Take a look at each week of your pregnancy, from conception to birth, with our comprehensive email newsletters.
Let’s look at the first week, where it all begins and why it’s as important as any of the others which follow:
As exciting as this sounds, the reality of being 1 week pregnant isn’t all that wonderful. This is when you will have your period and for now, there isn’t even a baby present. This is because it is still a couple of weeks away from being conceived. That doesn’t mean that you can just ignore this first week though. You still have some early planning and date keeping to do.
Each time you have a period, your body is preparing itself for a potential pregnancy. A lot of complex hormonal changes are going on in your body, in readiness to support fertilisation if it happens in around a fortnight’s time. This is why we count the first day of a woman’s period as a starting point for the countdown towards the expected date when the baby is due. Although it may seem to not make sense, including the first 2 weeks is standard practice.
Mark on a calendar the day and date you started bleeding and for how long your period lasts. If you can, keep a record for a couple of months so you know the length of your menstrual cycles. For most women this is around 28 days, though a few days either side of this is still considered within a normal range. Becoming familiar with your own body’s rhythms and cycles will help you to plan for conception and the time you are most likely to fall pregnant.
Most women ovulate around 12-14 days after the first day they start bleeding. If you want to fall pregnant, try timing when you have sex to coincide with, or just before your ovulation.
We can never know exactly when conception or fertilisation occurs. Although the earth may have moved for you both when you had sex, nothing as momentous happens when a sperm and egg meet up. Conception usually happens without fanfare or any outward signs that it has happened.
There is a small window of time around when an egg (ova) can survive after it has been released from the ovary. It takes around 12-24 hours for the egg to migrate from the ovary and down the fallopian tube. This is where fertilisation of an egg with a sperm usually happens. Sperm can generally survive for longer than an egg can, but only the hardiest and most mobile of the sperm can find their way up through cervix and uterus to the fallopian tube.
Lots of books and web sites refer to the last normal menstrual period or LNMP. This is because some women will have a light bleed at the time when the fertilised egg burrows into the lining of their uterus. It’s important that this show of blood isn’t confused as a period, which is why the word "normal" is used to clarify.
Aim for a healthy life. Try to focus on what’s good for you and what will help your body stay strong and healthy.
Go to week 2 to find out what happens next!
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. To reduce the risk of injury, never force or strain yourself during exercise. If you feel pain, stop and seek medical attention if necessary.
Your baby’s due date: August 16 - August 28, 2021
Baby’s star sign: Leo
Chinese year: Ox
Famous people born around your baby's birth date: