Hoping that you'll soon find out you are pregnant? You won't really know for another week or so, for this is actually the week preceding ovulation. It's referred to as week 2 because experts date a pregnancy from the first day of the last menstrual period. If your cycle is regular, you will likely ovulate sometime next week. And with a bit of strategic planning with your partner, it could turn out to be the week your baby is conceived.
In anticipation of new life each month, your uterus is forming a blood-rich lining of tissue called the endometrium. At the same time, in one of the two ovaries, eggs are ripening in fluid-filled sacs called follicles. One of your ovaries will likely release an egg next week, and conception may take place.
Do's and Don'ts
Don't take the passion out of lovemaking. Statistically, your chances of conceiving are better if you engage in daily sex than if you settle into an every-other-day pattern. But the odds aren't that much better—0.37 versus 0.33—so you needn't feel pressured to perform every night.
Do you and your partner rely on herbal remedies to ease common ailments? If you are hoping to conceive, it may be time to stop. Some fertility research suggests that St. John's wort, echinacea purpura, or ginkgo biloba may have a harmful effect on your partner's sperm.
Mom to Mom
Trying to conceive? Studies have shown that reducing stress can enhance your fertility. "Every morning I wake up an hour before the rest of my family, sit down with a cup of coffee and grab the newspaper so I can indulge in my favorite stress-relieving activity: doing crossword puzzles." -Dana Milne, Tucson, AZ
An ovulation predictor kit can help you figure out when you're likely to conceive by measuring how much luteinizing hormone (LH) is in your body. When the levels rise, you'll know that your body's about to release an egg. The kits, sold in drugstores nationwide, can be a good investment for couples who are having difficulty conceiving.
Trying to get pregnant can be nerve-racking, but stress can hamper ovulation or even make you skip a period. Exercise is a good way to relax, so aim for 30 minutes, four or five times a week.
Invest goodwill in your relationship bank by doing small favors for your partner without being asked. The first year after a baby can test the bonds of marriage, but if you nurture your relationship now, you'll find it easier to ride through any turbulence.
If you are trying to have a second child, prepare for a baby with a more laid-back personality than your firstborn. Kids in the number-two spot have the luxury of more relaxed parents. Your calmer demeanor tends to transfer to a second child, who'll typically recover from setbacks more easily than his older sibling and be more creative and playful.
Are you likely to have twins? More women are waiting until after age 35 to become moms, when the probability of naturally conceiving twins doubles!