Pregnancy is a much anticipated time in your life, and you may be eagerly watching for those very early signs in weeks 1, 2, or 3. But, did you know that you’re not actually pregnant during these first couple of weeks? We know it’s a little confusing, and it’s also why you might not notice any pregnancy symptoms early on! Keep reading to better understand what’s going on in that body of yours during the first three weeks of pregnancy.
Highlights at 1, 2, and 3 Weeks Pregnant
Before we get into all the details, here are a few highlights to look forward to during these early weeks of your pregnancy:
Watching for symptoms in weeks 1, 2, and 3 of pregnancy. Are you wondering if it's possible to feel pregnant after two days, or during weeks 1 and 2 of pregnancy? You might notice symptoms like light bleeding, spotting, cramps, or bloating around week 3 when the egg implants into your uterus.
Calculating your due date. Most healthcare providers track pregnancy along 40 weeks, starting with the last day of your previous period. That means you aren’t actually pregnant until fertilization occurs and your baby is conceived, between week 2 and 3 of your pregnancy.
Making healthy choices early on. As early as possible in your pregnancy, you’ll want to adopt a healthy lifestyle that supports the development of your baby. Though your healthcare provider may offer specific advice, you'll likely want to incorporate certain vitamins, foods, and exercise into your daily life.
Your First Three Weeks of Pregnancy
Here’s the thing: Because of the way pregnancy is usually measured, you’re not actually pregnant during the first two weeks or so of your pregnancy. Healthcare providers calculate the length of an average pregnancy as 280 days, which is 40 weeks, starting from the first day of your last menstrual period—this is known as the LMP dating method.
So, when you’re 1 week pregnant, you’re having your period. At 2 weeks pregnant, you’re probably ovulating. And since ovulation happens about 14 days after the start of your period (assuming you have a 28-day cycle), with fertilization and conception following, you can’t really become pregnant until around week 3 at the earliest.
It can be mind-boggling—we get it. But, for the sake of calculation, and what you and your healthcare provider will consider as 1 and 2 weeks pregnant, you’re not actually pregnant until week 3. But although at 1, 2, or 3 weeks pregnant you may not notice any of those very early signs of pregnancy, there’s still a lot happening on the inside.
How to Determine Your Due Date
“If I'm 3 weeks pregnant when is my due date?” It's natural to wonder about your due date right away when you find out you’re pregnant, as you’re already looking forward to meeting your new baby!
For an estimate, try our Due Date Calculator, where you can simply enter the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP) or the date of conception.
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Again, healthcare providers use the LMP method to determine your estimated due date. So once you start to notice those early pregnancy signs or have the feeling that you might be pregnant, take a pregnancy test at home or confirm your pregnancy with your healthcare provider so you can calculate your due date!
How Many Months Is 1 to 3 Weeks Pregnant?
Your healthcare provider will refer to your pregnancy in weeks, but you also might hear a reference to months. It gets a little tricky, given that nine months doesn't divide evenly into weeks, but the first month of pregnancy typically includes the first four weeks. So, at 1, 2, or 3 weeks pregnant, you’re in your first month of pregnancy, even if you haven’t noticed any belly bump or symptoms!
Are There Pregnancy Symptoms at 1, 2, or 3 Weeks Pregnant?
Your journey through pregnancy has officially begun, but as mentioned above, you’re not actually pregnant yet. This is a difficult concept to grasp at first, and many people wonder if there are any symptoms during the first 72 hours of pregnancy. Again, because of the way pregnancy is calculated, you won’t feel any symptoms of being pregnant during those first three days—or possibly three weeks. But after two weeks, an exciting series of events starts to take place inside your body:
Egg release. One of your ovaries will release an egg around 14 days after the first day of your last period (assuming you have a typical 28-day cycle).
Fertilization. The egg will travel down one of the fallopian tubes, where it may unite with sperm. If they find each other, they’ll join up in a fallopian tube to create a single cell called a zygote in a process called fertilization. This process determines the sex of a baby.
First DNA. The zygote carries chromosomes from the egg and sperm and sets the first building blocks of your future baby’s genetic makeup.
Development. The zygote then moves down the fallopian tube and toward the uterus as it starts dividing into a larger group of cells. Cells will continue to divide as your baby develops over the course of your pregnancy.
What this all boils down to is that you won’t feel any of those very early signs of pregnancy in weeks 1, 2, or possibly even 3. If you have yet to conceive, then it makes sense that you wouldn’t notice anything! Therefore, things like morning sickness can’t start at 1 week pregnant and you won’t feel symptoms like pregnancy-related belly pain or discharge at 1 or 2 weeks pregnant.
Typical Early Signs of Pregnancy
OK, so now you know that during weeks one, two, or three, you may not even suspect you’re pregnant and you likely won't notice any pregnancy symptoms at all, as it’s still very early (and you might not have even conceived until 3 weeks pregnant). However, there are several signs of pregnancy that you could experience in the following weeks:
A missed period is often the first clue (among other signs and symptoms) that you may be pregnant, but it won’t happen until you’re 4 weeks pregnant, not before. At around the time you miss a period, you may start noticing more early pregnancy symptoms.(Video) 3 Weeks Pregnant | Early Pregnancy Symptoms Before BFP (Two Week Wait)
Implantation bleeding is another early sign of pregnancy, as it occurs when the tiny ball of cells attaches to the uterine lining. Not everyone experiences it, but this light spotting is normal and can sometimes be mistaken for menstrual blood. Spotting, cramps, or light bleeding usually happens 10 to 14 days after conception, so around when you’re 3 to 4 weeks pregnant.
Morning sickness is another common symptom of early pregnancy, but it usually crops up between weeks 4 and 9.
Other symptoms like gas, fatigue, breast tenderness, moodiness, and frequent urination can also occur during these early weeks.
Now that you know these early signs of pregnancy, take our quiz to test your knowledge!
How Big Is a Pregnant Belly at 1, 2, and 3 Weeks?
Every person and every pregnancy is different, so you could start to show earlier or later than others. It’s safe to say that you won’t see any difference in your pregnant belly’s size at 1, 2, or 3 weeks. Remember that you’re not actually pregnant during those first two weeks and it’s still early during the third week.
How Big Is a Baby at 3 Weeks?
Even though your belly bump won’t be noticeable at 3 weeks pregnant, your baby's development is under way with cells dividing and multiplying. Still, by around 3 weeks in your pregnancy, your little one is just 1/25 of an inch long—too small for a bump just yet.
When Can You Confirm Your Pregnancy?
Can you get a positive pregnancy test at 3 weeks, you may wonder? It’s possible, but it’s always best to wait until after your missed period to take a pregnancy test, as you’ll receive more credible results. That’s because a home pregnancy test responds to the levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, in your urine, which begin to increase shortly after conception. So, although your hCG levels may be high enough in week 3 to result in a positive test, you’ll want to confirm with your healthcare provider that you’re pregnant.
Think you might be pregnant? Take our Am I Pregnant quiz. It won’t tell you for sure, but it’s all good fun!
How Far Along Are You?
Knowing how far along you are in pregnancy is helpful for both you and your healthcare provider. Your provider will use this information to check on your baby’s growth and development, keep an eye on your health, and schedule tests and exams.
The weeks of pregnancy can be grouped into three trimesters:
First trimester: 1 to 13 weeks (roughly months one to three)(Video) 12 Little Known Very Early Pregnancy Symptoms
Second trimester: 14 to 27 weeks (months four to seven)
Third trimester: 28 to 40-42 weeks (months seven to nine).
Check out the illustration below to see how far along you are in your pregnancy:
What Precautions Should You Take During Early Pregnancy?
Even though you probably haven’t experienced any signs of pregnancy very early on in weeks 1, 2, or 3, you’ll want to do everything you can to stay healthy and safe. In fact, it’s always wise to take some precautions as soon as you start trying to conceive or learn that you’re pregnant.
Even simple adjustments can help support you as you start your pregnancy! Though you’ll want to consult your healthcare provider to determine what’s best for you, some worthwhile lifestyle changes and precautions include
getting regular exercise.
When you start trying for a baby or learn that you’re pregnant, folic acid is essential, as it’s a B vitamin that helps reduce the risk of certain birth defects that affect the baby’s brain and spine. Your healthcare provider can recommend a prenatal vitamin that contains at least 400 micrograms of folic acid.
Eliminating Bad Habits
Prepregnancy is also a great time to eliminate some less healthy habits, too, including
exposure to secondhand smoke
In addition, your provider may recommend limiting your daily consumption of caffeine. Consult your healthcare provider to learn the best ways to stay healthy and safe when you’re pregnant.
For more general advice, download our pregnancy guide!
1 to 3 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist
Yes, it’s early, but it’s also an exciting time! As you anticipate your new pregnancy, consider the following to-dos:
□ Even if you’ve already taken one, you might want to complete another home pregnancy test after your missed period for the best results.
□ Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to confirm your pregnancy with a blood test.
□ Check out our pregnancy calendar to know what to anticipate in the next few weeks.
□ Though you can’t find out your baby’s gender just yet, have a little fun with our Chinese Gender Predictor!