While our world may seem a little over-connected at times, the internet has been a blessing for women who are pregnant. Excited mamas can learn so much about what they should and shouldn’t eat, should and shouldn’t do and a wealth of other facts about pregnancy health. Best of all, they can keep up to date with what is happening each and every month as their little zygote becomes an embryo and then a fetus, and then a bona fide baby!
Your First Month of Pregnancy: Let’s Take a Look Inside
In many cases, you might be back-reading since many women don’t even know they are pregnant until about Week 6 or so, especially if they are prone to having irregular periods or don’t suffer any of the lesser desirable effects of pregnancy – like morning sickness or a level of exhaustion unheard of in the past!
In any case, here’s what’s happening during the first month of your pregnancy.
Your pregnancy commences when the egg and sperm implant into the uterus. This can take up to 10 days after ovulation, depending on when the egg and sperm meet. Once implantation occurs, your body will produce twice its normal levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and these levels will continue to double every two to three days. These elevated hCG levels are what signals the “Positive!” on your pregnancy test.
As a result of fertilization, certain changes take place immediately:
- The walls of your uterus will become softer so the fertilized egg can implant more securely.
- The expanding uterus will press against the bladder so you will have to urinate more frequently.
- You may notice your breasts become more swollen and tender, and the areolas (the area around your nipples) may become larger and darker.
Most women don’t really notice anything that signals “pregnancy” that first month, and you may even have a light period. Others may notice they are much more sleepy than normal, their appetite may increase (or decrease if they suffer from morning sickness) and you may notice that you are a little moodier than normal.
What’s My Baby Doing During The First Month of Pregnancy?
In the midst of all these physical changes, your fertilized egg is getting down to business. While you may think of your dividing cells as a “baby,” the medical world calls this stage of life a “zygote.” During its first 3 days (18 – 36 hours) of fertilization, your egg will divide into two cells. By 72 hours, it has become a 16-cell organism and in about four days, it has 32-cells and is ready to start implanting into your uterus.
The bulk of this cell division takes place as the fertilized egg travels down the fallopian tube and into the uterus. By Day 25, your zygote’s heart (consisting of only a single chamber at this point) will begin to beat, and it will show up on an ultrasound looking like a pulsating lump. Bet you never knew how much you could love a little grouping of rhythmically pumping cells, did you? By Month 1, your zygote is roughly a ½-inch long and weighs about an ounce.
Have you recently skipped a period and/or received a positive result from a home pregnancy test? Schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN ASAP. Establishing a rapport with an OB/GYN with whom you feel comfortable is so important to your overall comfort level and confidence throughout your pregnancy and delivery. Once your pregnancy has been confirmed, your doctor will provide you with essential nutritional information as well as tips on lifestyle changes you’ll want to make and suggestions for how to minimize morning sickness, get enough rest and other recommendations to safeguard you and your baby in the critical first trimester.
Contact Overlake OB/GYN to schedule your appointment. We have a skilled and caring team of OB/GYNs and midwives who can wait to meet you and your new zygote!