Menstrual Cycle - Week 1
The 280-day countdown begins here – even though you haven’t yet conceived.
It’s business as usual for your body this week. You’re having a period, so you know you’re not pregnant. But if you conceive during this menstrual cycle, the first day of your period will count as the first day of pregnancy. It’s a good idea to review your lifestyle and to make sure that you understand how everything works “inside”. Knowing the facts may help to raise your chances of conceiving.
Your reproductive organs
1.Muscular wall of uterus
2.The thick lining of the uterus (endometrium) that built up during your last menstrual cycle is shed as you have your period.
5.The ovarian ligament stabilizes the ovary within the abdomen.
6.The pre-pregnant uterus is about the size of a plum.
10.Each ovary contains eggs at various stages of development. By the end of next week, at the mid-point of your cycle, ovulation may occur. This is when a mature egg is released from its follicle.
11.The Fallopian tube is the passageway down which a newly released egg travels on its way to the uterus.
Your baby’s development
Spaced between 13-week trimesters, a full round of pregnancy lasts up to 280 days, i.e. around 40 weeks of term period. Kick-starting from the very first day of your last menstrual period, as of now you haven’t even conceived according to your physician’s evaluation. This is because ovulation occurs two week post your mensuration date. Basically, your first day of pregnancy is during your last menstrual period.
So, the bottom line is: if growing a human being inside you isn’t oddly strange and packed full of emotions, the day you are officially told you have conceived, you are already two weeks in your pregnancy.
As of now what you have is an anxious egg and a whole bunch of eager sperms standing at the starting gates, while your body is working hard to gear up for the event that paves the way for the big O, Ovulation.
As of now you won’t notice anything remarkably changed in your body yet, but you must schedule an appointment with your gynaecologist soon for a blood test and your first prenatal appointment. Take a list of questions with you. And yes, totally avoid drugs (even if they are over-the-counter medicines), alcohol. Cigarettes, excessive sugar and smoke, and replace it all with prenatal vitamins.
Be geared up to embrace all things magical as by this time next year you will be holding in your arms your 16-week old baby.
Changes in you
As of now your baby is a big glimmer in your eyes, but your body starts to change little by little. Starting with your next period that is due on the last week of first week of your pregnancy, some women might also suffer from slight cramping or implantation bleeding. Women might also suffer from nausea or vomiting, which generally eases around 14th to 22nd week of pregnancy. Women also tend to suffer from extreme tiredness at times, accompanied with dizziness – a scenario in which they can’t stand for a longer period of time or can faint easily. Apart from this, women might suffer from breast tenderness, as the veins in the breasts might appear blue and prominent. Lastly, women might feel the need to pass urine more frequently during the first week of pregnancy - feeling that subsides when the uterus grow past the pubic bone. But having said this, most changes in your body are mostly unnoticeable in the first few weeks.
Emotionally, this can be a real roller-coaster ride for women, depending upon whether the pregnancy was planned or not. Mostly it is seen that only after the first trimester, when the risk of miscarriages considerably reduces, that mothers start feeling more emotionally connected to their little bundle of joy.
Indulge in positive activities. Yoga, meditation or reading, perform any constructive activity that chills you out should be you go-to activity. Basically, choose anything that helps you calm your nerves and recollect your thoughts. Also, keep in mind to stay as positive as you can. This is essential to calm your nerves, overcome your anxiety and be well-prepared for your pregnancy in an overall manner.
Nutrition for you
- Treat nausea – During the first week of pregnancy, you might suffer from constipation or indigestion, meaning that your stomach isn’t getting empty as quickly as it ideally should. Nausea is linked with human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone which is detected in large quantities in your blood or urine even after a missed period. During this time, women may find drinking ginger and lemon tea as a soothing dietary habit. Also, do consult with your gynaecologist about special Vitamin B6 tablets or acupressure wristbands, which can help with nausea.
- Heal headaches – Due to the increased levels of progesterone in the body, headaches might occur due to not drinking enough fluids/liquids, or if you are anaemic. Do make it a point to drink enough of water and water-based liquids, and if headaches persist do ask your doctor for Tylenol medicine.
- Add folic acid in your diet – Popping in a minimum of one (400mg) folic acid will help in nurturing the foetus and delivering a healthy baby and spinal cord. Apart from this, do start taking a lot of leafy green and curtailing the intake of junk food in order to stay away from nauseous or gassy occurrences.
Nutrition for baby
Don’t start ‘eating for two’ yet – In order to avoid any sort of complications later in the form gestational diabetes(diabetes occurring during pregnancy), delivering a large baby or getting overweight, aim for a fit and healthy pregnancy.
Even though you are processing some major news and your body is adapting to this new journey, loaded with a riot of hormones, you might be all over the shop. But trust us, this is completely normal!
- ·Wait to tell people – The minute you find out that you are about to embark on this precious journey, stay away from calling everyone and breaking the news to them. Especially stay away from sharing this news from your rooftops on social media platforms. Play it safe and try to wait until the first three months before sharing this life-changing news.
- Bond yourself with other mums-to-be– First time getting pregnant? We are sure there’s a truck-load of experiences you would want to share and gain with your newly pregnant friends. Join a social media community of newly pregnant moms or simply join a yoga class for pregnant women to discuss your journey and share your experiences in detail.
- Mixed emotions might be your current state of mind – And believe us when we say, this is completely normal. You might be excited one-minute thinking about the future, but you might be terrified the next minute thinking about what bad might just happen.
What do the experts suggest?
“Staring from the first week of pregnancy, do not forget to take your folic acid dose during the first month of your pregnancy as it is this one major thing that aids in lowering your unborn baby’s risk of neural tube defects. Daily take a 400 mcg supplement right from three weeks before conception, ideally going up to the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. And yes, another major thing to totally stay away from is booze. Avoid it all costs. Irrespective of the fact you are pregnant or you are trying to get pregnant. This is because alcohol goes through the blood from the route of placenta, potentially affecting the growth, and even the life, of your baby.”
Dr. Mangala Ramachandra, Consultant Obstetrics & Gynaecologist Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore
Seasonal Pregnancy Care
- Summer –Focus on consuming around 3 cups of dairy products like cottage cheese (paneer), low-fat plain or fruit yogurt for calcium as it aids in the tooth and bone development of your baby. Secondly, focus on eating a fibre-rich and high on vitamins and minerals diet, packed with whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. This will help in developing immunity and keeping you full by keeping constipation and haemorrhoids at distance.
- Winter – Limit your intake of caffeine and keep it to one –two cups of tea/coffee per day – an acceptable amount during pregnancy. Keep yourself well hydrated by drinking water frequently.
- Care during seasonal changes –Be weary of wearing seasonal-friendly clothes, be it in summers or winters, and make sure to take optimum care of your hygiene during this period. If you have been exercising in the past, don’t stop exercising and if you weren’t, then you may start with brisk walking. This is because it is only a moderate-intensity workout that will keep you strong and energetic during pregnancy. Put on your walking shoes and start with the basic drill today!