The first month of pregnancy technically begins before you are even pregnant, on the day when your last menstrual cycle starts. Approximately two weeks after your period begins, ovulation occurs. This is when conception takes place, when the sperm and the egg meet in the Fallopian tube. During the next several days, the egg travels down the uterus and attaches itself to the uterine lining. Immediately following implantation, your body receives signals to forego its usual routine of menstruation and to instead prepare for pregnancy. At the same time, your baby begins to grow and develop right away.

Your Baby

At this point, your baby is referred to as an embryo. The fertilized egg doubles in size every day. The placenta and umbilical cord form so your baby will be provided with the nourishment and oxygen it needs to survive and grow. Your baby is protected by a cushiony fluid sac called the amniotic sac. About a week after implantation, your baby will have a spinal cord. Within a few more days, several vertebrae are in place.

Your Body

For many women, there are no noticeable changes happening on the outside at this time. You may not even realize yet that you are pregnant. Even so, your body is going through tremendous changes that you can’t see, preparing for the journey of pregnancy. The hormonal and chemical changes taking place in your body may produce symptoms similar to premenstrual syndrome.

If you suspect that you are pregnant, you can take a home pregnancy test, which is generally highly effective. You may also wish to see your doctor or midwife to confirm the pregnancy and perform any necessary tests. Tests may include a blood test, urinalysis, genetic testing, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and a Pap smear.

Your Emotions

You might not know that you are pregnant, or maybe you are beginning to suspect, or maybe you are even holding a positive pregnancy test in your hand. No matter what, the changes in your body may affect your emotions. Mood swings are possible even this early in a pregnancy. If you just found out you’re pregnant, you may experience mixed emotions, ranging from excitement to doubt and everywhere in between. Some women experience more frequent trips to the bathroom even at this time, and you may even begin to feel the effects of morning sickness.