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What To Expect In Early Pregnancy

You're pregnant?! Congratulations! It's hard to believe when you first find out that you are pregnant and that pregnancy is going to last approximately 40 weeks.

During the first trimester of your pregnancy you may feel tired. Or, you may be nauseous at the very "smell" of food! You also may need to use the restroom, frequently. It is very common to feel this urge often, even at just 2 weeks pregnant. Mostly, in the first few weeks of pregnancy, women are slightly irritable with more fatigue than usual, and probably somewhat bloated.

Some women cannot tell they are pregnant or notice any changes at all at 2 weeks pregnant. For some, the first sign of pregnancy is when they miss a period. Another indicator of pregnancy is an increase in appetite or cravings for specific foods. Changes in sleep habits can also occur during early pregnancy.

How do you measure the weeks and when do they start?

When a woman conceives, it is within a 24-48 hr window either before or after ovulation occurs. This is usually around day 14-18 of a woman's menstrual cycle.The first cycle day is the first day of the menstrual period. It may last 5-7 days. Then, in another week, the ovaries prepare to release an egg. Ovulation typically occurs between day 14 and 18 of that cycle. If there is sperm at the top of the fallopian tube waiting for the release of the egg, (sperm can survive for up to 5 days), you increase chances of getting pregnant and the egg could be fertilized. It takes another 6-8 days for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus. Then, the hormones are released that will cause the body's temperature to be higher than usual and create a warm, protective environment for the fertilized egg. These hormones can be detected about 10-14 days after ovulation and fertilization. Now do the math...you are 2 weeks pregnant when counting from the date of conception. So, they may say you are a month along, but you are really only 2 weeks pregnant.

Because most women don't keep track of when they have ovulated, obstetricians count from the first day of the last menstrual period, assuming that a woman's cycle is normally about 4 weeks. That, however, is a broad generalization because women's menstrual cycles vary greatly from that average. So, if you know the approximate average length of your cycles, you can increase the chances of getting pregnant. If you have a 5-week cycle typically, then you would say that you are 4 weeks pregnant, even though it has been 5 weeks since your period began, in order to be more accurate with the way your OB will measure your pregnancy.

Pregnancy is approximately 40 weeks in length, counting 4 weeks since your last period started, but not taking into account a woman who has longer menstrual cycles than 4 weeks. So, if your period was just late, consider yourself 4 weeks pregnant rather than 5 weeks pregnant, and add time to account for how long you waited to test after your period was due. Your doctor will probably tell you that the count is 4 weeks pregnant, but either way, your doctor will be able to determine your delivery pretty close to the correct date.

Even though you calculate the number of weeks pregnant that you are from when you became pregnant and the doctor confirms a due date for the baby, be prepared to be either late or early when it comes time to delivering your baby. Only 10% of babies arrive on their due date!  So be ready for your baby to arrive anytime from week 36 onwards, generally if it is your first baby it will usually arrive later than the due date. Once it arrives you will forget all about the ups and downs of pregnancy and enjoy your little one!

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