Weeks 1-6: What’s Up?
Whether you’ve been trying for a baby or get hit with the bombshell news, the first few weeks of pregnancy can be somewhat anticlimactic. For one, you might not even learn that you’re expecting during this time frame. If you do, you probably won’t have intense symptoms yet. Here’s what to expect in the early weeks of your pregnancy.
The crazy thing about the first week of pregnancy is that you have your period. In fact, you haven’t even conceived. We know that this is confusing. Doctors record pregnancy this way because they don’t usually know your precise ovulation date. During this week, you’re releasing last month’s egg and creating a new uterine lining, which will house the next egg that your ovaries release.
If it’s the first day of a missed period and you get a positive pregnancy test, congratulations! You’re four or five weeks pregnant. Feel free to skip ahead.
You’ll probably be ovulating during this week. You’re most fertile on the two-day window leading up to ovulation and on ovulation day. The egg must be fertilized within 12 to 24 hours of release. Sperm can live inside of you for up to six days. Therefore, you might want to try having plenty of sex leading up to ovulation if you’re trying to make a baby.
If you conceive this week, your body will start to produce certain hormones, but those won’t be measurable on most pregnancy tests for another two weeks or so.
This is a waiting game. If you conceived during ovulation, you might experience some spotting as the embryo attaches to the uterine wall. You may cringe if your breast or nipple accidentally gets bumped. Don’t worry if you still feel totally normal, though.
While a blood test could detect pregnancy at this time, most women only get those if they’re at risk for certain complications. It’s a waiting game from here.
Your period is about to show up—or not. If you take a pregnancy test during this week, it could confirm that you’re expecting. It’s a good time to schedule your first exam with an OB/GYN if you’ve had a positive pregnancy test. Most physicians prefer to wait until about eight weeks for the first visit and ultrasound, though.
As for your baby, it’s referred to as a blastocyst this week. Smaller than a poppy seed, the microscopic bundle of cells is getting comfortable in your womb.
It’s typical to feel like you’re not pregnant. You could be starting to experience morning sickness, bloating and moodiness. You might feel mild abdominal cramping. Or you could also feel like your old self.
Paying attention to your nutrition is key here. Even though your baby is small, it’s gearing up for some major development. Ask your doctor about prenatal vitamins, and start ordering club soda with lime on girls’ night out.
If you’re still not sure whether you’re expecting, a pregnancy test should be reliable this week. Your baby is the size of one piece of Nerds candy.
The bad news is that you might be feeling tired, queasy and irritable. Your boobs may be freakishly sore, and your emotions are a little unpredictable. A little spotting is normal, but you should call the doctor if you are pregnant and bleeding as though you’re menstruating.
Is it starting to feel real? Your baby is approximately as big as one pea and has a rapidly developing circulatory system. If you get an ultrasound this week, don’t be alarmed if the doctor can’t identify a heartbeat. You may not be as far along as you think.
You might start urinating more as your body directs more blood to your pelvic region. Previous symptoms could intensify. But if you still feel pretty great, consider yourself lucky, and prepare for more noticeable signs of pregnancy to arrive in the next several weeks.