It's still so early in the journey of your pregnancy that you might not even know whether you're pregnant. But there are some steps you can take, regardless of whether you’re now pregnant or still trying.
Or… actually, not yet.
This might sound confusing, but there’s a very good explanation: Your weeks of pregnancy are dated from the first day of your last period. This means that in the first 2 weeks or so, you’re not actually pregnant. Your body is getting ready for ovulation, as it does during every cycle.
For most women, ovulation happens sometime between days 11 and 21 of their cycle (day 1 is the first day of your period), and there are a few symptoms you can look out for if you want to track the most fertile time in your cycle. Some of the most common signs of ovulation are tender breasts, pain in the abdomen (ranging from mild to period-cramp-adjacent), and changes in your cervical mucus; to give sperm cells a “smooth ride”, the mucus can become stretchy and clear, similar to egg white in consistency.
May the best swimmer win
Once the egg has been released during ovulation, there’s a 24-hour period in which fertilization can happen. If you and your partner have had sex around the time of ovulation, chances are your future baby has been conceived. But don’t stress too much about the exact time; sperm cells can actually survive up to 5 days inside a woman – pretty cool, right?
About a week after ovulation and fertilization, the egg implants itself in the uterine wall, and now you are officially pregnant; you probably just don’t know it yet. One of the first signs noticed by most women is that their period is late, and if you think you might be pregnant, the most reliable method of finding out is by taking a pregnancy test – just keep in mind, it might still be too early to get a positive result.
When you get to week 4 of your pregnancy, your body makes a mucus plug. And yes, this is a very good thing. It’s a tough thickening of the cervix that causes the uterus to close, protecting your baby from bacteria and infections. Because of the mucus plug, you can go to the swimming pool and have sex with your partner without worrying about the safety of your baby.
A good start
Week 1-4 is so early in your pregnancy journey that you might not even know whether you’re pregnant. But there are some steps you can take, regardless of whether you’re now pregnant or still trying:
- Start taking Folic Acid supplements
- Start taking Vitamin D supplements
- Avoid Vitamin A supplements
- Avoid certain foods, such as raw meat and raw fish
- Limit your caffeine intake – no more than 200 mg per day
- Stop drinking alcohol
- Stop smoking
These tips also apply to your partner, as sperm quality can also be influenced by Folic Acid and alcohol consumption.