Pregnancy Week 1: Fertilization, Understanding Due Dates & Preparing Your Body for Pregnancy by 30Seconds Pregnancy
It will be a little while before you see that positive line on the pregnancy test, but your body is about to ovulate and release an egg that could be your bundle of baby bliss. The recent increase in estrogen and progesterone caused your uterus to form a lining that will give support to the egg once it breaks out from its follicle and is fertilized by the 250 million (give or take) sperm that swim its way.
After their road trip through your vagina and cervix and up your fallopian tube, if one of the 400 or so that survived the journey penetrates your egg and implantation occurs, you could experience a little spotting. Over the next few hours, the decision of whether you’ll have a girl or boy is being made by this new sperm-egg partnership – if the sperm carried a Y chromosome a boy is in the cards; an X chromosome means all things pink. The egg is now called a zygote and is about to take refuge in the thick, blood-rich lining of your uterus. Amazing, right?
Photo: Fertilization of female egg by sperm
Confused why pregnancy starts before you’re actually pregnant? The first day of your last menstrual cycle – referred to as LMP by doctors – is how your due date will be determined. For your body, every egg that’s released is a potential bun in the oven. If the egg isn’t fertilized, you can expect a visit from Aunt Flo. Most babies are born around 38 weeks after the egg is fertilized, thus the importance of your LMP. Our bodies are pretty remarkable, ladies!
Your health care provider will probably refer to that magic date as your estimated due date (EDD). Remember that this date is only an estimate, and only about 5 percent of babies actually show up on the date they're due (seriously)! The typical way to calculate your due date is to count ahead 280 days from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP). Another way to calculate your due date is to take the date (day number) of your LMP and add seven, then subtract three months. For example:
LMP: May 1
Add 7: May 8 (1+7)
Count back three months: February 8
These methods assume you have a 28-day menstrual cycle:
Day 1: Your period begins (LMP)
Day 14: Conception
Day 28: Your next period is due. If it doesn’t come, you may be one month pregnant!
This is not accurate for everyone, because if your cycle is typically 31 days, for example, you may expect Baby to arrive three days later. If your cycles are shorter, you may deliver sooner. Here are more ways to possibly determine your due date.
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to start preparing your body for a healthy pregnancy. Once a mom, you’ll have a never-ending to-do list, so don’t let this short list intimidate you (you got this!):
- Folic acid is a must, so start taking prenatal vitamins.
- If you smoke, stop!
- Refrain from drinking alcohol (you’ll have to stop for nine months anyway).
If you don’t have an OB-GYN or midwife, start doing research. Ask friends and family for their recommendations.
Here are more ways to prepare your body for pregnancy.
“Making the decision to have a baby is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone
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