For mom

At the end of Pregnancy Week 2, it would be day 14 of your menstrual cycle and your body will release the egg which makes everything possible. If you do not have a regular 28 day cycle, this event may occur at a slightly different time.

By now, you would have shed the old uterine lining and monthly repairs to those blood vessels would have taken place. This sets the scene for the new layers of lining to form and thicken. This will be the nurturing home for your child (as a ball of cells) over the next 9 months.

Pregnancy Week 2: What are your hormones doing?

Ovulation is a complex interplay between many hormones such as:

  • Oestrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Follicular stimulating hormone (FSH), and
  • Luteinising hormone (LH)

Simply put, a surge in luteinising hormone (LH) occurs 36 hours later, your egg is released and you would have ovulated!

The surge in luteinising hormone (LH) causes androgen levels to rise. This has an important stimulatory effect in the stimulation of your libido, ensuring that sexual intercourse is likely to occur at the time of ovulation when the woman is at her most fertile. This would be the ideal time to schedule many romantic moments with your partner if you're hoping to get pregnant!

Tip: Women wanting to become pregnant should avoid high levels as there is a complex interplay between high stress levels and the menstrual cycle.

For baby

No baby just yet. Here are several lifestyle tips that you as a pre-pregnant mum can take note of.

Tip: Eating right is a good idea, but now that you are trying to conceive, it is an even better idea to cut out the alcohol and cigarettes completely.

How smoking affects the baby

This is because smokers have greater difficulty becoming pregnant, they also have an increased risk of spontaneous abortion. When a pregnant woman smokes, her baby smokes with her. Carbon monoxide and nicotine cross into the fetus's circulation, decreasing it's oxygen supply and increasing it's heartbeat. Newborns of smoking mothers tend to be on the smaller side, usually about 300g underweight.

A more severe form of this problem is termed intrauterine growth restriction, which in essence means that your baby is not meeting it's supposed growth checkpoints while in the womb and is severely underweight. As a result, physical development is affected.

How alcohol affects the baby

If you are considering that late night drink, think again. Alcohol use can give rise to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) which is a combination of permanent physical and mental defects. Alcohol crosses into the placenta and causes irreversible intellectual damage resulting in lifelong learning disabilities, memory problems, attention deficits and impulsive behaviour.

Physical features are also affected. Infants with FAS tend to have characteristic facial features, a small head, flattened upper lip where the groove should occur, narrowed eye width and growth deficiency. Infants tend to be below their expected average height and weight. FAS can affect fetuses at any point in pregnancy and there is no medically safe level of alcohol. Knowing that, we advise you not to drink and conceive. If you have had a glass or two to drink while you were unaware of your pregnancy, do not be too alarmed, as you would have to drink more than 1 drink/day to be at risk.

Still, no good can come from drinking alcohol while pregnant. Remember, healthy mum, healthy baby.

Ref: L20

Click the link for the complete listing of articles for Pregnancy Week 1 - Week 40.