You may feel pregnant, but it’s unlikely you’ll get a clear result from a pregnancy test at this stage. A sensitive test may show a faint line. But this can just leave you feeling confused, rather than satisfied or excited.
The clearest sign that you’re pregnant is a missed period. Yours probably isn’t due until the end of this week or even next week, depending on the length of your menstrual cycle.
Your Baby’s Development
Even though you may not feel that you’re pregnant yet, you have a baby growing and developing inside of you!
Your baby was just conceived, but already is working overtime. The fertilized egg goes through a process of cell division. About 30 hours after fertilization, it divides into two cells, then four cells, then eight, and continues to divide as it moves from the fallopian tube to the uterus. By the time it gets to the uterus, this group of cells looks like a tiny ball and is called a morula.
The morula becomes hollow and fills with fluid — it is then known as a blastocyst. Near the end of this week, the blastocyst will attach itself to the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. This is called implantation. The implantation in the uterus creates an essential connection — the endometrium provides the developing embryo with nutrients and removes wastes. Over time, this implantation site will develop into the placenta.
Getting enough of certain nutrients, such as folic acid, protein, calcium, and iron, is essential for your baby’s development. A folic acid supplement is particularly important because folic acid helps prevent defects of the neural tube (the structure that gives rise to the brain and spinal cord), which forms very early in pregnancy.
Your intake of protein, which is used to create new tissue, should increase during pregnancy. Calcium aids the development of bones and teeth, so make sure you’re getting a good dose of dairy products, leafy green vegetables, and legumes (beans, peas, lentils, etc.). Iron is essential during pregnancy as you support your baby’s increasing blood volume. Good sources of iron include red meat, legumes, eggs, and leafy green vegetables.
Pregnancy symptoms at three weeks
You may get food cravings early on in your pregnancy or notice that your favourite foods and drinks are suddenly unappetising. Aversions to tea, coffee, alcohol, fried food and eggs are common among new mums-to-be.
Pregnancy hormones may also be having an effect on you, so don’t be surprised if you feel tired and weepy. During the day, you may feel exhausted and struggle to stay awake. This is because your body is preparing itself to support your baby.
Your pregnancy to-do list at three weeks
- Low energy levels are difficult to cope with. Get tips on how to handle tiredness.
- You may receive mixed messages about whether it’s safe for you to eat peanuts now that you’re pregnant.
- What is the placenta and what does it do? Find out as our midwife explains why it’s essential for your growing baby.