First weeks after conception are a period full of secrets, but it doesn’t mean that there is no way to know what happens to your body when you are 1 week pregnant. Quite on contrary: the more you know about this important part of your pregnancy marathon the more chances you have to give birth to a healthy baby.
When planning to conceive, every mom-to-be needs to know the difference between obstetric gestational age and fetal age, about preparing her body for fertilization, and to find out about things she’ll have to say goodbye to when carrying a child, what she’d want to avoid and how to strengthen her health and as well as her baby’s.
First week of pregnancy: so what does it actually mean?
Obstetricians calculate gestational age from the first day of your last period. This way of calculation was commonly accepted because it is very hard to define the exact date when your ovulation started — and therefore, it’s hard to tell what the exact date of conception was. For those who prefer to rely on doctors’ point of view and stick to the method of gestational age calculation used by obstetricians, the embryo is just not there; it doesn’t exist yet, which means that according to this method pregnancy definition is impossible at this stage.
In theory, ovulation has to start on the 12th – 14th day of the menstrual cycle: a mature egg comes out of follicle getting ready for the conception. But in fact things can be somewhat different. Ovulation may start either on the 7th – 8th or on 20th – 21st day of the cycle depending on individual characteristics of a woman’s body or on the length of the cycle itself. So the first week of your delicate state is the most mysterious (or even ghost-like) of all forty weeks of pregnancy because its calculation make my obstetricians is purely theoretical.
What’s happening during the first week after you conceived?
It’s amazing when you think about it but preparation for conception and further pregnancy development happens already on the state of the egg cell formation: hormonal changes and nervous system changes — all of this happens every month, during every cycle.
It’s no secret that the calculation of the first week of pregnancy is made in a lot of various ways. It all depends on what should be considered as the “starting point” of pregnancy. While doctors say that the first week starts at the first day of a woman’s last period, the “real” starting point (they will be able to tell you what it is after you do the ultrasound scan) is calculated from the day of conception.
Signs of pregnancy at the first week
In fact, the first two weeks of the “obstetric” pregnancy always stay under a vail of mystery. Not surprising at all, since at this point even the mom-to-be doesn’t know that her egg is going to be fertilized. This is why the signs of pregnancy are, of course, absent. Naturally, a future mom feels no nausea or tingle in her nipples at this stage.
The first week is critically important, if not to say decisive. More often than not the further fetal development depends on what happens during the first days after conception, as well as the pregnancy itself (or whether the embryo will be settled in the womb firmly).
At this stage it is too early to talk about such vivid symptoms as morning nausea, intolerance to the smell of food or to the fragrance of perfume you loved so much before. But some spotting may sometimes be detected during the first weeks, which should not make you feel alarmed — it’s not dangerous and quite acceptable. On the first week of pregnancy HCG level is not that high. You may not feel any changes at all — and it’s perfectly normal.
The pregnancy test will, of course, show the negative result. It just cannot be otherwise, if you are absolutely well and have no hormonal issues. Pale and barely visible second line will start being visible on a pregnancy test strip in 10-12 days or later.
What can you feel when you’re 1 week pregnant?
The fact of pregnancy actually taking place during the first obstetric week is a big mystery to a woman. She can’t even know whether her egg was fertilized. The future mom’s body just starts making its first attempts to readjust itself for the new job, “anticipating” the unusual state.
What should you do?
If a woman is sure about her decision to become a mother then it’s now that she should get mentally ready for the long process of carrying a baby. The soon-to-be mom has to accept the new life growing inside her body, to become fully aware of this idea, to understand the scale of responsibility she undertakes. For something no one can really see at this point will soon become a source of great happiness to both parents.
Useful tips and recommendations for future moms
The new life is going to be conceived inside a woman, and the measures that are taken to keep it healthy during the period of pregnancy are more important than ever. So now it’s essential to discover what you can’t do during the first week of pregnancy. If you didn’t do this before, start right now, and it will influence your baby’s development most favorably.
— This is perhaps the most important warning of all: stop all poisonous agents from entering your body. That is to say, smoking and alcohol should be prohibited if you are trying to conceive.
— All the medicines you have to take for one reason or another have to be approved by your doctor. Everyone knows that many pharmaceuticals may cause irreversible changes in a woman’s body. This is why you should never take any medicines without your doctor’s approval.
— Try not to do any abdominal X-ray tests. Tests of this kind are done only in case of emergency!
— Stressful situations have negative effect over the future mom’s health, so try to solve all your problems peacefully. Don’t argue with your relatives; don’t get into conflicts with your co-workers! Better try to create some romantic atmosphere at home you’re your husband: sex during the first weeks of pregnancy will not only help you relax; it will also make your intimate relationship so much better.
— Try to minimize contacts with sick people as much as you can. It’s important to dress warmly during the colder months and to be careful not to catch cold or to get sick with other illnesses that can cause fever, which is very undesirable during the first weeks of pregnancy. Onion and garlic can help you out here: they are the best means for cold prevention at this stage.
— To strengthen your immune system and enrich your body with all the necessary micro-elements, it’s recommended to take vitamins during the first weeks of pregnancy. But you shouldn’t forget about balanced diet either — it’s of great importance. Your everyday menu should contain vegetables, fruit, cereals and dairy products. It is especially important to pay attention to how much folic acid (Vitamin B9) your food contains: it helps to avoid inborn defects and supports the normal development of the fetus.
The miracle you’ve been waiting for
Planned pregnancy is always a joy. The very chance to conceive a baby in the nearest time fills you with the feeling of incredible warmth and tenderness that makes you think of everything that’s good and cheerful. And even though the first signs of pregnancy are not there yet, and you are not yet tortured by the toxemia, every cell of your body is tuned for reproduction.
Your dreams of having a baby and a happy family can come true. The long-waited second stripe on the pregnancy test stick is just the first step to your new life!