Pregnancy Week 1
Weeks one and two of pregnancy are actually the two-week time span between your 'last normal menstrual period' and the time you conceive at ovulation.
During this time, your body prepares for the possibility of pregnancy as it has so many times before. It finalises the maturation process of an egg, and builds a new lining for the uterus ready to give baby a safe place to live and grow for nine months!
Before ultrasounds and other tools were available to doctors to help them deduce the date of conception, the date of your last period was the most accurate way of determining a due date. Interestingly, these 14 days have remained in the ‘pregnancy calendar.' (So when you conceive, you are considered two weeks pregnant. Hey, it’s nice to have a head start, right?)
Preparing for pregnancy
If you’re actively trying to get pregnant, try to make sure your body is a healthy and safe environment for growing another human life.
- If you’re a smoker, now is the time to quit. Women who smoke tend to have lower oestrogen levels, which causes irregular ovulation and makes it harder to get pregnant. Smoking also puts a pregnancy at risk in many ways, from premature birth and low birth weight to SIDS and breathing problems in the first six months of life.
- Drinking alcohol can affect the production of healthy eggs and sperm, so if you’re trying to get pregnant, keep any alcoholic drinks to a minimum. For men, alcohol can lead to a lower sperm count and a higher chance of producing abnormal sperm. For women, avoiding drink before conception and during pregnancy reduces the chances of a miscarriage or abnormal fetal development.
- Take a 400 microgram supplement of folic acid every day, which will reduce the risk of your baby having a neural defect such as spina bifida by up to 70%. If you have epilepsy, diabetes or other medical conditions (check with your GP), you are advised to take a 5-milligram supplement.