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What Happens in the First Month of Pregnancy

what happens in the first month of pregnancyFIRST MONTH (Weeks 1-4)

During the first month of pregnancy, you may not even know that you’re pregnant!

Doctors count the first month of pregnancy as the first month since your last period, so for about the first two weeks, you definitely are not pregnant. But then, sometime around ovulation in the middle of your cycle, your partner’s sperm joined with your egg to start your baby! Let’s take a look at what that development looks like.

What Happens with Your Baby in the First Month of Pregnancy

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As soon as fertilization takes place, the egg begins to grow and split into multiple cells. This early collection of cells is called a zygote.

Over the course of several days, the zygote makes its way down the fallopian tube to the uterus. Just as it does each month, the lining of the uterus has become soft, spongy and full of nutrients, making it the ideal place for the zygote to implant. Once the zygote implants itself into the wall of your uterus, your body knows you are pregnant, and you will not shed the lining of your uterus as you usually do when you get your period.

Once the zygote is implanted into the uterine wall, it’s called a blastocyst. At this point, it’s basically a ball of cells about the size of a grain of rice.

Even though it’s so tiny, the organs are beginning to form and so is the placenta.

What Happens with Your Body in the First Month of Pregnancy

For many women, the first sign that they’re pregnant is a missed period. However, you may have other symptoms of pregnancy as well. It can be confusing, as many signs of pregnancy are similar to PMS. Some common first symptoms of pregnancy include:

  • nausea and cramping
  • spotting, or what seems to be a light period (from the zygote implanting)
  • tiredness, fatigue
  • swollen or tender breasts
  • moodiness

Some women say they knew within hours of conception that they were pregnant, while others don’t notice anything until they miss their period.

What You Need to Know in the First Month of Pregnancy

The first few weeks of growth are very important. Critical foundations for your baby’s development are being laid in the first weeks of cell division and explosive growth. Since most women don’t even know they’re pregnant during these essential weeks, it’s recommended that all women of child-bearing age take a multi-vitamin or prenatal vitamin that includes folic acid. Folic acid helps to prevent spina bifida and other neural tube defects. Omega 3 with DHS is also important during this time to help with brain, heart, and eye development.

If you’re trying to get pregnant, you will want to take all the precautions that pregnant women take, because you never know when you will actually become pregnant. That means no tobacco products, alcohol, or recreational drugs. Stay away from toxic fumes. Check with your doctor about any medications you are taking. You will also want to limit your consumption of fish due to mercury.

Home pregnancy tests are a great way to find out if you are expecting, but you will also want to have your pregnancy confirmed with a doctor. This is a great time to start learning about prenatal care and for choosing a doctor or midwife for your pregnancy care and birth.

Finally, celebrate! You are starting on an exciting journey. Over the next 9 months your body will go through some incredible changes, culminating with a beautiful baby!

Read More About the Different Months in Pregnancy:

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