By the commencement of the first week, you need to know that there is no embryo, fetus, or even baby in sight. It is all about prep work! A full swam of sperms lay in waiting for an anxious egg on its way down towards the uterus. As the egg meets the sperms and one makes through its membrane that is the magical moment, the life-giving point where everyone of us started. From that moment, the body goes into a frenzy preparing for implantation and full pregnancy.
In reality, you are not yet pregnant at this point! Though some may start getting early signs, the chances are that even an at-home test will give negative results. It is advisable to wait until the 5th week. But how can this be? For the egg to reach the uterus, implant, and the fetus to start developing, it will be about 2 weeks.
At what point did you really become pregnant?
Because this is the week that the ovum (egg) gets fertilized, many have been asking the question; what exactly is the time that I became pregnant? Well, it is very difficult to cite the time, hour, and day that the pregnancy starts. Indeed, the sperms can wait up to 6 days after ovulation and take over 10 more days moving down and being implanted in the uterus.
Well, these numbers can be confusing! Indeed, the reality is that your pregnancy goes for only 38 weeks because by the time the embryo starts growing, approximately two weeks are already gone. Well, do not keep worrying much about the exact point when your pregnancy hit the road; take the first week as a kick-start and get down to preparing for the lovely journey till the last week.
Baby’s growth and development in week one
Even as difficult as it is to pinpoint when exactly the pregnancy started, get down to basics to know how everything happened. Immediately after fertilization, the sperm and egg form a single cell that starts going through series of cell divisions;
- The first cell division immediately after fertilization results to formation of morula which is a collection of several cells (about 20 cells).
- Further cell division, days after fertilization, forms results to changing of morula to a blastocyte which includes more cells with a small cavity at the center and a protective outer membrane. The blastocyte is moving along the horn of the uterine wall.
- By the close of the week (5-7 days) the blastocyte ‘hatches’ from the protective membrane and attaches to the uterine wall where it starts receiving nutrition for further cell division.
It is during this week that the chromosomes combine to determine the sex of the child and kick start development of key organs though at a very basic stage. Think of it this way, the baby’s organs starting as single cells that will divide and grow to form full organs in the second trimester and third respectively.
Changes to expect in Mom’s body during week 1
While many people will rarely notice that they are pregnant, the body is undergoing a lot of things. In fact, most women will consider minor signs as natural and even not take it seriously. At this moment, the body is pumping a lot of progesterone and estrogen and you can anticipate the following signs;
- Boobs tenderness
- Implantation bleeding
- Mood swing
- Food aversion
Things to do during the 1st week
While the first and even subsequent two weeks may pass before you can get a confirmation that you are indeed pregnant; the best thing is treating yourself like you are fully pregnant by doing the following:
- Start preparing the body for the baby by taking about 400 mg of folic acids every day. This is very critical because it supports the complex baby development especially spinal, heart, and brain development.
- Stop your unhealthy habits that could harm the baby’s development. Well, some habits like taking alcohol and smoking compromise the baby’s development and could cause deformities. Well, it is time to tone them down and stop entirely. Other habits you should consider stopping include dangerous hobbies such as extreme sports that can harm you and the baby.
- Think of lowering your coffee intake or shifting to a healthier alternative. Research has demonstrated that a lot of coffee (excess of 8-ounce cup or two) may compromise fertility. The fact is that you want to present the fertilized egg with the best moment to implant and develop into a baby. Remember to cut the tea gradually and shift to a healthier option that provides the body with extra iron.
- Take light exercises preferably yoga to ensure your body is in top condition and all systems are functioning to support the myriad of activities taking place in the womb. By maintaining a healthier you, the all the glands that secrete different hormones will be active and your baby will have a great beginning in the womb.
- Take the right meals in ample quantities. As you have noted, the elevated activities in your body demand a lot of energy. Your blood is running faster not just to supply oxygen to the uterine cells and all glands that secret related hormones, but also to supply relevant nutrients and essential minerals. If you are on diet, you might consider talking to a doctor before deciding to get pregnant. Top meals should include a lot of fruits, vegetables, water, healthy carbs, essential oil, and appropriate supplements.
- Take ample time to relax, read, and meditate. During the first week, and indeed the entire first trimester, it is prudent to give the body ample time reviewing and reworking on the infrastructure that will house the baby for the next 40 weeks. Relax more, take time reading, and meditate to feel good and connect with the entire process.
- Have sex and pleasure even more. Knowing that you are gearing to get pregnant or you are already pregnant will no doubt make sex more pleasurable because all the blood has been directed to where it matters most. It is also a great moment to make your partner enjoy sex more because you do not have to worry about safe days or not taking your regular pills.