Doctor appointments and tests
If you are planning to fall pregnant and have not yet been to preconception care visits with your doctor, get down to your local health centre today. It’s important to be checked for health conditions, nutritional deficiencies and antibodies to vaccine-preventable diseases like chicken pox, before you become pregnant. For more information about preconception care see Pregnancy Planning.
What to avoid in pregnancy
This week is also the right time to start changing your lifestyle to prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy, if you have not already done so. To ensure your baby develops in optimal conditions you’ll need to avoid:
- Alcohol with is associated with foetal alcohol syndrome (see Pregnancy and Alcohol for more information);
- Drugs, including legal ones like caffeine (see Pregnancy and Caffeine for more information);
- Some medicines which may have adverse affects on your growing baby. Check with your doctor before making any changes if you are taking any medication including over the counter drugs or herbal supplements; and
- Smoking, both active (doing it yourself) or passive (breathing in someone else’s second-hand smoke) which can reduce your chance of getting pregnant. It can also harm your baby in the short and long term, for example by impairing growth in the womb or causing developmental problems after childbirth.
It’s also important to ensure you’re eating the right foods in all the right quantities (see Overeating and Undereating in pregnancy for more information), and avoiding foods that have the potential to harm your growing baby (see Pregnancy Foods to Avoid for more information).
Developing and maintaining a regular exercise regime is also a good idea. Starting now will increase your chances of keeping fit and fabulous throughout your pregnancy, and that’s a healthy measure for both you and your baby.
How to get pregnant
When your body is in optimal condition and you’re ready to conceive, don’t forget to have sex! All the hard work your body has done to prepare your egg for fertilisation will only result in more menstrual bleeding, unless you and your partner get busy with the business of baby-making.
When to get pregnant
Even though you have not ovulated yet, it’s the perfect time to be having sex. Once ejaculated, sperm survive for up to 48 hours in your reproductive system. This means that if you have sex in the second week after menstrual bleeding, the sperm will be hanging around, waiting for ovulation to occur. Most women conceive (fall pregnant) 11-16 days after the beginning of their last menstrual bleeding.
Men release up to 40 million sperm each time they ejaculate and just one of these is needed to fertilise your egg and start the process of growing a baby. In order to increase your chances of getting pregnant, it’s best to have sex 2-3 times a week. Timing sex to coincide with ovulation often causes unnecessary stress, so it’s best just to have sex every 2-3 days.
More information on the 2nd week of pregnancy
|For more information on the second week of pregnancy, see 2 weeks pregnant.
|For more information about the changes that occur when pregnant, see Changes to mum and baby this week.
|For more information about how to improve the chances of getting your partner pregnant, see Men’s health and how to improve male fertility this week.
|For more information about conception and the myths surrounding it, see Misconceptions about conception this week.
|For more information about the key points on the second week of pregnancy, see Key points this week.