Look at your baby, even though it’s the size of a grain of sand, there is already an outline of a body with a head. As early as this week, there is the beginning of something that will later become the heart - a bulge of fat at the centre of the embryo. About 22 to 23 days after conception your baby’s heartbeat will start. So this week the heartbeat can be detected via ultrasound. Besides the heart and the circulatory system, the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and muscle and bone formation are beginning to take shape. The brain is divided into two parts and between the vertebrae in the spine, nerve bundles emerge from the spinal cord to branch out over the whole body. Your embryo is attached to the womb by a thin stalk. As the embryo grows, the stalk also develops in the same way as a soap bubble is blown up, by swelling from inside and becoming elongated. Illustration by Karoline Lenhult
You're already producing enough hormones to sustain your pregnancy, and these hormones, the unsung heroes of every pregnancy, affect you in different ways. Besides tiredness and nausea you may also feel bloated, have tender breasts, become obsessed with food and feel like you’ve got to go to the toilet all the time. But these are just the physical effects; emotions can range from excited, emotional and happy to cautious, worried and stir crazy. This is normal – and that’s a word (“normal”) which you will hear often in the future, along with: Don’t worry, it’s a phase, it will pass. It’s time to start thinking about some lifestyle changes because the little baby is sensitive. That means stress (less), food (healthier), coffee (less), alcohol (none), fish (some occasionally) and rest (more) – you are actually building a baby. There is a baby growing inside you!