- Women's Health
Pregnancy Weeks One & Two
Welcome to weeks one and two of Pregnancy! Right now you're not even really pregnant yet. If you want a baby in your life, this is the time to start trying to conceive. According to the Gestational Age Method, week one begins on the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP). Doctors and most midwives set your due date 40 weeks after the first day of your LMP. The reason for this is the difficulty doctors have determining a specific date of conception. Figure about 2 weeks after the date of LMP, during week three. New technologies are emerging that are allowing for more accurate dates of conception. I had three due dates according to three different doctors, all falling around the first few days of December 2011. Using my LMP and the most recent due date I had been given my doctor was able to estimate my conception date using a computer program. It was estimated that I conceived my son around March 18th that year.
So if all goes well, no more monthly friend for a long while after this week. Right about now, you're probably thinking, "No more cramping and cravings"! That's right it's time to say goodbye to menstrual cramps and cravings and hello to pregnancy cramps and cravings. What? Did you think you could escape the cramps and cravings? Those hormonal inconveniences will be back and they'll bring reinforcements.
Ovulation and Trying to Conceive
Ordinarily, ovulation occurs around 14 days after the start of a woman's menstrual cycle. But the actual day of ovulation differs from woman to woman and month to month. There are some signs you can look for to know whether or not you're ovulating. I will list these signs below, but keep in mind that you will more than likely only notice one or two.
Signs of Ovulation:
- Change in cervical fluid
- Change in cervical position (you definitely won't notice this).
- Mild pain on one side of your abdomen (ttleschmerz)
- Some spotting
- An increase in your sex drive
- Tenderness of your breasts
- A bit of bloating
- Heightened sense of vision, smell or taste
- Eat healthy. You should do this all the time but if you don't, do it now. A nutrient dense diet is ideal for fertility and pregnancy. A health coach can help you find the diet theory that works best for you and your baby.
- Find a high quality food based prenatal vitamin and start taking it. Nutrition is important for both preconception and pregnancy. Use high quality supplements to fill in the gaps. My favorite prenatal vitamins are by the Honest Company.
- Limit the toxins in your life. Look at the labels of food, beauty products, cleaning products... there's tons of toxic additives and ingredients. Go organic as much as possible and, if possible, make your own body care and cleaning products. Be aware and do research on ingredients if you're not sure about them.
- Exercise! Exercise is so important to good health. It boost your circulation, improves your mood and helps keep hormones balanced. All important things for fertility.
- Invest in an ovulation prediction kit. These kits can help you figure out whether or not you're ovulating by detecting the luteinizing hormone that rises in your body right before you ovulate.
Baby Watch: Weeks 1 & 2
Right now, your baby doesn't even exist yet, but don't worry, in just a couple of weeks fertilization will occur and you'll have a little baby in blastocyst form growing inside your womb. However now is a good time to start preparing for your pregnancy and baby. Do some research on the net, read up and ask moms you may know some questions or join a forum for moms if you don't know any personally.
Even have the future daddy-to-be start researching and preparing too. This is just as an exciting time for him as it is for you. Make sure he doesn't feel left out. After all it took his help to get the ball rolling and it will require his help to keep it rolling once the baby is born.
Hang in there, you'll have a little miracle in your womb soon enough.
Health Tip This Week: Getting Started
If you weren't eating healthy before now's a great time to get healthy and stay healthy. A nourishing diet will give your body a head start on adjusting to the changes that being pregnant will bring and it it is essential for baby's development. If you think you may need some extra help staying on track, hiring a health coach is a great option. There are many viable diet options from vegan, to traditional real food, and more. Here are some tips on where to start with your new healthy lifestyle.
- Add in all the good stuff and crowd out the bad stuff. Your body and your baby needs lots of leafy greens, colorful fruits and veggies, and healthy fats found in things like grass-fed antibiotic/hormone free meats, coconut oil and raw or organic dairy. You should incorporate probiotics into your diet through fermented foods and drinks, and things like kefir. Foods high in folic acid and cholesterol are essential for baby's brain development. Drink lots of water.
- Avoid processed and refined foods. These have no nutritional benefit and more often than not contain dangerous and unhealthy ingredients. White sugar, Table salt and refined flours should all be replanced with healthier alternatives like raw honey, sea salt and unrefined sprouted flour or coconut/almond flour. Replace vegetable oil with coconut oil or grass-fed full-fat butter. Avoid gluten or at least limit it.
- Avoid toxic chemical additives like MSG, aspartame, artificial dyes and flavors. Not only are they damaging you, but they will damage your developing baby. The best way to do this is to 1) go organic as much as possible and 2) prepare as much as you can at home rather than buying a pre-made version at the store.
- As I mentioned earlier, begin taking a prenatal vitamin, preferably a high quality food based one. Ideally, the bulk of your nutrition should come from your food, but supplements help fill in any gaps in your diet. Remember you're not just nourishing yourself, you're nourishing your baby too.
- Avoid alcohol, cigarettes recreational and prescription drugs (if it can be helped. I recommend seeing a naturopathic doctor for advice). You can limit caffeine intake to 250mg or less per day, but I would avoid it entirely.
- Consider doing a detox before you start trying to conceive. Elimination diets and juice cleanses are a good place to start, but if you're not sure seek help from a nutritionist, dietician, or health coach.
I'll get into all of this and more in greater detail during the next 40 weeks.
Why A Midwife? Check This Video Out
This Week's Advice: Finding A Midwife And/Or Doctor
This week's advice will focus on finding the right midwife or doctor to care for you during your pregnancy. If you don't already have a doctor or midwife in mind that you know you can trust, this can be a overwhelming decision. For one thing, this decision cannot be made if you haven't first thought about what kind of a birth you're aiming for. Do you want a home birth or a hospital/birthing center birth? Do want a natural birth or a medicated birth? Things like this will play heavily into your decision of a midwife or doctor. I highly recommend watching The Business of Being Born and the follow up documentary More Business of Being Born, before you finalize your decision on your ideal birth. These are very eye opening documentaries that I really wish I'd seen before I had my son.
It's important to find a midwife or doctor who shares the same ideas and values that you do. If someone you're close to refers you to a midwife or doctor, don't feel like you have to take their referral. You can always go and check out the midwife or doctor in question before you make a final judgment. Sometimes they can be a perfect fit and sometimes they're far from it.
No matter how you begin your search it's important to begin it early on. Here are some questions to ask yourself when you're meeting any potential doctors or midwives:
- Does he or she listen to my concerns?
- Does he or she allow me time to ask follow up questions and provide helpful answers?
- Can he or she deliver my baby where I choose (i.e. hospital, home, birthing center)?
- Does he or she respect my own views on pregnancy?
- How long has he or she been doing this for?
- Is he or she certified?
- What are his or her credentials?
- Am I allowed to write a personal birth plan and will he or she follow it?
- If there is an emergency delivery and my midwife or doctor cannot be there, who will be able to provide care for me?
In the end you and your partner should choose a doctor or midwife you trust and feel comfortable working with. If the first few doctors/midwives you meet aren't working out, then keep searching.
What does your ideal birth look like?
© 2011 Skylar Spring