Your baby is not even there yet, but your body has already started to change to accommodate its tiny tenant and you may already be experiencing mood swings, fatigue and morning sickness.
1 Week Pregnant – Fetus
Strictly speaking, you’re not considered pregnant during the first week. There is no baby in your uterus yet, but an embryo will be there soon enough! Conception only happens about two weeks after the period ends, so here’s what happening during the first week of pregnancy: When you ovulate, you release an egg that travels from the ovary into the fallopian tubes. During what is considered the second week of pregnancy, the egg can be fertilized by your partner’s sperm. Once fertilized, there starts a truly miraculous process: cells begin to divide and multiply. The egg now continues its journey from the fallopian tubes to the uterus and it is indeed a long journey that lasts about six days. After reaching the uterus, the implantation stage begins: the fertilized egg will implant itself into the thick, cozy lining of the uterus wall.
There’s no pregnancy at the first week, but it is still included in the pregnancy period, if only for the sake of calculating the first day of your last menstrual period. Meanwhile, the egg (that is now called a blastocyst) contains two parts:
- The external part that will become the placenta
- The internal part that will become the embryo
1 Week Pregnant – Symptoms
Most women don’t feel that something has changed until after the second week of their pregnancy and don’t discover they’re pregnant until much later. Believe it or not, but some women didn’t have a clue until the third month of pregnancy.
Needless to say, there’s no weight gain yet, neither there is any trace of the future pregnancy belly as your uterus is now the size of a fist. It will grow to the size of a watermelon during the next nine months. But your body has already started preparing itself, and you may already be experiencing the first symptoms of pregnancy – feeling emotional and tired, suffering from constipation, tender breasts, some cramps in the lower abdomen that resemble menstruation cramps, but might feel slightly different in a way that is hard to explain in words) or nausea. Most women don’t experience those symptoms up until they’re 2 weeks pregnant.
1 Week Pregnant – Questions
You’re now going to start the first trimester (the first three months) of your pregnancy! It is a long and exciting journey, and even if you’ve been through it before, you may still have some questions.
1. What can I do during the First Week of Pregnancy?
Even if you’re not sure you’re pregnant yet, you should quit drinking and smoking right now. Yes, already. The sooner, the better. It’s time to kick that comfortable caffeine addiction, too, replacing all of the above with a balanced, healthy diet.
2. When should I have my First Prenatal Visit?
It’s a good idea to set the first prenatal appointment with your doctor to discuss your future pregnancy, especially if you’re taking some kind of medication and are not sure whether it’s safe to continue taking it while you’re pregnant.
3. Why do I need Folic Acid?
If you haven’t been taking folic acid until now, your doctor may recommend that you start taking it immediately. The U. S. Public Health Service recommends that all women between 15 and 45 years of age consume 0.4 mg (400 micrograms) of folic acid daily to prevent serious birth defects that occur in the first 3 or 4 weeks of pregnancy (when many women are not aware of their pregnancy). These birth defects are:
- Anencephaly, which is when the baby is born without big parts of the brain, skull and scalp. Babies born with anencephaly rarely survive longer than a few hours or days after their birth.
- Spina bifida, incomplete development of the spine that results in a gap in the spine, usually clearly visible after the baby is born. With proper treatment that usually involves surgery, physiotherapy, medication and mobility aids, most children born with spina bifida are likely to survive and lead a full life, though admittedly a challenging one.