Hoping that you'll soon find out you're pregnant? You won't know for several weeks yet, for week 1 is actually the week of your last menstrual period before pregnancy. Confusing, isn't it? But the first day of the last menstrual period is the day from which experts date the start of pregnancy. Ovulation won't take place for another two weeks, so look for Week 3 to be the week you might conceive your baby.
If you hope to get pregnant this month, you can have a little fun calculating what your due date would be by adding seven days to the first day of your last period, subtracting three months, then adding a year. This is the formula most doctors and midwives use. All due dates are approximate, even the ones doctors calculate. Experts estimate that only one in 20 women actually delivers on her due date. In addition, it would not be unusual for your doctor to adjust your due date at some point in your pregnancy, when more information, such as the size of the fetus, is in.
Do's and Don'ts
Do track your daily temperature if you are trying to get pregnant. Track your ovulation by taking your temperature first thing each morning (before you even get out of bed) using a digital basal body temperature thermometer—an oral thermometer available in drugstores everywhere. Record your temperature each day. When you see it spike, you'll know that ovulation has occurred and you are ready to make a baby.
And there's no time like the present to start learning the pregnancy rules. Thankfully, we've compiled this easy reference: 50 Dos and Don'ts for what you can do (like fly in an airplane, get a pedicure, or get a flu shot) and what you shouldn't (like eat soft cheeses, clean the litter box, or sit in a hot tub).
It would be a smart move to start taking prenatal vitamins now. Although they're called prenatals, pregnancy-formula vitamin supplements are just as crucial for women trying to conceive because they contain nutrients such as folic acid (about 400 to 600 micrograms) and iron that a developing baby needs during the first few weeks—before you even know you're pregnant.
Mom to Mom
Trying to get pregnant can be stressful on a relationship. Find interesting, low-key ways to reconnect with your partner. "A few nights a week, we set aside time before bed to read aloud to each other. He likes the structured time, and I really enjoy the closeness." - Leslie Garrison, Virginia Beach, VA
If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for some time, the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility, by Toni Weschler, offers instruction on how to chart your basal body temperature and note other physical symptoms to predict ovulation.
Exercise will keep you strong and energetic during pregnancy, but starting from scratch would be tougher than maintaining a regimen to which you've already committed. Why not start now by putting on your walking shoes? Walking is a low-impact exercise that will be easy to continue throughout your pregnancy.
If you're trying to conceive, experts suggest having intercourse every other night. As there is a window of a few days leading up to ovulation when a sperm could survive while waiting for the egg, having sex every other day as opposed to randomly will increase the chances of sperm and egg uniting.
Are you planning to have several children? Look for the eldest to be your biggest support—and your biggest fan. Firstborns tend to identify with their parents, align with authority, and support the status quo.
Are you a twin? If you are a fraternal twin the likelihood of your having twins is high. A woman who is an identical twin has no better chance of producing twins than any other woman who shares some of the same "risk" factors, such as increased maternal age. A woman who is a "fraternal" twin also has an increased chance of having a multiple birth.