How your baby’s growing
This week marks the beginning of the embryonic period. From now until 10 weeks, all of your baby’s organs will begin to develop, and some will even begin to function. As a result, this is the time when she’ll be most vulnerable to anything that might interfere with her development. Right now your baby is an embryo the size of a poppy seed, consisting of two layers: the epiblast and the hypoblast, from which all of her organs and body parts will develop.
The primitive placenta is also made up of two layers at this point. Its cells are tunneling into the lining of your uterus, creating spaces for your blood to flow so that the developed placenta will be able to provide nutrients and oxygen to your growing baby.
Also present now are the amniotic sac, which will house your baby; the amniotic fluid, which will cushion her as she grows; and the yolk sac, which produces your baby’s red blood cells and helps deliver nutrients to her until the placenta has developed and is ready to take over this duty.
See what fraternal twins look like in the womb this week.
How your life’s changing
Sometime this week, you may be able to find out whether you’re pregnant. For the most accurate results, wait until a few days to a week after you miss your period before you take a home pregnancy test.
If the test is positive, schedule your first prenatal appointment. Most healthcare providers won’t see you until you’re about eight weeks along, unless you have a medical condition, had problems with a previous pregnancy, or are having symptoms that need to be checked out.
If you’re taking any medications – prescription or over-the-counter – ask now whether it’s safe to keep taking them. And be sure to alert your provider to any other issues of concern.
You should already be taking a daily multivitamin or prenatal vitamin that contains at least 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid. Some women need a higher dose of folic acid, so ask your doctor or midwife what she recommends.
The next six weeks are critical to your baby’s development. The rudimentary versions of the placenta and umbilical cord, which deliver nourishment and oxygen to your baby, are already functioning. Through the placenta, your baby is exposed to what you take into your body, so make sure it’s good for both of you.
If your home pregnancy test is negative, take another at five weeks if you still haven’t gotten your period. Many urine tests are not sensitive enough to detect a pregnancy at four weeks.
If you’ve been trying to conceive with no success for a year or more (or for six months if you’re over 35), talk to your healthcare provider about a workup exam for you and your partner to spot possible fertility problems. While the results may be upsetting, finding out about a problem sooner rather than later will get you started on the road to treatment – and to your ultimate goal: having a baby.
Learn about: Pregnancy tests
At-home pregnancy tests can tell you if you’re pregnant or not by detecting the presence of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. Here’s what you need to know about when and how to take them.
When can I take a pregnancy test and get an accurate result?
It’s best to wait a few days to a week after you miss your period to take a home pregnancy test. By that time, most newly pregnant women have enough hCG in their urine for the tests to detect it.
How can I get the best results from a pregnancy test?
First, check the expiration date on the test and make sure it’s still good. If you’ve been storing the home pregnancy test anywhere that gets moist or warm (like the bathroom), it may have deteriorated, so throw it away and get a new one.
When you’re ready to test, read the directions carefully because the instructions vary with different brands. For the most accurate results, take the test first thing in the morning, when your urine is most concentrated. It may take up to 10 minutes to see results.
If the test shows a negative result and you still haven’t gotten your period, wait a few days or a week and try again. Don’t assume that one negative result means you’re not pregnant. If you don’t get your period as expected, remember that you might still be pregnant. (It’s no time to go out drinking or do other things that are unsafe during pregnancy.)
Does even a faint line mean I’m pregnant?
If you see a positive result on your test, even if it’s very light, chances are good that you’re pregnant. For a home pregnancy test to show a positive result, your body has to be making a detectable level of hCG. You may get a faintly positive result if you’re not as far along as you thought. To be sure, take another test in two or three days.
If the second positive result is more pronounced, congratulations. If the second test is completely negative, you may have had a very early miscarriage. Experts estimate that 20 to 30 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, so unfortunately this is very common.
Activity: Plan your health checks
Pregnancy requires very close monitoring and care, now is the time you will need to plan if you want your care with health center or through private clinics/ hospitals. It is rather advisable to go for a health insurance as the expense and the type of care you might require will be uncertain. Many hospitals are providing packages from prenatal till delivery. To avoid any surprises, learn the terms of your health insurance coverage now.