Week one of pregnancy begins on the first day of your last menstrual period, even though you haven’t actually conceived yet. This is the time when your doctor will begin counting down your 40 weeks of pregnancy. Confusing, isn’t it?
So why do we jump the gun on the countdown? Because each time you have a period, your body is essentially priming itself for pregnancy by sweeping away unfertilized eggs. Roughly two weeks after your cycle begins, your ovaries release a new meaning that you’re ovulating and ready to get pregnant.
More specifically, a number of hormonal changes happen during your cycle that aid in conception. First, the follicle stimulating hormone(also known as FSH) begins inducing egg production. Then, as each egg-carrying follicle matures, estrogen is produced. This hormone encourages thickening of the uterine lining and spurs the production ofluteinizing hormone, which helps the follicles break through the ovarian wall. This process is known as ovulation.
Pretty amazing process our bodies go through each month, right? It happens without you even knowing it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do things to help ensure that all goes smoothly.If you’re trying to conceive, talk to your doctor about prenatal vitamins. Typically, this consists of folic acid supplementation, which is known to help reduce the risk of certain birth defects.
Your health care provider may prescribe between 400 to 800 micrograms daily during the months leading up to your pregnancy.You may also consider talking to your physician about any medical conditions you have and how they could affect your pregnancy. For example, women with may need to take certain precautions or ask for help getting their condition under control before trying to conceive. Additionally, discuss any medications you are taking to make sure they are safe for pregnancy.
This may go without saying, but you should also avoid drinking alcohol during this time and, if you’re a smoker, make every effort to kick the habit. You may also want to steer clear of toxic chemicals and cat feces, as the latter can contain a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, a condition known to be harmful to fetal health.
The first week of pregnancy occurs before you actually conceive your new baby. It’s a little confusing doctors begin counting the weeks of your pregnancy from the date your last menstrual bleeding started, not from the date you conceived. Conception, that very important moment at which your partner’s sperm fertilises your egg, does not occur until approximately two weeks after the start of your last period. However, your body is already preparing itself for pregnancy, should conception occur, so this week officially marks the beginning of the pregnancy.
You’ll be amazed at all the work your body needs to do to produce the hormones which signal your body to prepare for pregnancy in Week 1. Even though you are not yet pregnant, your body is working hard to prepare an egg for fertilisation, and to prepare your womb to nourish the egg should it be fertilised. Find out all about how your body is changing this week.
You can optimise your chance of a healthy pregnancy by visiting the doctor for screening tests, immunisations and supplements before you get pregnant. Find out more about the different tests which can be performed to check you are healthy and the ways in which a doctor can assist you to improve your health pre-pregnancy.
Your health at the time of conception has a remarkable influence on the health of your pregnancy and baby. Avoiding substances which might harm your foetus and ensuring you’re eating all the right foods and getting enough exercise are the key measures. Find out more about what you should and should not eat when preparing to get pregnant.
Did you know dad’s lifestyle can also influence your chance of getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy and baby? Find out all about lifestyle measures men can use to improve the chances of getting their partner pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy.
A quick summary of the changes to mum’s body, the baby to be, medical appointments and lifestyle information for both mum and dad.
1 Week Pregnant – Your Body and Your Baby
In the first week of pregnancy, you’re actually not pregnant yet! In fact, your period has just started. This is because week 1 of pregnancy begins on the first day of your menstrual cycle. Even though your baby has not yet been conceived, it is still classed as part of the nine months of pregnancy.
So why is it called the first week of pregnancy?
Pregnancy is dated from the first day of your last menstrual period so that doctors can work out an estimated due date. Conception usually occurs about 14 days after the start of your period and pregnancy gestation is usually around 40 weeks. We don’t know exactly how long it takes each woman to grow her baby but the normal length is between 37 and 42 weeks, which means your due date is really a guess date!
If you’d like to work out your baby’s approximate due date, try BellyBelly’s due date calculator.
Becoming pregnant is a life changing experience, planned or unplanned. It can be a rollercoaster of decisions and emotions. You might wonder if you are ready to be a parent or worry about finances and your career. People react to the idea of becoming parents very differently, and sometimes it can be a challenge to deal with all the different feelings. Talking to a trusted friend, family member or even journaling your thoughts can help you process your thoughts.
1 Week Pregnant – Your Body
So let’s take a look at what’s happening to your body during the first week of pregnancy.
Once your period finishes, your endometrium (the inner lining of your uterus), begins thickening in preparation for implantation of a fertilized ovum. This thickening is caused primarily by an increase in the hormone progesterone. If implantation does not take place, progesterone levels falls and your body gets rid of this thickened layer causing bleeding. You get your period.
1 Week Pregnant – Your Baby
In the first week of pregnancy, your baby is still a small, single celled egg, hiding in one of your ovaries. This egg is called an ovum and is only just visible to the naked eye. It’s completely unaware of what’s about to occur!
1 Week Pregnant – For The Men
Listen up men — there are a few things you can do to help increase your chances of conception in the next week or two.
Cutting back on caffeine, alcohol, smoking and unhealthy, processed foods can have a positive impact on your health and fertility. Here are some other things you may not know about that can give you a boost right now:
Stress can interfere with sperm production. Get plenty of sleep and try some relaxation techniques like massage or acupressure to help relieve stress.
Studies have shown that men who eat soy foods may have a lower sperm concentration than men who don’t eat soy foods. Avoid soy! Another study published in Fertility and Sterility showed that your mobile phone may also affect your fertility.
They found that men who used a hands-free device with a cell phone and kept their phone close to their testicles had impaired sperm quality.
Tight fitting underwear or environments where overheating can occur like a hot spa can also impact on sperm production.
While not necessary to guarantee conception, the female orgasm can certainly improve the chances of a fertilized ovum implanting successfully.
This article talks you through the how and why. Maintaining intimacy and connection while planning to conceive is important.
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