The first two weeks of pregnancy are a bit of a misnomer, because you are not actually pregnant – yet! It’s not until approximately week three when conception finally occurs and that magic moment when sperm and egg fuse (otherwise known as fertilisation) results in a zygote, a single-cell organism made up of genetic material from both you and your partner.
The fertilised egg (aka your baby!) contains 46 chromosomes – 23 from you, 23 from the father. The mother always provides an X chromosome. The father can provide an X or Y chromosome. If the sperm that fertilises your egg carries an X chromosome, the XX zygote will be a girl. If the sperm is Y-bearing, then your XY zygote will be a boy.
Remarkably, within hours, the single-cell zygote divides, and then each cell divides again. Within days, you’re walking around with a microscopic ball of cells (now known as a blastocyst) and it’s now making the journey from your fallopian tube to your uterus where it will implant and settle for the next nine months!
When you become pregnant, be prepared for the flood of advice that will bombard you (another good reason to limit who you tell until you can’t hide it any longer!). Eat right, exercise, do this, avoid that. None of us is perfect—everyone has a habit or two they need to break or something they could do better. For many women, pregnancy is a great motivator to make some permanent changes. Whether it’s quitting smoking, exercising more, changing your diet or reducing your stress level, one piece of great advice fits every situation: don’t go it alone. Enlist the help and support of your friends and family. Find a walking partner, share healthy recipes with your friends, join a prenatal yoga class or ask someone who successfully quit smoking what worked for them. Building your circle of support now will help you throughout pregnancy—and beyond.
Something you might not think of as a priority just yet, but which will have major implications on your pregnancy care and birth is choosing a caregiver and a birth setting (the two usually go hand in hand). These are two of the most important decisions you will make in pregnancy. They profoundly influence the path of your pregnancy, birth and early mothering. You may not realise all of the options you have. If you are healthy, you can select either a midwife or a physician to provide your care. You can consider birthing in a hospital, a birth centre or at home. Checking into your options early in pregnancy will enable you to make the best decisions for you.
Some great reading:
Weekly Birth Inspiration
“Rely on your own inner resources, trust your body’s responses,and take joy in preparing for the new life that is now becoming a part of yours.”
– Peggy O’Mara, editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine
About Tanya Strusberg
Tanya Strusberg is the only Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE) in Australia and teaches prenatal education to pregnant women and their partners in Melbourne.
She and her husband Doron have two beautiful children, Liev and Amalia.
To learn more visit www.birthwellbirthright.com
About Katrina Zaslavsky
Katrina Zaslavsky is the passionate founder of Birth Goddess, author of A Modern Woman’s Guide to A Natural Empowering Birth (featured nationally, paperback available in bookstores Australia-wide, direct via http://shop.inspiringbirthstories.com.au/shop-online/ or as a kindle e-book on Amazon) birth columnist, speaker and committee member for Natural Parenting Melbourne. Her calling is to awaken people to live a more conscious, natural lifestyle and especially to empower women to discover their inner birth goddess!
Profoundly impacted by her own personal journey into motherhood, Katrina provides an empowering birth community, resources, workshops and products including her book, Birth Goddess Cards and the newly launched Empowering Birth Magazine to support women to give birth the way nature intended- fear free, drug free and even pain free!
Join the empowering birth community: https://www.facebook.com/KatBirthGoddess
Browse the blog: http://www.birthgoddess.com.au/