The first month of pregnancy is quite interesting given the number of changes you and the developing baby will be undergoing.
The major aspects of the pregnancy will be already determined in this first month. Besides that, there is a lot you should expect in this early stages of your pregnancy.
What should you expect?
When you are only a month pregnant, the baby is still in its early developmental stages and isn’t even recognizable in the first few weeks.
At the end of the first month, however, there are visible changes in the look of the fetus with some parts forming.
The detailed stages of the baby and its development in this first month of your pregnancy are:
1. Week 1
The first week of your pregnancy is the first seven days from when you started your period. At this time, there is actually no baby present in your womb.
Rather, it is just your body preparing itself for conception and other processes that make up the pregnancy. These include:
- Production of the hormones that will support the pregnancy.
- The start of the process of thickening the wall of the endometrium in readiness for implantation.
Most of the symptoms you will have in this period will be those of the period since you are not pregnant yet. They include:
- Light bleeding or spotting
- Abdominal cramps
- Lower back pain
- Mood swings
- Rashes on the face
The fact that you are not yet pregnant does not mean you do not heed to your body’s needs. If you want to get pregnant, you should make preparations such as:
- Avoiding too much alcohol and caffeine.
- Stopping using any drugs that are recreational.
- Stop using contraceptives.
- Start taking the recommended prenatal vitamins.
- Keep yourself active and also have enough rest.
- Make sure you are immunized against most common diseases.
- Ask your doctor whether the medicine you are taking at the moment can affect you in any way.
- Have your doctor check you for any aspects and signs that may harm your pregnancy.
2. Week 2
A lot goes on in the second week of the first month of pregnancy. In fact, the main processes that build up to the pregnancy occur in the second week.
Among the changes that occur in the second week of your pregnancy include:
- Ovulation: at the end of week 2, one or both of your ovaries will release a mature egg. This egg will start moving from the ovary to the fallopian tube in readiness for fertilization.
With ovulation, you will have various signs and symptoms including increased libido, changes in the vaginal mucus, changes in the position of the cervix, heightened senses, ovulation cramps, and an increased basal body temperature.
The egg from ovulation will stay alive for up to 24 hours (a day) awaiting fertilization. If it does not occur, the egg will disintegrate and be absorbed back into the body.
- Thickening of the uterine wall: this process starts from the first week of the pregnancy and, by the second week, the endometrium will keep thickening with the increase in the estrogen hormone in readiness for implantation.
The second week of your pregnancy is the best one to have sex if you intend to conceive. This is because all the conditions will be in line with one another.
3. Week 3
The third week of your pregnancy is when you actually become biologically pregnant.
In the third week, if you had sex and sperms are available in your body, one of them will meet with the egg in the fallopian tube for fertilization.
When the fertilization occurs, the walls of the fallopian tube will move it towards the uterus for implantation. If an anomaly occurs and it does not move to the uterus, you will have an ectopic pregnancy as it will attach itself to the wall of the fallopian tube.
In the third also, the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone would have increased in amount in preparation for the pregnancy.
This hormone is what is tested for to gauge a pregnancy. However, the amounts of the HCG hormone may not be enough to be detected in the blood or the urine.
There are rarely any physical changes during the third week of your pregnancy. What happens usually goes on mostly unnoticed.
In this week of the pregnancy, there are a few aspects to take note of:
- Avoid going for x-ray examinations at this time since they have a negative effect on the pregnancy in this early stages.
- Keep off alcohol and caffeine as much as possible.
- Don’t skip taking your prenatal vitamins as they are needed most in this stage.
- Any aspects which pose a risk to the process of cell division should be avoided. These include chemicals such as poisons and pesticides.
4. Week 4
The last week of the first month of your pregnancy has the implantation process as the main event.
This occurs when the fertilized egg moves through the fallopian tube and attaches itself to the walls of the uterus.
