What’s happening with you
Ovulation occurs approximately 14 days after your last menstrual period, give or take 48 hours. Many women notice an increased interest in sexual activity around the time of ovulation. There are other physical changes that are also noticeable – the cervical mucus becomes slippery and receptive to sperm.
If fertilization occurs, the normal monthly menstrual cycle will cease. In two more weeks your period will be missed. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone doubles every 2-3 days after fertilization. This is the hormone that will determine a positive pregnancy test.
- The walls of the uterus will soften so that the embryo can more easily become implanted.
- The thickening uterus presses against the bladder, making urination more frequent.
- Breasts will become larger, tender and more sensitive. The veins in your breasts may be more visible at this stage.
- Cervical mucus will become very thick and form a barrier over your cervix. This plug will remain until labor begins.
Most women experience few symptoms in the first month. The following items describe some of the changes your body is experiencing in the first month of pregnancy, and how these might make you feel.
How you may feel
During the first month, your body is beginning to adjust to being pregnant – and so are your emotions. The new activities of your hormones will cause a number of changes in your energy level, moods, libido and appetite. Your body will start to work hard to accommodate the growing embryo and the placenta and over the next couple of months, you can expect your metabolic rate to increase by about 10-20%. Fatigue is also a common complaint – maybe not in the first month, but certainly in the first trimester.
Making a baby is very hard work and it is perfectly normal to tire your body out!
If you experience any of the above symptoms, or just “have a feeling” you might be pregnant, schedule an appointment for a test with your physician or clinician right away!
How baby is growing
The first month is the most rapid and fragile growth period of pregnancy. The fertilized egg, called a zygote, divides approximately 18-36 hours after fertilization to become a two-celled organism. By 48-72 hours, the zygote becomes a morula, consisting of 16 cells. While this growth is occurring, the cell cluster is moving through the fallopian tube to the uterus. In about four days, the morula, now 32 cells, reaches the uterus.
Soon, placenta and the maternal blood supply to the placenta begin to develop. The single chamber heart begins to beat by day 25.
At this point, the embryo is only about 1/2 of an inch long and weighs about an ounce, but the foundation is established for further development in the months to come.