WEEK 2: Pregnancy Guidemahesh kandakatla
During week 2 of your pregnancy you may not be even sure that you are pregnant. But your body is getting ready for pregnancy. Many changes occur during these early days of pregnancy and they’re essential for healthy pregnancy.
Baby: Your baby is still just a glimmer in your eye. It’s difficult to know exactly when conception occurred, so doctors calculate your due date from the beginning of your last menstrual cycle. That’s right — for calculation purposes, you’re “pregnant” before you even conceive!
Mom-to-be: At the beginning of your period, about 20 eggs called ova occupy fluid-filled sacs called follicles. If you typically have your period every 28 days, then about 14 days later, you ovulate: One of these follicles releases an egg, and it travels down your fallopian tube where it awaits fertilization. This time — 14 days after your period started and a day or so longer — is when you’re the most fertile. If you want to get pregnant, this is the best time to try. Once the egg is fertilized, it moves into the uterus.
Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get pregnant the first time. Depending on her age, each month, a woman has a 25% chance of getting pregnant, so you may need to try more than once.
Tip for the Week: Make sure you’ve scheduled a preconception visit with your ob-gyn to determine risks of genetic diseases and environmental hazards as well as learn about necessary lifestyle changes to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby. Most important, make sure you’ve started taking 0.4 milligrams, or 400 micrograms, of folic acid a day. Folic acid taken a few months before conception has been shown to dramatically reduce such neural tube defects as spina bifida.
Physical changes in week 2:
It sounds very complex, and in a way, it is, but the menstrual cycle really are quite amazing.
Due to hormone changes, your levels of luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) rise and stimulate the production of follicles in your ovary.
These follicles are actually fluid-filled sacs containing those all-important eggs – although usually only one becomes larger than the others and produces the egg.
That follicle also begins to produce oestrogen which helps the lining of the womb become thicker to aid the ‘implantation’ of the egg.
Hopefully, in the 24 hours after the egg is released, one of the nearly 250 million sperm your partner releases will manage to swim all the way from your vagina, through your cervix, and up to the fallopian tube, where it can penetrate the egg.
It might sound simple, but this is a ten-hour journey for the sperm.
Only about 400 of them will even make it and only one can burrow through the eggs outer membrane.
Once his sperm makes it to your egg, the sperm’s nucleus merges with the eggs and they’ll combine in the following 10 to 30 hours.
Believe it or not, this is when the sex of your baby is actually determined, as if the sperm is carrying a Y chromosome, you’ll just have conceived a boy and if it’s an X chromosome, it’ll be a girl.
Track your cycle: Tracking your menstrual cycle means you will be able to know your fertile days and if you use an app, it will advise you on when to have intercourse.
Get an ovulation test: if you’re close to ovulating, you can check that you are for sure with an ovulation test. It will measure your hormones and tell you if it’s time.
Keep living a healthy life: people say that living a healthy lifestyle will help you conceive faster. Drink loads of water, eat healthily and exercise regularly.
Start taking prenatal vitamins: if you haven’t already, start taking vitamins, especially folic acid. It will boost your chances, help develop your baby healthily and reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
It’s still the early days of pregnancy and changes are subtle. During the second week of pregnancy your body will provide signs that its getting ready to ovulate.
Your mood will have improved this week. Some symptoms you might notice by week 2 are:
- Missed period.
- Increased Urination
- Swollen breasts.
What can you do to help your body conceive?
It might sound obvious, but this is one week where you really need to get into the rhythm of regular, baby-making fun.
Try to relax and not turn this time into another chore.
Experts believe that certain sex positions allow your man’s sperm to get closer to your cervix.
The extra good news is that having an orgasm can help as the contractions draw in more sperm.
How will be the baby during week 2 of pregnancy?
During the early days of pregnancy, there’s still no baby.SO by the time you find out you’re pregnant you could be around 4 to 6 weeks pregnant even if there was no baby during the first two weeks. On week 2 of your pregnancy one egg has become dominant.
Useful tips for this week:
- Smoking can harm your baby’s health. This increases the chance of miscarriage and still births in pregnant women.
- Take an appointment with your doctor.
- Don’t take any medicines other than prenatal vitamins unless prescribed by the doctor.
- Don’t listen to any advice from anyone other than your doctor.
What to eat?
Apart from the regular balanced diet, you don’t have any special dietary needs as far as 2nd week of pregnancy diet is concerned.
Try and reduce the intake of caffeine as it is believed to lower the chances of conception. It is a good idea to pick foods which are high in folic acid such as spinach and speak to your doctor about the folic acid supplements too.
Healthy pregnancy diet plan:
It is a time for the mother to be to focus on being as healthy as she can because that care will translate to her baby in utero. Establishing healthy habits will now set a positive example that will benefit the child over his or her lifetime.
A well balanced micro-nutrient diet is the key to a healthy pregnancy. A well-balanced diet should contain the following:
- Carbohydrates from whole grain sources and fruits and vegetables,
- Protein from beans, nuts, seeds and hormone free animal products like meat and dairy,
- Healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados and the fats that occur in nuts, seeds and fish.
Pregnant women need more iron, folic acid, calcium, zinc, iodine and vitamin D. Malnutrition increases the risk of having a low birth weight baby or going into preterm labour. Pregnant women need the following daily:
- Folic Acid:
Folic acid is also known as folate. It is a B vitamin that is crucial in helping to prevent birth defects in the baby’s brain and spinal cord known as neural tube defects.
Doctors recommend that women who are trying to have a baby should take a daily vitamin supplement containing 400 micro-grams of folic acid per day for at-least one month before becoming pregnant. During pregnancy they advise women to increase the amount of folic acid to 600 micro-grams a day.
Food sources: green leafy vegetables, cereals, breads and pastas, beans, citrus fruits.
This mineral is used to build a baby’s bones and teeth.
Food sources: milk, yogurt, cheese, calcium fortified juices.
Pregnant women need 27 milligrams of iron a day, which is double the amount needed by women who are not expecting. Consuming too little iron during pregnancy can lead to anemia, a condition resulting in fatigue and an increased risk of infections.
Food sources: Poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, iron-fortified cereal.
More protein is needed during pregnancy and it is described as “builder nutrient” Because it helps to build important organs for the baby such as the brain and heart.
Foods that should be avoided during pregnancy:
- Fish containing mercury:
Fish such as shark, tile fish contain high levels of mercury. Mercury is an element which is found in oceans, lakes etc which converts into methyl mercury in the human body. It is a neurotoxin which leads to brain damage and development delays in babies.
- Raw or under-cooked eggs:
Raw or under-cooked eggs should not be consumed as they contain harmful salmonella bacteria, which causes food poisoning. You may also suffer from diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain etc.
- Unpasteurized milk:
It is not safe to drink unpasteurized milk or raw milk as it contains harmful bacteria called salmonella which can be dangerous to you and your baby.
- Unwashed fruits and vegetables:
Unwashed fruits and vegetables contain toxoplasma parasite which harms the developing baby.
- Excess caffeine:
Higher amount of caffeine could increase the chances of miscarriage and low birth weight babies. Other drinks which can be avoided are soft drinks, diet soda, alcohol, iced tea.
- Sugar rich foods:
Cut down on sugar rich foods such as desserts, candies, cakes, ice creams, sweetened beverages. They worsen pregnancy discomforts, increase weight, increase gestational diabetes etc.