The first two weeks of pregnancy can be very exciting for a woman … and yet not so exciting. The not-so-exciting part of this second week is that the ever-so-popular pregnancy symptoms begin to kick in.
Tender breasts, nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness are just some of the symptoms women face during the second week.
As a pregnant mother, a woman should now begin to focus on changing her lifestyle and dietary habits if she has not already done so, as this second week is a crucial turning point in the baby’s development.
Your Baby’s Development
Out of the 46 chromosomes, the two most important are the X chromosome and the Y chromosome. These two chromosomes determine the baby’s sex. Every egg has an X chromosome; every sperm has either an X or a Y chromosome.
If the sperm fertilizes the egg with an X chromosome, you’ll have a girl. If it’s a Y chromosome, you’ll have a boy. The gender is decided at the moment of fertilization, but you won’t know until weeks later.
The baby, which at this stage is called an embryo, consists of 150 cells that will begin to divide up into three separate layers. Here’s a brief breakdown of each layer and what it eventually transforms into:
1st Layer: The internal layer, and also known as the endoderm or endoblast, becomes the digestive system and respiratory tract, which includes glands like the pancreas, thyroid, liver and thymus.
2nd Layer: The middle layer, and also known as the mesoderm, becomes the baby’s bones, cartilage, circulatory system, inner skin layer, muscles, genitalia, excretory system, and outer covering.
3rd Layer: The outer layer, and also known as the ectoderm or ectoblast, becomes the nervous system, the brain, and the epidermis, which includes the baby’s skin, nails, and hair.
During this time of transformation, the embryo simply floats within the uterus, protected by the secretions of the uterus lining. The baby is still very, very small — only .1 to .2 mm long.
Changes in Your Body
First and foremost, say goodbye to your menstrual period for the next nine months; you will not have another one until after the baby is born (but if you think you’re getting off easy, think again). Also, the uterus is increasing its production of endometrium, which provides a healthy environment for the baby to implant.
Pregnancy Week 2 Tips
The most important thing a woman can do during this stage is to change any negative habits she may have. Quitting bad habits (such as smoking, drinking, and drugs) is important to a healthy pregnancy, a healthy birth, and a healthy baby.
Hopefully, if this is a planned pregnancy, you’ve already dropped some of these habits (or never had them) and begun taking prenatal vitamins, as well as increased doses of folic acid. You should ask your obstetrician which habits are okay to retain during your pregnancy.
Why wait? Find out what happens during the 3rd week of pregnancy.