Pregnancy Skin Health
We've had an overview of what's involved in the first trimester
and how it relates to the full 40 weeks of pregnancy. But what's
really happening within your body and for your baby in these first
few months? What can you do to support it through the earliest
weeks and provide the best possible environment for your baby to
Let's look at the first week, where it all begins and why it's
as important as any of the others which follow:
As exciting as this sounds, the reality of being 1 week pregnant
isn't all that wonderful. This is when you will have your period
and for now, there isn't even a baby present. This is because it is
still a couple of weeks away from being conceived. That doesn't
mean that you can just ignore this first week though. You still
have some early planning and date keeping to do.
Each time you have a period, your body is preparing itself for a
potential pregnancy. A lot of complex hormonal changes are going on
in your body, in readiness to support fertilisation if it happens
in around a fortnight's time. This is why we count the first day of
a woman's period as a starting point for the countdown towards the
expected date when the baby is due. Although it may seem to not
make sense, including the first 2 weeks is standard practice.
Mark on a calendar the day and date you started bleeding and for
how long your period lasts. If you can, keep a record for a couple
of months so you know the length of your menstrual cycles. For most
women this is around 28 days, though a few days either side of this
is still considered within a normal range. Becoming familiar with
your own body's rhythms and cycles will help you to plan for
conception and the time you are most likely to fall pregnant.
Most women ovulate around 12-14 days after the first day they
start bleeding. If you want to fall pregnant, try timing when you
have sex to coincide with, or just before your ovulation.
We can never know exactly when conception or fertilisation
occurs. Although the earth may have moved for you both when you had
sex, nothing as momentous happens when a sperm and egg meet up.
Conception usually happens without fanfare or any outward signs
that it has happened.
There is a small window of time around when an egg (ova) can
survive after it has been released from the ovary. It takes around
12-24 hours for the egg to migrate from the ovary and down the
fallopian tube. This is where fertilisation of an egg with a sperm
usually happens. Sperm can generally survive for longer than an egg
can, but only the hardiest and most mobile of the sperm can find
their way up through cervix and uterus to the fallopian tube.
Lots of books and web sites refer to the last normal menstrual
period or LNMP. This is because some
women will have a light bleed at the time when the fertilised egg
burrows into the lining of their uterus. It's important that this
show of blood isn't confused as a period, which is why the word
"normal" is used to clarify.
Aim for a healthy life. Try to focus on what's good for you and
what will help your body stay strong and healthy.
Go to week 2 to find out
what happens next!