Pregnancy Clinic is always here to guide you.

Stay tuned on what your baby’s week-by-week growth will look like on our blog.


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Week 4 of Pregnancy

Graphic of Week 4 of pregnancy. An illustration of a zygote in the uterus.

Week 4 of your Pregnancy

Your Baby’s Remarkable Beginning

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This blog post is part of a series that breaks down early pregnancy week by week. Today we will be talking about Week 4 of your pregnancy journey! Within this article, we’ll delve into the astonishing advancements occurring during this initial phase of pregnancy. Although your baby remains incredibly minuscule, measuring at no more than 1 millimeter (similar to a poppy seed), a realm of growth and transformation is already well underway.

Key Concepts: Gestational Weeks vs. Post-Conception Weeks

Understanding the difference between gestational weeks and post-conception weeks is crucial for accurately tracking the progress of your pregnancy.

Gestational Weeks: Gestational age refers to the age of the pregnancy and is measured from the first day of the mother’s last menstrual period (LMP). This is the standard method used by healthcare providers to track pregnancy. For example, at 4 weeks gestation, the embryo is about 2 weeks post-conception. Gestational age is crucial for determining the due date and monitoring the baby’s development.

Post-Conception Weeks: Post-conception age, also known as embryonic age, is measured from the time of conception. It provides a more precise timeline of the baby’s development. For instance, at 4 weeks post-conception, the embryo is undergoing significant developments, such as the formation of the placenta and the beginning of the amniotic sac.

Pregnancy Checklist at 4 Weeks

While it’s still early in your pregnancy, there are some important steps you can take:

  • During the initial 4 weeks of pregnancy, you may not experience noticeable symptoms. To verify your pregnancy, consider taking a pregnancy test.
  • Once you’ve confirmed your pregnancy you may think about your first prenatal visit with your doctor, even though it may not occur for another couple of weeks. With us, this would be our Viability/Dating Scan. During this visit, our specialists, like Miss Shaz Khojasteh, will check for single/multiple pregnancies, date the pregnancy and check main structures of the gestational sac. 
  • Focus on adopting healthy diet and lifestyle habits. Say goodbye to smoking and alcohol, opt for nutritious foods, and stay well-hydrated.
  • The NHS provides valuable recommendations for expectant mothers, including considering the importance of taking supplements during pregnancy. Additionally, it’s essential to recognise how emotional changes that often accompany pregnancy can impact your relationships.

Developmental Milestones: Week 4

By Week 4, your baby develops from being a single-cell zygote to a blastocyst. Rapid cell division shapes the future. At this stage, your embryo completes its journey from the fallopian tube to the uterus, burrowing into the uterine lining. Half becomes your future child, and the other forms the placenta—a vital nutrient carrier.

The amniotic sac, often called the “bag of waters,” forms around the embryo, along with the yolk sac, important for your baby’s digestive system.

Your embryo now consists of three unique cell layers:

  • The endoderm—nurturing your baby’s digestive system, liver, and lungs.
  • The mesoderm—laying the foundation for your baby’s heart, sex organs, bones, kidneys, and muscles.
  • The ectoderm—shaping your baby’s nervous system, hair, eyes, and outer skin layer.

What is seen on the Ultrasound: Week 4?

One of the common queries we receive at the London Pregnancy Clinic is whether having an ultrasound at 4 weeks gestation is a requirement. At this stage, around the fourth week of pregnancy, significant developments are occurring. The blastocyst is in the process of dividing into an embryo and placenta. However, it’s crucial to understand that an ultrasound of your uterus during this early stage will typically reveal what appears to be a minuscule dot known as the gestational sac, and it’s important to note that a heartbeat is not typically detectable at this early point of development. Detecting a more advanced pregnancy may require waiting until a later stage.

Thinking ahead: Week 5?

The next steps in your pregnancy journey involve preparing for your first ultrasound appointment. It’s completely normal to eagerly anticipate your first ultrasound, but it’s essential to be aware that at 4 weeks of gestation, the gestational sac is typically too small to be easily visible on the scan. For a clearer image of your pregnancy, it is generally advisable to wait until around 5 weeks or later, when the development progresses. However, it’s worth noting that in certain cases, skilled sonographers with extensive experience may be able to discern subtle indications of pregnancy by closely observing changes in the uterine lining. You can use our booking system to calculate your optimal scan date range by entering your Last Menstrual Period(LMP) HERE.

Week 4 of Pregnancy FAQS?


  • Is 4 weeks pregnant too early to test

    At 4 weeks, it’s not too early to take a pregnancy test. Most home pregnancy tests are designed to be sensitive enough to detect the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), in your urine by this time. This is typically around the time your period is due, which is when hCG levels are sufficiently high to indicate pregnancy.

    While you can confirm pregnancy with a test and even start calculating your due date, it’s indeed too early for an ultrasound scan. At 4 weeks, the baby is very small, and significant developmental milestones like the heartbeat, which typically becomes detectable around 6 weeks of gestation, have not yet occurred. Therefore, while a home pregnancy test can provide early confirmation, an ultrasound scan at this stage wouldn’t offer much information. For more detailed and visual insights into your baby’s development, waiting until at least the 6th week or later is advisable when the heartbeat and other embryonic structures start to become visible.

  • What to do when you’re 4 weeks pregnant?

    • Confirm Your Pregnancy: A home pregnancy test can confirm your suspicion of being pregnant. It’s best to take the test after you’ve missed your period for the most accurate result.

    • Schedule a Doctor’s Appointment: Even though it’s early, getting in touch with a healthcare provider is a good idea. They can confirm your pregnancy through a blood test and start guiding you through prenatal care.

    • Document Your Journey: Consider starting a pregnancy journal or diary to record your experiences, thoughts, and feelings. This can be a wonderful keepsake for the future.

    • Rest and Relax: Early pregnancy can bring fatigue and other symptoms. Ensure you’re getting enough rest and practising stress-relief techniques.

  • What does 4 weeks pregnancy look like?

    At 4 weeks of pregnancy, external changes to your body are typically minimal and not yet noticeable to others. However, internally, a remarkable series of events is unfolding. Your embryo, though only about the size of a poppy seed, is rapidly developing. This tiny cluster of cells is already beginning the incredible process of forming what will become vital organs and structures.


Conclusion

Week 4 of your pregnancy signifies the remarkable commencement of your baby’s journey. While ultrasound visuals may not reveal much at this early stage, rest assured that a realm of development is quietly unfolding within your body. Join us as we look forward to exploring the upcoming stages of your pregnancy journey, complete with the changes and milestones that await.

It’s crucial to remember that every pregnancy is unique. Therefore, we recommend consulting your healthcare provider for tailored guidance and attentive care during this special period. Our team is here to provide support throughout your exciting pregnancy journey!

Once again, heartfelt congratulations on your pregnancy. Stay tuned for further updates as we continue to monitor your baby’s week-by-week growth.


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