The first symptom of your pregnancy is considered to be your missed period. Along with that, there are other symptoms of pregnancy in the first month that you might experience. Your body begins to prepare for the baby, and there are many hormonal changes taking place as well.
But an interesting fact that you should note is that you are not pregnant in the first two weeks of your pregnancy. So why are the two weeks counted in the gestation period? Read on to understand more about this and other changes that are happening in your body during this period.
The First Week Of Pregnancy
Most women might not know they are pregnant in the first week. However, if you have been planning to get pregnant, you must be tracking your menstrual cycle diligently. In such a case, you may be able to figure out or guess the first week of pregnancy. Let’s see how to calculate it.
The calculation of 40 weeks starts from the first day of your last period – this calculation is used to determine what is called the gestational age. That means you are actually on your period in the first week. Two weeks after that, or around day 14, you start ovulating, which is why the early symptoms of pregnancy and your period symptoms are similar.
After five or six days of ovulation, implantation occurs, which means the fertilized egg is implanted on to the uterus lining. This is the time when you technically become pregnant (1). The first two weeks is when your body is preparing for the pregnancy, which is why they are considered a part of the 40-week pregnancy period.
Fetal Development In the First Week Of Pregnancy
There is no sign of the baby at such an early stage of pregnancy as this is the time when your body is preparing for ovulation. However, the first stage of its development starts in the coming weeks when the mature egg is fertilized by the sperm and forms the zygote, which is the first cell. Then cell division results in blastocyst or ball of cells (2).
Then there is the division of cells, after which the fertilized egg is implanted on to the uterine wall. This is the beginning of the baby’s development in the womb.
Continue reading to know what happens to your body in the first pregnancy week.
Body Changes During The First Week Of Pregnancy
In the first week of pregnancy, you will be on your periods. So you may not know your pregnancy has begun. During this time, your body sheds the previous month’s eggs and uterine lining. After the first week, new and mature eggs will be released, and the uterine lining begins to thicken again.
The symptoms of the first-week pregnancy are pretty much similar to those you experience before and during periods, which we see in the next section.
What Are The First Week Pregnancy Symptoms?
- As the hormonal fluctuation is severe this time, you may experience bloating and discomfort during the first week.
- You may feel extremely tired even if you are doing nothing. That could be because your body is preparing for pregnancy.
- You may notice swollen and tender breasts around this week due to hormonal changes in the body. You may crave for salty or sweet foods during the first week. Food cravings and aversions are likely to happen, and they increase in the coming weeks.
- Headache, cramps, and pain in the lower back are some other common symptoms that you may experience in the first week. However, if they become severe, call your doctor.
Read on for a few tips on how to take care of yourself in the first week of pregnancy.
Tips For First Week Of Pregnancy
Chances are you won’t know when the first week of pregnancy is. So if you are planning to become pregnant, it is essential that you start maintaining a healthy lifestyle right away. Here are a few things to keep in mind to stay healthy in the first week and improve your chances of pregnancy (4).
- If you are a smoker, stop smoking right from the time you decide to conceive. Also, avoid the consumption of alcohol.
- Maintain an active lifestyle by eating healthy foods and exercising. Your body needs to be healthy and fit to carry the baby.
- You may ask your doctor about prenatal vitamins and start taking them to increase the chances of getting pregnant.
- Make sure you are sleeping well; this is important to stay mentally and physically active.
- If you have been planning to have a baby, keep track of your menstrual cycle. You can use ovulation calendars and apps to make your job easier.
If you need more guidance at this stage, you may talk to your doctor.
What Can You Ask Your Doctor?
When you and your partner plan to have a baby, talk to your doctor. Clear all your doubts, such as a change in diet, use of prenatal vitamins, tracking the ovulation cycle, and more. Get as much information as you need for a successful conception.
The first week of pregnancy can be tricky since you are not technically pregnant, and the baby hasn’t started developing yet. Further, since the symptoms of the first week of pregnancy, such as bloating, cramps, and swollen breasts, are common before menstruation, you may not know that you are pregnant. Therefore, it is recommended that you take the necessary steps right when you begin planning your pregnancy. Further, consult your ob/gyn to understand the measures you should take and the dietary changes required to ensure a healthy start to your pregnancy journey.
Infographic: Things You Must Do While Planning Your Pregnancy
One-week pregnancy symptoms may not be too evident, making it very important to be careful right from when you start planning your pregnancy. So take notes from this infographic and pin it to your wall to have the essential tips to follow for a safe and healthy pregnancy.
- You and your pregnancy at 1 to 3 weeks; NHS
- Week 1; Embryology University of New South Wales
- Early Signs of Pregnancy; American Pregnancy Association
- First trimester; Pregnancy Birth and Baby
- Fetal Development: Stages of Growth