Pregnancy Week One – 1st Week

This is a Graafian Follicle on a human Ovary - you'll be ovulating soon, which means pregnancy is right around the corner. Image by wellcome

This is a Graafian Follicle on a human Ovary – you’ll be ovulating soon, which means pregnancy is right around the corner. Image by wellcome

The typical pregnancy lasts approximately 280 days from the last menstrual period or LMP. This 40 week time-frame is counted by your doctor or midwife from week one, even though ovulation and fertilization of the egg won’t happen until some time around the end of week 2.

The fertilization age, or age of fetus at the average time of birth is actually 38 weeks.

There are three trimesters of pregnancy, each lasting around 13 weeks apiece.

Tracking Your Pregnancy Length

Some women prefer to count their pregnancies in lunar months which actually gives us a count of 10 lunar cycles during pregnancy. This makes sense to many women, whose body is tuned into the cycle of the moon for their menstrual cycles already.

This difference, and that fact that some women’s menstrual cycle is longer or shorter than the average 28 days, makes it hard to estimate an accurate due date, unless you calculate from your ovulation date. In fact, less than 10% of all women deliver on their actual estimated due date.

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On this site, we will discuss each week of pregnancy according to how your doctor, midwife or health care professional is likely to discuss it with you.

So, what happens to your body during week 1 of your pregnancy? This week, your body is clearing itself of the leftover, unused tissue from your last menstrual cycle, in preparation for the next month. The egg you produced last month wasn’t fertilized, so you’re body’s clearing the uterus by shedding the endometrium (nutrient rich lining of the uterus) to prepare for the next month’s cycle.

Pre-Conception Considerations – Before Getting Pregnant

Prior to conception, many women of childbearing age choose to begin taking prenatal vitamins to ensure they have the right nutrients in place for early development of the baby. Folic acid is especially important in the early weeks of pregnancy to prevent spina bifida and other neural defects.

Couples who are both of the same racial heritage, or who have a history of genetic illness in their family history, may choose to undergo genetic counseling as well. The genes for diseases such as Huntington’s, Tay Sach’s, Sickle Cell Anemia and others, can be detected ahead of time. Couples will be able to find out the likelihood of their children contracting these diseases before choosing to attempt to get pregnant. Genetic problems are far less likely in couples that are not of common descent.

Pregnancy On the Horizon

The average menstrual period lasts 4 to 6 days, occurs an average of 28 days after the previous period, and produces between 1 and 2 ounces of blood. As your body cleanses itself for the last time in almost a year (more for women who breastfeed and experience delayed menstruation after birth), it may seem like an average period to you. But soon, your life will be anything but average. You will soon be making decisions for two and your life will never be the same.

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  1. […] nutrient-rich lining your body began to prepare (after shedding last month’s lining in pregnancy week one) waiting for it there. Hormone production in the woman’s body keeps the lining of the uterus […]

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