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Week 7: Coping with sluggish digestive system

By Published On: March 27th, 2013

Your Baby in Week 7 of Pregnancy – By seven weeks gestation Baby is 10,000 times bigger than they were at conception and yet they are still only about as big as a blueberry. Most of the growth going on this week is concentrated in the head as new brain cells are being generated at the amazing rate of 100 every minute.

As their features continue to sharpen Baby’s mouth and tongue will begin forming this week. The kidneys are almost formed to the point where they can begin to function and Baby’s arms and legs are appearing, even though they look like tiny little stumps at the moment. Their heart is also developing a steadier rhythm now and the circulatory system is beginning to function as it should.

Your Body in Week 7 of Pregnancy – However small the Baby is by this week most women are beginning to notice a significant increase in size – in their breasts at least . At seven weeks some women are already a full cup size bigger. For many women this would be a wonderful thing, especially if they were never too blessed in that department before they conceived.

The problem is that those new boobs are also very tender and putting on even the most comfy of bras can be an eye-watering experience. Tingling and numb spots are also common and harmless, if annoying. Investing in some really good bras can help but take the time to try before you buy. Lots of women wear the wrong size bra for years but now is no time to guess if you want to take advantage of the comfort and support a really good one can offer.

On the less attractive side visually you are also likely to notice goosebump like spots around the areola. These are called Montgomery tubercles and are perfectly normal as well. These are simply sweat glands that supply lubrication to the area becoming prominent and noticeable, in early preparation for breastfeeding. The whole area is also likely to darken.

Probable New Pregnancy Symptoms at Seven Weeks Pregnant – The nausea is likely to still be with you, the frequent need to pee  and the tired feelings as well. The first trimester is an exciting period emotionally but physically it can be rough. This week you also may begin to experience the following:

Food Aversions – You used to love nothing more than a nice lean breast of chicken. Now however even the sight of the stuff appalls you. Or a nice piece of fish used to be a thrilling treat for you but now even the aroma of cooking fish makes you feel ill. These kinds of food aversions are very common at this point in pregnancy, even if pregnancy sickness is not a huge problem for you.

These sudden changes in your personal tastes can make following the healthy diet you had planned rather difficult, especially if your tastes are running to the very bland and boring at the moment. As long as you are getting the right amounts of the nutrients you need following your new tastes is OK.

For example, if red meat seems like nothing more than a greasy, unappetizing blob to you now you can replace the protein it would have given you with quinoa, or the Omega 3 fatty acids you would have got from the fish by getting it from other sources like walnuts, spinach and kidney or pinto beans.

Heartburn and Indigestion – Even if you have never really experienced it before heartburn is likely to become more of a problem now, adding to your food woes. Avoiding very obvious heartburn triggers can help , things like very spicy or very fatty foods, but when you are expecting unfortunately even the most innocent of foods may set it off. Usually though very spicy foods and anything that has a lot of fat will make heartburn worse and should probably be avoided for a while at least.

It can be tempting to reach for your favorite antacid every time that burning sensation hits, but here you should proceed with caution. Most doctors are OK with the pregnant patients taking low doses of Tums, as they are really just calcium, but certainly no more than two a day and some women have developed kidney stones by taking too many in a desperate attempt for relief. Talk to your doctor to see what they recommend for heartburn.

Pregnancy Tip for Your Seventh Week – Try Probiotics – In addition to heartburn and nausea you may also be suffering from constipation (oh joy!) This is not a bad thing for Baby, it means more nutrients for them. For you however, a sluggish digestive system will leave you feeling sluggish and uncomfortable.

You can help re-regulate your digestive system with natural ‘good bacteria’ called probiotics. These can be found in abundance in plain, live culture yogurts. Try eating one small pot a day, maybe mixing in a handful of fruits to make the taste a little more exciting. Tempeh is also another good source of probiotics if you really do not like yogurt.

If you have never cooked with tempeh too much before you will find that it is a very versatile food. The taste is a little stronger than soy but it is just as flexible. Here is just one simple recipe you can try that does not have too many strong tastes to upset your queasy tummy.  Actually have your hubby try it, it’s rather simple and it will help him improve those cookery skills we discussed in the Week Six post!

What You’ll Need

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces organic tempeh, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Cooking spray
1 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup organic vegetable broth
1 cup yellow squash, cut into (1-inch) cubes
1 cup zucchini, cut into (1/2-inch) cubes
8-ounce mushrooms, halved
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 large red bell pepper chopped into inch long strips
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Splash fresh lemon juice

How to Make It

Preheat your oven to 500°.
Combine together the oil and tempeh in a large baking pan that is coated with cooking spray, tossing to coat tempeh.

Bake at 500° for 10 minutes or until tempeh is golden brown at the edges.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat this pan with cooking spray. Add onion; sauté for 3 minutes or until golden brown . Stir in salt, red pepper, and garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add broth; bring to a boil. Stir in tempeh, squash, zucchini, and mushrooms; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and bell pepper; simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in basil, parsley, and juice.