The implantation process will lead to some signs such as:
- Abdominal cramps
- Food cravings and aversions
- Tender and sore breasts
- Frequent urination
- Some light spotting
At times, however, you may not even feel or observe any of these signs.
1 month pregnant symptoms and signs
The first month of your pregnancy will have several signs and symptoms which can help you point out any changes you may be observing.
The list of the symptoms in this first month include:
- Spotting on two occasions namely ovulation and implantation. These will be in the 2nd and 4th weeks respectively.
- Cramps in the abdomen.
- Lower back pain.
- Increased sexual urge in the 2nd week of the first month.
- Tender and sore breasts.
- Increased frequency of urination.
- Mood swings
These and many other symptoms can be experienced in the first month of the pregnancy.
You should see a doctor if you observe any of the following:
- Excessive bleeding that goes on for more than 2 days.
- Intense pain on any part of the body.
- An increase in the intensity of the symptoms of a specific health condition that you may have.
- When the medicine you usually take starts having side effects due to the pregnancy.
- Painful urination
- If you feel dizzy or generally weak.
- If the nausea is too pronounced.
- When the body temperature is very high.
Fetal development in the first month of pregnancy
From the day you first conceive, your baby will begin as a mass of cells. In fact, it begins as a single cell which divides to two, then four, eight until the baby is fully formed.
First, when the egg and the sperm meet in the third week of your pregnancy, they form a single cell. This single cell starts dividing by a factor of two as it moves towards the uterus for implantation.
By the time the first month is over, the baby would still be a mass of cells but with a few early stages of some features such as:
- The face
- Lower jaw
- The spine
Besides these parts, the baby’s red blood cells would have began forming in readiness for circulation.
Baby size after the first month
In terms of size, the baby at the end of the first month is just about five millimeters. This is smaller than a grain of rice.
For it’s size, therefore, you cannot have a visible bulge at this time. Even when you have multiple babies forming, the bulge will not be easily visible.
One month pregnant belly pictures
Pictures of a one month pregnancy show a very small bulge which can be easily ignored. Unless you have a very flat stomach, you will not easily notice the slight distention just below the navel.
If you have a big body, you will probably not notice anything different with your belly at the end of the first month of your pregnancy.
Ultrasound at one month of pregnancy
The ultrasound when at one month of pregnancy will only show a visible object at the end of the first month. This is because the first two weeks of the pregnancy do not have any embryo yet.
The third week has a very small fertilized egg that is still too small to be visible on an ultrasound picture.
In the final week of the first month, ultrasound pictures will reveal the fertilized egg as a dark dot between 3 to 4 millimeters wide.
Tips and what to look out for in the first month
Unlike the other times during your pregnancy, the first month is one of the most delicate during your whole pregnancy.
The pregnancy will be having the fastest rate of growth and most of the main parts such as the face and spine forming. To stay safe and provide the best conditions for the baby, there are a few things you need to focus on. These include:
- Keeping off alcohol, cigarettes and many other substances that may affect the development of the baby.
- Drinking a lot of healthy fluids. These days include good old water and fresh fruit juices. Energy drinks should be taken in moderation as some have caffeine.
- Avoid coming into contact with some chemicals and poisons as they may affect the cell division that is quite rapid in your womb. Pesticides and common poisons are to be avoided.
- Be careful with the medicine you take during this period. Ask your doctor about it as early as when you are planning to be pregnant. Some medicines provide unfavorable conditions for the growth of the baby.
- Feed on high amounts of carbohydrates and proteins to combat the frequent morning sickness in this period.
- Rather than a large meal, focus on eating small quantities of food throughout the day.
- Avoid too much heat as it hampers the process of cell division in the womb. This means that hot baths and boiler rooms should be avoided.
You need to generally be careful with the first (and all the other) month of the pregnancy given that it is a delicate period.
- The First Trimester: Your Baby’s Growth and Development in Early Pregnancy – WebMD
- Stages of Pregnancy: Week by Week – OnHealth
- All About Ultrasounds – BabyCenter