How is my baby growing?
The first week of pregnancy can be a bit confusing. Usually by the time you find out you are pregnant, you are already at least 4 weeks into your pregnancy. It is hard to know the exact date of when your egg is fertilized but the start of your menstrual cycle is very clear. For this reason, doctors calculate your due date by using the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP). Still confused? Don’t worry. All you need to know is that the first 2 weeks are counted to let your doctor make the best estimate of your due date. Your pregnancy will usually last for 40 weeks but some babies may want to come out at 38 weeks while other babies wait until 42 weeks. Your doctor will not let you go more than 42 weeks. Now that we shed some light on how your due date is calculated, let’s see how your body is changing.
Body & Life Changes
How is my body changing?
During this time, your body is preparing for ovulation. Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from your ovary, which usually occurs between 12 to 14 days after the first day of your period. There are hormones circulating in your body to prepare for you egg to be fertilized. You may feel your breast become swollen and tender. You may also experience some abdominal cramps. These are all common signs and symptoms of your menstrual period. You should plan to fertilize your egg in about 2 more weeks. Mark your calender and make sure to let your partner know.
What should I be concerned about?
During this week, you don’t need to be worried about anything. The only thing you should focus on is maintaining a healthy diet and taking your prenatal vitamins. You can take prenatal vitamins even when your are It is important to get an adequate amount of vitamins, especially folic acid. Folic acid is needed to reduce the risk of neural tube defects (birth defects caused by incomplete development of the brain or spinal cord), such as spina bifida. The recommended dose at this stage is about 400 micrograms of folic acid a day. The dose may be higher for women who have a history of spina bifida.
Your Doctor Visits
What should I tell my doctor?
It is important for you to tell your doctor what prescription drugs, nonprescription (OTC) drugs or herbal supplements you are currently taking. These drugs may potentially cause harm to your baby. If there are any prescription drugs you need to take regularly, you should not stop taking them without consulting your doctor first. Your doctor will need to weigh the potential benefits and risks of stopping your medications.
Questions to ask your doctor
- Can I keep taking my prescription and over-the-counter medication while getting pregnant?
- What should I do before getting pregnant?
- Are there any vaccinations I need before getting pregnant?
What tests should I know about?
To prepare your body for your baby, your doctor will perform an overall examination. Your doctor may request the following tests:
- Pap smear, which will help detect any reasons that may affect your chances of conceiving.
- Genetic tests, which will help detect any possible genetic disease that may be passed down to your baby. Such diseases include sickle cell anemia, Thalassemia and Tay-Sachs disease.
- Blood tests, which will detect any STDs or immunity to rubella and chicken pox. This will determine if you will need any treatment or vaccinations before getting pregnant.
These tests will help your doctor give you the proper guidance to prepare your body for a healthy baby.
Health & Safety
What should I know about being healthy and safe while pregnant?
You are probably wondering what you need to avoid to ensure a healthy pregnancy. When you are pregnant, your immune system is not as strong as before, so you will most likely become more prone to infections. You might want to talk to your doctor about what vaccinations are safe for you. Here are some vaccines you may consider or avoid:
Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine
Measles is a viral infection. Some signs and symptoms include mild fever, cough, runny nose and are followed by a spotted red rash after a couple of days. Mumps is also a contagious viral infection that causes the salivary glands to swell. If you are infected with either one during pregnancy, the risk of miscarriage is high. The rubella virus, also called German measles, the rubella virus presents flu-like symptoms often followed by a rash. Up to 85 percent of babies of moms who contract it during the first trimester develop serious birth defects, such as hearing loss and intellectual disabilities. This vaccine is not safe during pregnancy. Usually, you need to wait for 1 to 3 months after receiving the MMR vaccine before getting pregnant. Please consult with your doctor.
Chickenpox is an extremely contagious viral disease that causes fever and an uncomfortable, itchy rash. About 2 percent of babies of women who develop chickenpox during the first five months of pregnancy might have birth defects, including malformed and paralyzed limbs. A woman who develops chickenpox around the time of delivery can also pass a life-threatening form of the infection to her baby. This vaccine is not safe during pregnancy. It is important to check with your doctor before getting pregnant.
It is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) to get the flu shot when you’re pregnant. The flu shot is made of dead virus and will not harm your baby. You should avoid the nasal spray flu vaccine called FluMist, which is made of live viruses.
If you get any type of flu while you’re pregnant, you’re more likely to develop serious complications. One serious complication is pneumonia, which is potentially life threatening and may also increase your risk for preterm labor. You’re also at risk for flu-related complications during the postpartum period.
The flu vaccine is usually safe during pregnancy. There’s evidence that getting a flu shot during pregnancy will guarantee your baby some protection after birth. Your baby may receive some antibodies from you during pregnancy. If you’re immune, your newborn is less likely to be exposed to the flu.
Let us show you what happens next week.
Hello Health Group does not offer any advice, diagnosis or medical treatment.
Review Date: August 10, 2016 | Last Modified: November 2, 2018
Your baby at weeks 1 and 2 http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/weeks-1-and-2.aspx. Accessed May 27, 2016.
Pregnancy Calendar - Week 1 http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/pregnancy_calendar/week1.html. Accessed May 27, 2016.
How to calculate your due date. http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/calculating-due-date.aspx. Accessed May 27, 2016.