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Being pregnant is an exciting, scary and humbling experience. It’s an adventure into the unknown and the unexpected. Each week, you’re going to learn more and more about the world around you and your own body. We’re here to help reduce those fears and support you through this joyous ride to the future by providing as much knowledge as we can every week.
Your Baby During Pregnancy- Week 2
Welcome to the beginning. That’s right, you’re about to the start the most exciting journey any human has ever had, and it’s going to be filled with thrills, chills, tears and laughter. Every moment is going to soon become the most memorable, and yet the next one will surprise you by surpassing the last.
The second week of pregnancy is when you may be about to release an egg that could eventually be fertilized by a sperm. This means you are not pregnant yet. Confused? Let’s understand this more clearly.
Your due date is calculated from the first day of your last menstrual period. So, at the second week, you are in the phase where you are most likely to pregnant if you have been trying. At the 2 week mark, your egg has been released from the ovary and is ready to be fertilized. Your uterus has thickened to accept the fertilised egg.
The exact day of ovulation is hard to predict and may be anytime from the 9th day to the 21st day. The egg is fertilized 24 hours after the egg is released by one of the sperms that manage to swim up the fallopian tube. Only about a few hundred sperms manage to reach the fallopian tube from the millions released during an ejaculation. About 10-30 hours after fertilization, the nucleus of the sperm and the egg from the zygote fuse, deciding if you are going to have a boy or a girl (if the sperm has an x chromosome, your baby is a girl, and it has a y chromosome, your baby is a boy).
In the next 3 to 4 days, the zygote divides into 16 cells, and when it reaches the uterus, it is called the morula. The morula, a little ball of cells, burrows into the uterine lining and begins the process of division into the embryo and the placenta.
It has been 2 weeks since your menstrual period ended, and for some, the excitement is about to start. If you have not been trying to get pregnant, you may even miss out on recognising the early pregnancy symptoms, and brush them off as PMS or a late period.
What Is the Baby Size?
Many women do not realize that at 2 weeks, the egg is not yet fertilised. At best, you are ovulating. We say, at best, because on day 15 of your menstrual period, you should be ovulating but only if you are one of the lucky few who has a 28-day menstrual cycle. If not, then you probably are a few days behind on ovulation. Many women are misinformed about what it means to be 2 weeks pregnant. The baby size, health and development are still a good 2 to 3 weeks away.
Common Body Changes
There are a host of different ways your body will change during pregnancy. Some changes like larger breasts are universal, while other body changes during pregnancy like a change in hair texture are different for different women.
The beginning of the second week is when your body produces the Follicle Simulating Hormone, a hormone which is responsible for helping the dominant follicle mature and rupture. A ruptured follicle is called the corpus luteum, and it produces progesterone and oestrogen. These are also called pregnancy hormones are not only responsible for sustaining the pregnancy, but are also the cause of the symptoms you may already have started experiencing.
At the two week pregnancy mark, since there is no actual fertilisation, you will experience symptoms exactly similar to those you would have during your menstrual period. This will include some breast soreness, light pelvic ache and even an increased sex drive.
Symptoms of Pregnancy at Week 2
At the 2 week mark of your menstrual period, you should be ideally ovulating. If you are looking to get pregnant and would like to know the signs of when you could conceive, then you have come to the right place.
- White Cervical Mucus: The mucus lining of your cervix changes to allow for the sperm to travel better. This is the reason for the whitish discharge from your vagina at this time.
- Increased Sense of Smell: Like most other pregnancy symptoms, this one can be blamed in oestrogen too, and is usually what triggers morning sickness
- Light Spotting: When the follicle around the egg ruptures, you might see some light spotting. However, if the bleeding is heavier, it could be indicative of a more serious condition. Consult with a doctor if you are worried about any of these symptoms
- BBT: The first two weeks of pregnancy are also called the follicular phase. If you have been tracking your basal body temperature(BBT), you will notice that it is low at this stage, and starts to rise as you enter the luteal phase
These symptoms should give you a good indication of when you are ovulating. You can also use a journal to track your period if it isn’t a 28-day cycle. There are also ovulation kits and fertility monitors available in the market for you to zero in on the most ideal time to conceive. Once you conceive, you should keep a lookout for signs of pregnancy and immediately talk to your doctor.
Belly at 2 Weeks of Pregnancy
The fertilised egg has not yet attached itself to your uterine wall. In this condition, you will not see any changes in your belly. Some women do complain of pelvic pain during ovulation, and that is probably the most you will feel during this time.
2 Weeks Ultrasound
Pregnancy tests can be reliable only at the 4-week mark. This is the reason an ultrasound is not done during the two-week mark. If you were to see your reproductive organs during this time, you would see a tiny egg travelling down the fallopian tube to be fertilized by sperm. However, the egg is smaller than a grain of salt and you will probably not see anything. At best, the technician will be able to tell if there is a thickening of the uterine wall.
What to Eat?
Eating a healthy diet always goes a long way in making sure that your body is healthy enough for optimum body functioning, including getting pregnant. However, apart from the regular balanced diet, you do not have any special dietary needs as far as 2nd week pregnancy food is concerned.
Making healthy meal choices in early pregnancy goes a long way in ensuring that your baby develops well, and your body is able to meet the demands childbirth puts on it. If you are eager to conceive, try to include fertility boosting foods such as leafy greens, figs, salmon, yams, and different kinds of berries. 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 high in folic acid such as spinach and speak to your doctor about a folic acid supplement too. This will ensure that the chances of birth defects including neural tube defects (birth defects of the spinal cord) are reduced.
Tips & Care
Taking care of yourself during this fun-filled, exciting period can be hard and confusing because of the immense number of research materials out on the internet. Remember to talk to your OBGYN before implementing any care. Here are a few things you should keep in mind during the 2nd week mark.
- Keep a track of your menstrual cycle.
- Use an ovulation kit.
- Have sex every other day.
- Opt for pre-conception genetic testing which helps determine if you are likely to have a child with a genetic disorder such as Huntington’s disease, Sickle Cell Anaemia and some others
- Do not get excited and go for pregnancy tests, as you may get a false negative at such an early stage. It is best to wait another week before you go for one.
- Do not take any medicines other than prenatal vitamins unless prescribed by your doctor.
- Do not listen to advice from anyone other than your doctor.
What You Need to Shop
At this stage, the only thing you may need to shop for would be a pregnancy kit, which you will be able to use with certainty next week.
Pregnancy is a turbulent but joy-filled and exciting journey. A good OBGYN is a great confidant who can put all your fears to rest. Consult the doctor whenever you feel the need, have them on your speed dial, and communicate with them to clarify any doubts. We wish you all the best for a life-affirming adventure ahead!
Read this article in Arabic: الأسبوع الثاني من الحمل