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Week 1 of pregnancy

Congratulations on the start of your pregnancy journey. Usually, the first day is calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period. It may sound weird but you are NOT pregnant in week 1 of pregnancy!

So, what does week 1 of pregnancy look like?

The 40 weeks pregnancy period is called from the day one of the menstrual cycle in which the woman gets pregnant. It is because technically, only when the body releases an egg from the ovaries, there is a possibility of getting pregnant. The process of ovaries releasing a mature egg in each menstrual cycle is called ovulation, typically means that the egg is fertile and ready to be conceived. 

The first week is actually the LMP because while the uterus was prepared for a sperm, it wasn’t there, so the matured egg as well as the lining of the uterus is shed and they start to prepare for the next cycle. So a second egg starts to mature immediately, which later on gets fertilized to form the baby. That is the reason its called the first week, while the female is still menstruating.

So how is week one of pregnancy like? The baby isn’t conceived yet, only the body prepares itself to conceive. It is basically the first week of the menstrual cycle. You know how it is to have periods. You shed blood and the thick wall of tissue breaks down and is discarded through vagina. Moreover, there are other symptoms that are associated with periods. The ovulation and conception is really difficult to identify, even if the person tracks the period of ovulation as it is only estimated based on symptoms. 

 Usually, a woman discovers her pregnancy during week 4 of pregnancy! Conceiving takes place only in week 3 or week 4, that’s when the body starts to show symptoms of pregnancy.

What are the symptoms of week 1 pregnancy?

The symptoms at week 1 are usually those that are experienced during your periods. The following symptoms show up for at least seven days:

  1. Bloating: Changes in hormones before and after periods can make you feel bloated. It is usually due to excess gas production and discomfort in belly muscle movement. The hormones trigger these symptoms, making you feel bloated most of the time
  1. Anxiety and mood swings: During periods, there is a lot of discomfort, pain and body aches, this triggers the mood, making you feel uncomfortable. Above all, the hormonal changes act like fuel to the fire ( ugh! )
  1. Cramps in lower abdomen and back: We know how painful the period cramps can get! The intensity also varies from period to period, depending on diet, health conditions and other factors. It is because as the uterus contracts, it results in ache in the lower abdomen and back.
  1. Headache and fatigue: Many women face menstrual migraines. Which are hormone related and not associated with external stress. 
  1. Breast tenderness: This usually happens due to fall in the level of hormones in the body. Perfectly normal, though absolutely annoying. Limiting caffeine intake has proven quite helpful to help with the pain.

You might also like to know: Signs and Symptoms of Ovulation | Toddler Junction

How does the body prepare for pregnancy?

You are not getting pregnant this week, but the body is just preparing the body for pregnancy. For the entire previous cycle, the body prepared itself for pregnancy. But when you don’t get pregnant, the wall or the lining of the uterus breaks down and prepares itself in case of upcoming pregnancy. Most of the women have cycles of 21 to 35 days with bleeding discharge for 2 to 10 days. Don’t freak out as it is totally normal.

When you finish the period, the body prepares itself for pregnancy, It is only during ovulation, you will be able to conceive and get pregnant.

Week 1 of pregnancy

Self-care tips 

Charting out the ovulation period:

In order to understand and take self care measures to ensure pregnancy, it is important to note the ovulation day as the egg stays alive and ready to be fertile only within 12 to 24 hours.

Ovulation usually occurs 14 days before the LMP, irrespective of the length of your cycle. Having a mobile tracker app comes quite handy here. It is easier to update and review past cycles and they are pretty reliable at identifying the day for next period.

Basically 2 days before the ovulation day marks the start of the fertile period that ends on the ovulation day being the last one.

At the end of week 1, it is possible to track when you’ll ovulate-

  • Charting the menstrual cycle in calender 
  • Keeping close check on cervical mucus
  • Noting basal metabolic temperature

These are collectively known as fertility awareness methods.

Taking necessary vitamin supplements:

It is important to make the body ready for pregnancy prior to getting the eggs fertile. A healthy and balanced diet provides the vital vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients you would require while expecting. It also helps in eliminating pregnancy discomfort triggered by hormones. It also plays a vital role in the long term health of your future child. Taking a folic acid supplement can prevent birth defects, congenital disabilities.

Kicking back on alcohol or tobacco consumption in any form:

Taking drugs or smoking is the most dangerous threat to your future baby. It may hinder your fertility. 

It can expose the unborn child with toxic chemicals, putting the health of the baby at risk and also increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. You may join some support group or visit a therapist to break the habit.

Getting mentally prepared to eliminate unnecessary stress:

During pregnancy, most of the women experience volatility in their emotional stability. Stress and hormonal changes triggers anxiety and disturbs mental health. Blame it on the hormones, but you can significantly reduce the complications but being mentally ready for such challenges.

Practicing mindfulness is a significant part to gracefully overcome pregnancy complications. Make sure to do regular exercise, take adequate rest and join support groups for stress management or do a couple of minutes of meditation every day.

Get physically ready for pregnancy

When a woman is pregnant, she eats for two. She also has to keep herself fit to digest extra food. Research suggests that menstrual cramps can be tamed down by exercising. 

Week 1 is a great time to start exercising a routine that you can maintain throughout pregnancy. It also boosts physical and mental health and makes it easier to birth a baby

Week 1 of pregnancy
Calendar Appointment Agenda Schedule Planner

Checklist for Week 1 :

  • Add more nutritional foods and supplements to your diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Make healthier lifestyle choices and cut down on tobacco, caffeine and other drugs
  • Physically and mentally prepare yourself to enter into a new phase of life!

Bottom line:

A healthy pregnancy is a result of taking necessary action before the pregnancy. While you are anticipating the journey, it has already begun! Week 2 gives an opportunity to conceive. Thus, week 1 is the period when you physically make sure that your chances of conceiving are higher as well as you taking steps to mentally and physically preparing yourself for pregnancy and it’s relative consequences. Sending some baby magic your way! 

Reference:

Mayoclinic.org: Pregnancy: Signs, Symptoms, Overview, & Health Tips You Should Know

Healthline.com: Pregnancy: Signs, Symptoms, Overview, & Health Tips You Should Know

Medicineplus.gov: Pregnancy | Pregnant | Prenatal Care | MedlinePlus

What do you think?

Written by Neetu Verma

I am a certified Nurse in General Nursing - Midwifery. I am currently fighting coronavirus in a government hospital in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India as a nurse on special duty. I have a special love for writing and write as and when time allows me to do so.

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