There’s no embryo yet, just your egg and hopefully sperm ready to fertilise it, but this will be the week immediately following your last period and your body is getting ready to ovulate. So, even though you haven’t actually conceived at this point, this is your first week of being pregnant.
What is my body doing?
The average menstrual cycle lasts around five to seven days. What you shed during this time is a combination of the lining of your womb (called the endometrium) and actual blood. Here’s the scientific part: the hormone changes that are stimulating your period to start also encourage the brain to produce luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), both key to helping you get pregnant.
What is my baby doing?
Right now, there is no baby and you won’t know for sure if your egg has been fertilised for another month. Medical professionals will use the first day of your last period as the start of your pregnancy, as it’s impossible to know exactly when you conceived.
What should I be doing to help my body conceive?
- Start taking folic acid: To protect your future baby from spina bifida, medical experts recommend you start taking folic acid for three months before you want to conceive. Research also suggests women who get 300 micrograms of folic acid reduce the risk of neural tube defects by up to 70%.
- Eat a balanced diet: Your fertility diet needs to give you all the nutrients you need, especially zinc.
- Avoid too much caffeine: your morning late is fine, but no more than three cups a day.
- Shake off your vices: Quit smoking and cut down on alcohol if you’re trying to get your body ready for a baby.
- Turn down the heat: Discourage him from taking steamy hot showers or baths as this can affect sperm quality. The bath water should be no hotter than body temperature for optimum sperm. It’s also a good idea for you to turn that electric blanket off and stop putting your laptop on your lap – studies show prolonged and excessive heat can slow down sperm collection.
- Go and see your doctor: Although you’re not pregnant, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment and talk about prescription drugs, environmental and lifestyle hazards that could all be putting your baby-to-be at risk.
- De-stress: Whether you book a few extra yoga classes, or download a meditation app, if you’re stressed, you’re biologically less likely to get pregnant.
- Get to know when you're ovulating: Knowing exactly when you’re ovulating can help you conceive. We’ve developed a handy tool to help.
How can I work out my due date?
As a rule, we usually say you’re ovulating around two weeks after the first day of your last period. Your egg will ususally be fertilised around 24-36 hours after ovulation. To read more about how to work out how many weeks pregnant you really are, we’ve written this handy guide on pregnancy math here.
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