If you’ve just found out you’re pregnant or are trying to conceive; it’s only natural for there to be hundreds of questions in your mind. How will your body change? How should you behave? What precautions should you take? What should you eat? Don’t let these thoughts and questions boggle you down. Our weekly pregnancy guide will help you through the nine months of pregnancy.
Through this 40-week guide, you will learn about how you and your baby’s body is growing. We will also give you tips on what to do and what to expect during your doctor’s visit.
1 week pregnant
Technically you are not pregnant yet. When you are one week pregnant, you are on your menstrual period. Most doctors calculate pregnancy on a 40-week chart, and they count pregnancy from the first day of your last period.
You will conceive your baby only by week two or three. Between the end of week two or the beginning of week three, your body releases an egg from the ovary. This process is known as ovulation. You are the most fertile around 14 days after your period started. If you are trying to conceive, this is the best time to try.
At this early stage, you are not feeling any pregnancy symptoms. The symptoms you are feeling are of your period. These symptoms may last between three to seven days and include-
- Vaginal bleeding- Your body sheds the blood and tissue from the vagina, which is plumped up in case of pregnancy.
- Bloating- The change in hormones can cause bloating before and during the periods.
- Anxiety and mood swings- Fluctuating hormones can also cause mood swings.
- Lower back pain and cramps- During this time, your uterus contracts to release the uterine lining, which can cause cramps and pain in the lower back.
- Headaches- Hormones can also cause headaches. You can use ice packs or do relaxation exercises for relief.
Some of the other symptoms include- Weight gain due to fluid retention
- Weight gain due to fluid retention
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Food cravings
- Tender breasts
- Change in libido
- Intolerance to alcohol
Your body at week 1 of pregnancy
You may not actually be pregnant at this stage, but several changes are happening in your body at this stage that may lead to pregnancy. All through your menstrual cycle, your body is preparing for pregnancy. When that does not happen, the body sheds the lining of the uterus.
The embryo implants in the lining of the uterus, but if you’re not pregnant, you do not need the thick lining. This process of shedding of the uterine lining is what we call the period. A women’s menstrual period lasts from five to seven days in a 28-day cycle. For some, the cycle may be as short as 20 days or as long as 35 days. The bleeding period may also vary from 2 to 10 days.
When your period finishes, your body starts preparing for your pregnancy again. A woman ovulates between 13 to 20 days from the start of the period.
Your baby at week 1 of pregnancy
While no baby is growing yet, your body is already preparing for another egg to be released for ovulation.
Your week 1 pregnancy doctor’s visit
Most women don’t notice they are pregnant until they miss their first period at week 4. But if you and your partner have been trying to get pregnant, it is the right time for a preconception appointment.
At this appointment, you can discuss the safety or side effects of any supplements, over-the-counter medications, and prescriptions that you may be taking. The doctor will review your medical history and screen you for sexually transmitted infections and give you a basic physical exam.
During this visit, the doctor may recommend a prenatal vitamin, and he/she may also recommend specific dietary and lifestyle changes to improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy.
Tips for week 1 pregnancy
At this stage, you need to make specific lifestyle changes to improve your chances of conceiving and have a healthy baby. These include-
1. Track your cycle to know your most fertile days.
Your egg lives for 12 to 24 hours after it is released during ovulation. It must meet a sperm during this time, or you won’t get pregnant. Tracking your menstrual cycle on a calendar and using ovulation test kits are some of the ways to tell if you are ovulating or not.
2. Start taking prenatal vitamins
It is essential to take prenatal vitamins when you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. You should start taking 400 grams of folic acid every day at least one month before you plan on getting pregnant. Taking folic acid for a few months before conception helps to reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Prenatal vitamins also include iron, calcium, and vitamin D.
Eating healthy is not just crucial for your health but also the health of your baby. You must eat fresh and nutrient-rich food like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. At this stage, you need not eat for two. Eat reasonable-sized portions and do not overindulge in unhealthy snacks. You must stay hydrated and drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
You often avoid exercise when you have your period. However, it is a proven fact that exercise can help reduce symptoms like cramps. Exercising and staying active during pregnancy also improves your physical and mental health and makes pregnancy easier.
5. Avoid alcohol
Week 1 is the right time to give up alcohol. You must also avoid drinking sodas and other sugary drinks during pregnancy. Avoid overindulging in caffeinated drinks during pregnancy.
6. Quit smoking
Smokers have a more difficult time conceiving, and they also have a higher risk of miscarriage. Smoking during pregnancy exposes your unborn child to toxic chemicals, which can lead to the baby being born too early or with low birth weight. You must also avoid being exposed to second-hand smoke at the office or home.
7. Lower your stress levels
It is also essential to stay happy, healthy, and relaxed during pregnancy. Listen to music, meditate, or do some relaxation exercises to lower your stress levels.
Tips for the partner
Most male partner s do not feel they have any role during this stage. However, he must also take equally good care of his health during this stage. Men should also be screened for sexually transmitted infections before trying to conceive.
Men, too, can improve their reproductive health by quitting smoking, reducing their alcohol intake. Men who smoke too much or take drugs can have problems with their sperm. Men can also benefit from eating healthy and taking vitamin supplements at this stage.
You are not pregnant during week 1 of pregnancy. During this week, you are on your period, and the symptoms you may feel are related to your menstrual cycle. However, at this stage, you can take several steps that can help you conceive and ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Track your most fertile days. Quit smoking, alcohol, and drugs. Start taking prenatal supplements like folic acid to help to reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida.