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Evolution and Development of Pregnancy, Week By Week

What was your first clue that you were pregnant? Perhaps you missed a period, or you just had a hunch, or you felt a little queasy walking past the seafood market. Maybe you sensed something different about your body, little changes you’d never noticed before. Or you found your emotions were strung a little tighter than usual. You wondered: “Could I be pregnant?”

Whether you confirmed your pregnancy with a home test or at a clinic, you likely knew beforehand that something was different by observing your body closely. That’s just the first of many opportunities pregnancy offers you to be mindful—to pay close attention to your body, your baby, your environment and your instincts.

Beginning at conception (when egg and sperm join), your body undergoes an avalanche of changes in a very short time. Each change supports the growth and development of the baby inside you, and eventually prepares you for labor and birth. If you take a quiet moment to stand before the mirror after a shower, you might notice some changes in your breasts—darker, bigger, bumpier nipples, or a feeling of tenderness or heaviness. Each of these developments signals an amazing physiological process taking place inside your body as it prepares to produce milk.

This concept may be a little hard to wrap your head around, but even though you’re technically in the first week of pregnancy, you’re not quite expecting — yet. Here’s the deal: Because it’s generally impossible to know the exact moment of conception, most healthcare providers count 40 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP) to calculate your due date.

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