Pregnancy Week 1 & 2
First and Second Week of Pregnancy
Congratulations! During the first and second week of pregnancy your body is preparing for possible conception.
How is pregnancy calculated?
Calculating the day your baby begins to develop and keeping track of your pregnancy dates can be a challenge. The development of pregnancy is counted from the first day of the woman’s last normal menstrual period (LMP), even though the development of the fetus does not begin until conception, which is about two weeks later.
Pregnancy is calculated from this day because each time a woman has a period, her body is preparing for pregnancy. Counting from the LMP, most women are pregnant an average of 280 days. Calculating from the LMP also gives a standard of measurement for health care providers to follow since it is extremely difficult to know exactly when conception occurred.
For more information on how pregnancy is measured, please see our information on calculating your dates.
What changes are occurring with your body?
Your period has just begun, and you may be thinking about becoming pregnant. Your ovulation time is the most important thing you need to understand when trying to conceive. Ovulation occurs when a mature egg is released from the ovary, pushed down the fallopian tube, and available to be fertilized.
The lining of the uterus has thickened to prepare for a fertilized egg. If conception does not occur, the uterine lining will be shed. The shedding of an unfertilized egg and the uterine wall occurs during menstruation.
There are also several facts that you need to know concerning ovulation:
- An egg lives 12-24 hours after leaving the ovary.
- Normally, only one egg is released each time you ovulate.
- Ovulation can be affected by stress, illness, travel, and significant changes in weight, exercise, and sleeping patterns.
- Some women may experience light spotting during ovulation. This is not considered to be an actual period, but rather an ovulatory bleeding.
What is happening with your baby?
Nothing is happening yet, but be patient while the stage is being set. Before long, an egg will be released and will be available to be fertilized.
How do you track ovulation?
A woman’s monthly cycle is measured from the first day of her menstrual period until the first day of her next period. On average, a woman’s cycle normally is between 28-32 days. Ovulation is calculated by starting with the first day of the cycle, which is the day the menstrual period begins.
Most women ovulate on any one day between Day 11 – Day 21 of their cycle. This is what many refer to as the “fertile time” or “fertility window” of a woman’s cycle because sexual intercourse during this time increases the chance of pregnancy.
For more information on tracking ovulation please see:
- Fertility Awareness
- Understanding Ovulation
- Ovulation Calendar
What should you plan at this time?
There may need to be some lifestyle changes made at this time to increase your chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby down the road. Adequate exercise and a balanced diet are important factors to evaluate.
It is recommended to begin taking prenatal vitamins and stop using substances such as:
- Artificial sweeteners
- Recreational drugs
If you are taking prescription drugs, check with your health care provider to see if such medication is safe to take during pregnancy. For more information on nutrition during pregnancy, please see our information on pre-conception nutrition.
Tips for making your pregnancy better
The most important thing you can do right now is to act in the way you would if you already knew you were pregnant. Since it can be weeks before you know if conception has occurred, this will protect both you and your future baby from any substances or activities that could cause problems.
Tips for mom’s partner
Many times the male partner does not feel he has a role in a potential pregnancy at this time. However, his health and lifestyle can also affect your future baby. He may need to evaluate his nutrition, medication intake, as well as habits like smoking, and using drugs or alcohol.
Men can also benefit from taking prenatal vitamins or another type of vitamin supplement, including a proper diet, prior to conception.