When you’re 1 month pregnant, your developing baby begins to grow and so does their brain too! During these special months, it’s time to track the different pregnancy stages and how your baby develops in each. Doing so can help you to have a healthy baby and pregnancy.
Symptoms of Pregnancy When You’re 1 Month Pregnant
When you’re 1 month pregnant, you may not even know it. At this point, you haven’t even missed your period yet! Even then, there are some signs and symptoms of pregnancy that you may notice.
During the first month, your baby has settled into your uterus. Your body is already undergoing some remarkable changes; both the amniotic cavity and placenta are forming to take care of your baby1.
At week 4, some symptoms of pregnancy you may experience include light spotting1 as the fetus implants in your uterus. Please consult your obstetrician if this happens for further assessment though it is not uncommon to have spotting in first trimester.
Watch out for morning sickness. Commonly, pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting in the first trimester, around the sixth to ninth week of their pregnancy2.
If you suspect you are pregnant, or if you are planning to conceive, these early pregnancy stages are a good time to start taking prenatal vitamins or supplements. In particular, you should eat food that is rich in folic acid, an important nutrient throughout your pregnancy. Taking folic acid supplements around conception has been found to lower the risks of neural tube defects3.
Pregnancy Stages, Explained
Your little achiever starts early! From the moment of conception, your developing baby’s center of cognitive growth starts to develop – and, like the rest of his body, it will continue to do so throughout your pregnancy.
It might seem a little confusing, but your developing baby’s development is measured either by weeks or months. These are divided into three pregnancy stages called trimesters.
Gestational age is the term used to describe how far along the pregnancy is. It is measured in weeks, from the first day of the woman's last menstrual cycle to the current date. A normal pregnancy can range from 38 to 42 weeks4.
How Does My Baby’s Brain Develop in the 1st Month?
Brain development starts almost right away. During the first two and three weeks of pregnancy, the neural tube begins to develop. This is an important groove-like structure that will eventually transform into your developing baby’s brain, spinal cord, nervous system and backbone.
By week six, the left and right hemispheres of your developing baby’s brain start to become distinct. But it’s not just the brain that is taking shape; by the end of the second month, your developing baby is developing his heart and circulatory system. That means his heart starts to beat inside of you – in fact, your developing baby’s heart beats two times faster than your own!
How Do You Support Your Developing Baby’s Progress?
Your developing baby relies on you as their sole source of nutrition. This means that your diet when you’re 1 month pregnant can impact not only your health but also your developing baby’s health and development too!
You can help your developing baby in cognitive development by having a well-balanced diet that provides valuable nutrients such as DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (Arachidonic acid). These nutrients are enriched with omega-3 and omega-6 fats respectively, which are critical for supporting the healthy development of your developing baby’s brain and eyes5 6. These beneficial fats can be found in fish such as salmon, bass and anchovies7.
The US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services recommend that pregnant women consume at least eight to 12 ounces (226 to 340 grams) a week of a variety of seafood. During your first month of pregnancy, try to eat two servings of fatty fish – like salmon – each week.
Fish are extremely valuable sources of DHA, but during your pregnancy, avoid fish and shellfish that contain high levels of mercury, as too much of it can potentially harm your developing baby’s nervous system. In general, older and larger fish contain more mercury, so avoid foods like swordfish, shark and tilefish8.
Alternatively, you can support your developing baby’s all-round development by supplementing your diet with Enfamama A+. Get your FREE SAMPLE of Enfamama A+, which is chock full of essential nutrients such as DHA, which promotes healthy baby brain and eye development.
Did You Know?
The sense of touch is the first of the five senses – sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch – to develop. Your developing baby will develop their sense of touch around the fifth and sixth week of your pregnancy.
What Does Your Developing Baby Look Like?
While your baby’s facial features are not discernable during the first month, their eyes, ears and mouth will begin to appear. Your unborn child is a unique blend of you and your partner’s DNA, so you won’t know whose physical qualities your developing baby will have until both of you see your child! Their sex, potential height, the color of their hair, skin and eyes, and even some of their personality traits, were determined at the moment of conception by a set of 46 chromosomes.
In the meantime, this pregnancy stage has been a period of hard work for both of you. No wonder one of the earliest signs of pregnancy is the fact you’re feeling tired8. With all these changes, your developing baby will have grown to more than half an inch or slightly over one centimeter long. That’s about the size of the nail on your thumb – an impressive first milestone!
Did you know that your developing baby starts moving during the second month of your pregnancy? To find out more, read Pregnancy stages: Month 2.
Your developing baby’s brain develops continuously throughout your pregnancy, so it’s important to eat foods that support cognitive development. Learn more about DHA and other essential nutrients that help with your child’s brain development.
Want to learn more about how your developing baby will develop over your pregnancy – plus, nutritional advice, online support and more? Sign up for Enfamama A+ Club to receive new articles, useful tips and rewards that can help you and your developing baby!
Dr. Raymond Choy Wai Mun
MBChB (UK), Aviation Medicine (Singapore)
- Your Pregnancy Week by Week: Weeks 1-4, https://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-weeks-1-4#2-3, Accessed 16 November 2020
- Morning sickness, https://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/morning-sickness-pregnant#1, Accessed 16 November 2020
- Blood folic acid and vitamin B12 in relation to neural tube defects, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8605127/, Accessed 16 November 2020
- Gestational age, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002367.htm, Accessed 16 November 2020
- Innis SM. Dietary (n-3) fatty acids and brain development. J Nutr 2007;137:855-859.
- Uauy, Ricardo, and Alan D. Dangour. Nutrition in brain development and aging: role of essential fatty acids. Nutrition reviews 2006; 64 (suppl 2): S24-S33.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. FAQ001 Nutrition during pregnancy, http://www.acog.org/-/media/For-Patients/faq001.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20151020T09.... Accessed October 2015
- Pregnancy nutrition: Foods to avoid during pregnancy https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/art-20043844, Accessed 16 November 2020