7 weeks pregnant: baby's development, exercise and pregnancy over 40

Your baby, who was once the size of bean, is now the size of a grape.

Your baby’s development this week 

Your baby starts to take on slightly alien-like qualities as their head grows faster than the rest of their body. This is to make room for their rapidly developing brain.

Cartilage starts to form in their teeny arm and leg buds. The arms grow longer and flatten out at the ends. This is the beginning of tiny hands.

A delicate network of nerves is spreading through your baby’s body. They are going to start making constant little motions, as their brain and spinal cord sends signals to the muscles in their body. Soon your baby will be able to feel sensations, like temperature and taste.

Get weekly updates on your baby's development from our expert midwives straight to your inbox.

Your pregnancy symptoms in week 7

Feeling tired

Feeling tired, or even exhausted, is common in early pregnancy. This is all thanks to your hormones. It can be hard, especially if you work or have other young children, but try to rest as much as possible.

Feeling thirsty?

The volume of blood in your body is increasing and this can make you feel thirstier than usual. Water can help reduce any constipation and helps form the amniotic fluid around the baby.

Aim to drink 8 medium glasses of fluid a day (it’s best to sip it if you are feeling sick).

Needing to pee more than usual?

You may notice that you need to wee more often. This often starts in early pregnancy thanks to hormones and continues as your growing womb presses on your bladder.

Some people also have constipation or more vaginal discharge in early pregnancy.

Are your gums bleeding when you brush your teeth?

You’ll need to take extra care of your teeth during pregnancy. This is because your hormones can make your gums swollen and sore, which can make them bleed. Your dentist can help you with this, and treatment is free during pregnancy and for 1 year after your due date.

Find out more about how to care for your teeth and gums in 10 common pregnancy complaints and how to avoid them.

What to do in week 7

Stay active

If you are having an uncomplicated pregnancy, staying active in pregnancy is safe and healthy. It can help your body adapt as your pregnancy progresses and help you cope with labour. Exercise won’t hurt your baby.

The amount of exercise you can do during pregnancy will depend on how active you were before you got pregnant. 
If you haven’t done much exercise before, there are lots of simple things you can do to get active. Exercise doesn’t have to be demanding to have benefits. Our 10 tips for staying active in pregnancy is a good place to start.

We also have information on the different types of exercise you can do in pregnancy and those all-important pelvic floor exercises. Keep going!

If you are over 40

Most people over 40 have healthy pregnancies and babies, but statistically, there is an increased risk of complications . The best thing you can do if you are pregnant at any age is to concentrate on trying to be as healthy as possible.

You’re recommended to go to all your antenatal appointments. If you are older, you will probably be offered more tests to check that you and your baby are healthy.

Find out what happens if you are pregnancy over the age of 40.

1. Regan, Lesley (2019) Your pregnancy week by week: what to expect from conception to birth. Penguin Random House, London

2. NHS. You and your baby at 7 weeks pregnant. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/week-by-week/1-to-12/7-weeks/ (Page last reviewed: 12 October 2021 Next review due: 12 October 2024)

3. NHS. Tiredness and sleep problems. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/tiredness/ (Page last reviewed: 1 February 2021 Next review due: 1 February 2024)

4. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. How much water should I drink in pregnancy? https://www.acog.org/womens-health/experts-and-stories/ask-acog/how-much-water-should-i-drink-during-pregnancy

5. NHS. Signs and symptoms of pregnancy. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/trying-for-a-baby/signs-and-symptoms-of-pregnancy/ (Page last reviewed: 8 October 2019 Next review due: 8 October 2022)

6. NHS. Bleeding gums. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/bleeding-gums/ (Page last reviewed: 19 August 2019 Next review due: 19 August 2022)

7. NHS. Exercise in pregnancy. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/exercise/ (Page last reviewed: 20 January 2020 Next review due: 20 January 2023)

Review dates
Reviewed: 11 July 2022
Next review: 11 July 2025