Pregnancy week 3

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This is essentially your first real week of being pregnant, yet you still won't even know it! 

Your baby

Your little one is very busy this week, dividing into hundreds of cells known as a blastocyst and then implanting into the lining of your uterus. The lining, or endometrium, is crucial to your baby's development, providing embryonic nutrients and removing waste. Over time, the endometrium will develop into the placenta which serves to nurture and protect your foetus.

Your baby's heart will start beating from day 18, by which time you're only 4 days late for your period.

Watch: Sparks fly when sperm and ovum meets!

What happens before there's an embryo

Your body: supplements

To help give your baby the best possible start, it's important that you take sufficient vitamins right away. You should also be adding more protein, calcium and iron to your diet to assist in the creation of your baby's new tissue, bone development and blood volume. The best option is a specially formulated pregnancy supplement. Make sure you're eating healthily and that your BMI (Body Mass Index) is as it should be. Being overweight or underweight has implications for fertility and your pregnancy.

The most important vitamin is folic acid. This vital nutrient helps to protect against birth defects like spina bifida, and recent research shows that it may also protect you against future high blood pressure. You can increase your folic acid intake by eating more wholegrain wheat, spinach, lettuce, egg yolk, fennel and cabbage, but to make sure you're getting the right amount – 600 micrograms daily – you should take a supplement containing that amount.

Tip of the week: brain food

It's a good idea to start eating 'brain food' to help minimise the impact of mommy brain! This is a very real neurological issue resulting from powerful endocrine and brain chemistry changes. Eating foods high in tryptophan (a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter than can boost brainpower), including oats, bananas and turkey, can help improve memory. Apples, blueberries and onions also contain a memory-boosting flavonoid, which will also help throughout your pregnancy, not to mention after!

Read more:

Amazing TED video showing conception to birth

Gallery: egg to embryo

What you eat affects your pregnancy

Pregnancy week 4

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