Being 1 month pregnant is a little like standing at the starting line of a marathon: You know you have a long way to go until the end, but you’re ready for the challenge. You’ve been waiting for this. Bring it on, pregnancy!
The anticipation and excitement is often what the first month of pregnancy is all about. Here’s what else you can expect this month.
You’re 1 month pregnant, but your baby is only, like… 14 days old? How does that work?
Welcome to the first (but definitely not last) often confusing thing about pregnancy: your gestational age. Pregnancy is measured, or dated, from the first day of your last period.
No, you weren’t pregnant then, and yes, it can seem odd that it works this way, but the actual date of conception can be pretty hard to pin down.
Besides, before we knew so much about conception, we knew through observation that people (on average) tended to give birth about 40 weeks after the start of their last period.
So if you’re 1 month pregnant, it means your last period started about 1 month ago, but since you probably didn’t conceive your baby until about 14 days later, they’re only 2 weeks old. Your baby will always be “younger” than your pregnancy.
Don’t freak out, though: The whole world of obstetrics and fetal development revolves around gestational age, so sticking with that number means you’re in line with everyone else’s milestones and expectations.
The pee stick on your pregnancy test is barely dry, but you swear there’s already a baby bump bulging over the top of your skinny jeans. Is it for real?
Yes — and no! Yes, you probably do have some abdominal swelling, but it’s most likely caused by first trimester bloating, not the size of your uterus.
Just like when you get all puffy right before your period, the increase in progesterone (and a bunch of other reproductive hormones) that happens with conception can cause bloating.
At this stage, your uterus is starting to expand but is still pretty small, so it’s not likely to be the reason for your tight-fitting pants.
That is, unless this isn’t your first baby, in which case you could be seeing the makings of a baby bump this early: Because your abdominal muscles are weakened from your previous pregnancy, they’re ready to fall right back into saggy shape as soon as any kind of uterine growth happens.
This early in pregnancy, you’re not likely to notice a ton of symptoms. You just got a positive pregnancy test result, after all! “Feeling” pregnant really ramps up in month 2, but that doesn’t mean the first month is void of symptoms. Here are some things you might notice:
You don’t know it yet, but your body is working overtime to make itself a hospitable environment for your baby. That’s tiring!
Hormones, like progesterone and estrogen, are increasing, and that can make your breasts feel tender (just like with PMS).
Cramping and belly pains
OK, this one makes people a little nervous, but having mild cramps or stomach pain isn’t unusual this early in pregnancy. Your uterus is going through a lot of changes — that’s bound to cause some discomfort.
Plus, remember the bloating we talked about before? That can make you constipated and gassy, too, which might make your tummy feel not so great.
None of this should be intensely painful, though; it might just feel like period cramps.
Peeing all the time
We wish we could say this symptom will go away in the second trimester, but the truth is you may need to know where all the bathrooms are, all the time, until your baby is born. Your kidneys ramp up waste production during pregnancy, so you’re going to be peeing a lot.
Just like with cramping, this one panics a lot of people but is also common in early pregnancy. Light pink or brown spotting is generally OK; it can be the result of implantation, increased hormones, cervix irritation, or uterine cramping. Full-on bleeding, however, is worth checking out with your doctor.
No puking — yet
Contrary to popular belief, most folks aren’t starting the day with a good ol’ fashioned puking sesh just yet — morning sickness usually starts around 6 weeks and reaches a peak at 8 or 9 weeks. Some people feel sick right away, but this early in your pregnancy you’re more likely to have a vomit-free window before the real fun kicks in.
Baby is working hard on developing from a fertilized egg full of multiplying cells into what we call an embryo. They’ll stay an embryo until the end of month 2 when they officially become a fetus.
Right now, your baby is only about 6 or 7 millimeters in size, but growing quickly and already starting to build up their organ systems. The placenta and umbilical cord are forming, too, to nourish your baby through your pregnancy.
Your doctor will typically use the first day of your last period to calculate your due date by adding 40 weeks to that date.
This only works if you have normal menstrual cycles, though. It assumes that you conceived 14 days after your last period started. If your cycles are shorter or longer than the average 28 days, you might not have conceived around day 14 of your cycle. In that case, the calculated due date will be inaccurate.
If you know precisely when you conceived (e.g., you only had sex the one time) and it wasn’t around day 14, you can talk to your doctor about adjusting your due date. However, they may not feel it’s necessary unless you have reason to think the numbers are way off.
If you know your cycles skew closer to 35 or 40 days, your doctor may order an early ultrasound to more accurately date your pregnancy.
Remember, even if you didn’t conceive exactly on day 14, as long as your cycles are average length, your due date will be close enough — it’s only an estimate, anyway!
There’s not a whole lot to accomplish at 1 month pregnant, other than coming to terms with the existential reality that your entire life is going to change forever within the next year (no pressure!). But there are a couple of things you might want to tackle:
- Schedule an appointment with a midwife or OB-GYN to confirm your pregnancy. Most docs won’t see you until you’re at least 8 weeks along, but you can make the appointment now if you want.
- Sleep. You’ll need it, not just throughout your whole pregnancy but afterwards, too!
- Start making a plan for eating well and exercising during pregnancy. You might not be able to get started until after morning sickness comes and goes, but it doesn’t hurt to think about it now.
- If you haven’t already, kick dangerous habits — like smoking, drug use, and drinking — to the curb so you can have the healthiest pregnancy possible.
- Start taking a prenatal vitamin. You don’t necessarily a prescription — the ones available over-the-counter are just as good. Be sure it has at least 400 micrograms of folic acid.
At 1 month pregnant, you’re probably feeling decent — a little excited, a little nervous, and super tired, but decent. However, if you notice any of the following symptoms, give your doctor a call. You may have an infection or could, sadly, be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage:
- severe abdominal pain or cramping
- signs of a urinary tract infection or yeast infection
- bright red vaginal bleeding or bleeding that soaks through a pad
- severe dizziness or headache
- severe nausea or vomiting
You’re on the brink of something pretty huge at 1 month pregnant, and it may be both thrilling and terrifying!
Your baby is developing at the speed of light in your uterus, but any baby bump you see this early is likely to be caused by hormonal bloating, not actual baby growth.
Still, there are a lot of new things happening, so calculate your due date, get as much rest as you can, and try to stay calm… you’ve got a long way to go, baby!