menstrual period and cycle

Your baby, your body, and your partner, plus tips for the 1st week of pregnancy.

Your baby

The first week of development starts on the day of your last menstrual period. You are not officially pregnant yet, and while conception has not yet happened, the body starts to tick off the weeks from this point forward. Most women who are trying to conceive will now be focused on ovulation. Women can recognize ovulation in a variety of ways, but the most effective way is a visual look at vaginal mucus. Begin by placing a finger in the vagina to gauge the texture of the mucus being excreted. Cervical mucus will appear white or yellow during ovulation and stretch between the fingers quite easily.

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Your body

During the first week, women spend between 5 and 7 days having a normal menstrual cycle. For a typical 28-day menstrual cycle, ovulation occurs 14 days after the start of your period. This means the perfect time to conceive is about one week after menstrual bleeding has stopped. You can keep track of your menstrual cycles for several months to determine whether the cycle is 28 days, more or less. Once the cycle time has been calculated, simply divide that time in half. For instance, if you have a 30-day cycle, ovulation will occur around the 15th day after the start of your period.

Your partner

As a partner, you play a huge role in the pregnancy. There is a lot to think about and you are both occupied with thoughts about being a parent and the future ahead. 

Tips for this week

— Starting a pregnancy diet this early in the game is a great choice. Pregnancy diets are high in whole grains and fiber while maintaining a healthy fat and carbohydrate level.

— If you are thinking about becoming pregnant, you may also want to start taking prenatal vitamins with folic acid at this time. Folic acid prevents neural tube defects in the first weeks after conception. Most often, women have no idea they are pregnant until about the 6th week of pregnancy. Taking prenatal vitamins well before conception provides great benefits for baby.

— Toxic materials in the environment and body are detrimental to fertility and gestation. The first week of pregnancy is the ideal time to stop smoking, stop drinking, and remove any chemical toxins from your daily environment. Chemical toxins can include paint and aerosol sprays.

— Doctors often tell women thinking about conception to “think pregnant” and “act pregnant” before they are pregnant.

Read More:
Week 2
Pregnancy: Week by Week
Your First Trimester
Early Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy

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