You’re pregnant – congratulations! You may not be aware of it yet, but your body is already changing – preparing to nurture your growing baby.
Things to do
|You may not be aware of it yet, but your body is already changing – preparing to nurture your growing baby.This amazing 40 weeks is counted from the first day of your last period, although your baby was probably actually conceived about two weeks after that.
In all likelihood, you won’t be feeling any different from usual, though some women seem to have a sixth sense that tells them they’re pregnant, even at this very early stage.
Around week 3 (counting from the first day of your last period), when the bundle of cells that will grow into your baby is burrowing into the lining of your womb, you might experience pains a bit like period pains. You might have some slight bleeding too.
At the end of week 4, around the time your period is due, you may begin to notice that something is happening. You may feel as if your period is about to start, but it doesn’t. Your breasts may become tender and enlarged, and you may have a feeling of fullness in your lower abdomen. You may find that you start to go off certain foods, especially those that aren’t good for you in large quantities, such as fried foods, coffee or alcohol (this may be nature’s way of making sure that you eat well). You might also develop cravings for particular kinds of food. Some women begin to feel – or even to be – sick. This is often known as morning sickness, though it can occur at any time of day. You may also notice that you need to go to the toilet more often*.
|At the moment of conception, one of your partner’s sperm fuses with your egg to form a single cell. This cell divides into two, and then into four, and so on, over and
over again, to form a cluster of cells.
As it’s multiplying, this ball of cells travels towards your womb.
During week three, it begins to bed itself into the lining of your womb, which has become thicker and rich in nourishment, ready to receive it.
This process is usually completed by week 4. The cluster of cells has become an embryo.
|As soon as you suspect you might be pregnant, start taking a daily folic acid supplement (400mcg), if you’re not already doing so. (It’s even better if you start taking folic acid as soon as you stop using contraception – but don’t worry if this isn’t possible).
If you’re taking any medication, or any herbal or homeopathic remedy, tell your doctor or pharmacist or practitioner that you think you’re pregnant.
If you are taking regular prescription drugs –
If you smoke, drink alcohol or take recreational drugs, it’s better for your baby if you can stop, or cut down as much as possible.
All pregnancies are different, so don’t worry if you’re not experiencing everything exactly as it says here.
Reviewed by babyworld midwife Hannah Hulme Hunter