If you’ve arrived at this page, you probably fall into one of two categories:
- You’ve just found out you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
- You are planning a pregnancy and looking for advice
If you are in the first category, then congratulations! Finding out you are pregnant is a truly unique experience and can involve such a wide range of emotions and feelings, so we do hope you are being well supported. If you are pregnant, then you are more likely to be either 3 or 4 weeks pregnant, because confusingly you are ‘pregnant’ before you conceive when it comes to dating pregnancies.
Your pregnancy is dated from the first day of your Last Menstrual Period – often shortened to LMP, which is why in week one of your pregnancy, you aren’t classed as pregnant as your body is preparing for ovulation. Only after implantation (the fertilised egg implants into the uterus lining) do you become pregnant.
Confusing?! – we know! The reason for using your LMP is that most people are aware of when their last period started, even if it is a vague idea! In contrast, not many people know when they ovulated or conceived – so using the LMP gives a good starting point.
If you are newly pregnant, you get to jump ahead to week 4 – head over and have a look at the information in week 4 for tips on what to do, how you may be feeling and what’s happening with your baby!
If you are in the second category, then welcome! – how exciting to be at this point in your fertility and pregnancy journey.
If you are planning a pregnancy and hoping to conceive soon, you are probably wondering what you need to do and what you should probably avoid too.
Worry not – whilst it may seem daunting, there is lots of advice and support available to help you be best prepared.
What you can do to prepare in Week 1
Getting in the best health and shape you can be in is a great way to be prepared – so if you smoke, even occasionally, quitting or at the very least cutting down is key. You don’t need to do it alone – as it can be hard, so speak to your GP and get referred to a local smoking cessation service through the NHS – https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/quit-smoking/nhs-stop-smoking-services-help-you-quit/
The same applies to alcohol, we know that alcohol can affect fertility and can also have an impact on your pregnancy – so cutting out or at least down how you drink is best. The same applies to the use of recreational drugs and substances – quit and get help.
Exercise & Diet
What you eat and how active you are is also something to consider, as with all things a healthy balanced diet is important when you are planning a pregnancy as it improves both of your fertility and has a positive effect on your growing baby. Start making the changes before you become pregnant, think about what healthy alternatives you change over to or what you can cut out or cut back on – caffeine for example is something you should really cut down on if you drink a lot of coffee, tea or caffeinated soft drinks.
You’ve probably heard about taking pregnancy vitamins already – you should start taking folic acid ideally a few months before you become pregnant. This is so the folic acid has time to build up in your system ready for when you are pregnant.
Get more active – which we can all do if we are honest! This will help with emotional and mental well-being, as well as having a positive impact on your fertility and helping to ensure you are at a healthy BMI.
GP Check In
It’s always a good idea to check in with your GP if you are planning a pregnancy – they can advise on any checks you may need to have, such as cervical screening test – often called a Pap or smear test, which you need at least every three years, or if you need any vaccines such as the MMR which protects against a condition called rubella. Your GP can also advise if any prescribed medication you may be taking is safe to continue in pregnancy and what to do regarding your medication if you do become pregnant.