The beginning of your forty weeks of pregnancy is actually two weeks before conception has even taken place, on the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP). A full-term pregnancy is generally about 280 days; counting the two weeks from when your period starts to the time conception occurs. Your doctor or midwife counts this as the first part of your forty weeks. In actuality, your baby would only be 38 weeks gestation on your due date. Are you a confused parent to be? I hope not!

During this first week, your experiencing your menstrual period and you haven’t ovulated or conceived yet. The womb in which your baby will spend the next nine months is preparing to welcome your new little one, if conception takes place this cycle. It readies itself by cleansing the lining of your uterus that has built up from the previous cycle, when conception did not take place. This may very well be the last period you’ll experience until after your baby’s arrival! The bleeding from your menstrual period usually stops completely by the end of this week and the uterine lining starts to thicken once again.

If you are planning to conceive, thinking ahead is the best way to ensure that your pregnancy is problem-free and your baby is as healthy as possible. If you’re considering starting a family, take the time to prepare for your pregnancy, if you havent already. Do everything now as if you’re already expecting. Don’t expose your body to any potentially harmful substances including alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. You should talk to your doctor about any prescription (as well as over-the-counter) medications you are taking, because many are harmful during pregnancy. Don’t stop taking any prescription medications without consulting with your doctor beforehand.

Get in the habit of making healthy food choices as well, by cutting down on the amount of caffeine you consume per day and by eating a well-balanced diet. Remember, everything you put into your body during pregnancy will be passed to your little baby. If you are trying to get pregnant, you should already be taking a daily vitamin supplement, preferably one that contains folic acid to reduce the risk of your baby having neural-tube defects.

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