The lining of the uterus builds up in the first two weeks of the menstrual cycle to prepare for pregnancy. The yellow and blue areas seen here are cells and the pink area, secretions. If no pregnancy occurs, the lining breaks down and menstruation occurs.
Although this is officially the first day of your pregnancy, you won't conceive until around two weeks from now. This is classified as "day one" because once you conceive your pregnancy will be dated from the first day of your menstrual period. It would be more logical to date a pregnancy from the day of ovulation or conception, but, like most women, you're unlikely to know the day on which you ovulate, let alone conceive. You are, however, far more likely to remember when your last period started, especially if you're hoping to get pregnant and are keeping a record of your menstrual cycle.
While dating a pregnancy in this way is a handy, if slightly baffling, convention, it does mean that your body is getting geared up for pregnancy from today. In around 280 days, or nine months' time, you could be holding your newborn baby in your arms. Good luck and enjoy the journey!
There's no perfect time to become parents, but you might want to bear in mind the following:
Just 20 percent of couples actively trying to conceive become pregnant in the first monthly cycle.
For 75 percent of couples it takes six months. So be patient and try not to get too stressed if you don't manage to conceive immediately.
Start taking this vital supplement now, from day one, if you haven't already. You should take folic acid as soon as you begin trying to conceive because it will be essential to your baby's development in the first few weeks of pregnancy (see Folate and folic acid).
The amount of folic acid that has been shown to be effective is a daily supplement of 400 mcg. A diet of foods rich in folate is also advisable so eat plenty of green vegetables, such as green beans, spinach, and broccoli; legumes, such as peas, beans, and chickpeas; fortified cereals; and wheat germ and other fortified grains.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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