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1 Week Pregnant: What to Expect During Pregnancy

3 years ago5 min read
Last updated: Jan 20 2023

1 week pregnant? What does that even mean? Um. Here’s the thing. Not that much.

1 week pregnant

It’s like you’re both pregnant and not pregnant all at the same time.

That’s right. It’s like the quantum part of your pregnancy, the Schrödinger’s Baby part of growing a human. Ok. Let’s clarify:

What happens the first week of pregnancy?

Doctors generally start your pregnancy count from the first day of your last period.

That means that, at 1 week pregnant, you’re not technically pregnant at all (as in there’s no embryo).

So what’s the deal then? Well, your last period provides a good starting point that makes it easier to tally the score.

That’s because finding an exact date of ovulation and conception can be a tricky business.

Your period, however? Uh. Hard to miss.

That doesn’t mean that in Week 1 your body is just chilling.

In fact, your reproductive system is working really hard to make this pregnancy thing happen for you.

Think of your uterus as busy preparing the baby room, getting everything ready for the fertilized egg that will be taking residence just after ovulation.

Sheesh, the things that are going on while you’re at your morning meeting. The human body is seriously something!

It wants to make sure that when that fertilized egg arrives, the accommodations are good and ready for it.

As a result, the answer to the question, “what happens the first week of pregnancy?” is a difficult one to answer.

Essentially, it’s prep time. 1 week pregnant may feel like business as usual.

Pregnancy symptoms: week 1

Because you’re pregnant with, well, a possibility at this point, the symptoms you may be feeling may be similar to what you would feel during your period.

Undoubtedly, you know very well how your body likes to communicate that it’s that time of the month.

Symptoms may include:

  • Bleeding: That’s the uterine lining shedding after it had prepared itself for last month’s potential pregnancy
  • Mood swings: Hormoans? Check!
  • Bloating: Yup, hormones are responsible for this fun symptom too. There’s a dance party happening inside you and some of the hormones that were invited are estrogen, progesterone, the follicle-stimulating hormone and the luteinizing hormone.
  • Aches and pains. Lower back. Head. Soul. You name it.

So here’s the big question. When do you start showing pregnancy, rather than, period symptoms?

Very early signs of pregnancy 1 week in

Can you feel pregnant after 5 days?

Because pregnancies are as varied as the women that have them, the answer to this question is not a simple yes or no.

While it is possible to have symptoms when you are 1 week pregnant, these can be indistinguishable from the usual menstrual feels you get every month (bloating, cramping, bleeding – you know, all the fun stuff).

If you’re trying to get pregnant, however, understanding this early phase is somewhere at the intersection of stressful, joyous, and really necessary.

Tuning into the inner workings of your body will help you both prepare as best you can and feel a little more in control of what can feel like a sometimes uncontrollable situation.

Week 1 is the time to ready yourself for ovulation (which will typically happen at the end of Week 2).

Things to watch out for that will signal ovulation (and hopefully a possible conception, if that’s what you’re after):

  • Increased body temperature
  • Breast tenderness
  • Increased sex drive
  • Increased cervical mucus
  • Ovulation pain (Yes, pain seems to be in every part of this journey. Yay.)

You may also want to try out ovulation tests or predictor kits to make sure your timings are right.

Discuss this with your doctor to see if it is the right option for you.

Can you get an ultrasound at 1 week?

Not usually, no.

And there wouldn’t actually be anything there to see, either.

Since those baby cells haven’t been formed yet, you won’t see anything on a 1-week ultrasound.

Your body’s just getting ready for baby.

Tips for the first week of pregnancy

Finally, this in-between time is the time to get prepping.

Kick those bad habits where possible (smoking and pregnancy are a terrible combo); start on some prenatal vitamins which are usually a good potion of Vitamins A, C, D, and E, folic acids, iron, and calcium; and see a doctor and get proper medical advice.

This is a time alive with possibility.

It’s all the things: scary, exciting, joyous, anxiety-inducing, and sometimes hilarious.

Try to savor so you can remember this beginning.

🤰 Read next:
2 Weeks Pregnant: What to Expect
Your Pregnancy Week By Week Guide
Understanding Implantation Symptoms
Can You Take Probiotics While Pregnant?
What To Do When You Find Out You’re Pregnant

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