You may start to have positive results on a home pregnancy test during the first four weeks of your pregnancy. According to the US Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Women’s Health, it is best to take a test after the first week of a missed period for the sake of accuracy.

Congratulations if the test comes out to be positive. You should confirm your pregnancy with a blood test by seeing your health care provider and arrange a prenatal check-up. If the result is negative, you may have taken the test too early for it to give a positive result. In this case it is recommended you take another test at five weeks. Consider getting an alternative pain management device like a tens machine.

A home pregnancy test measures the amount in urine of the hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) that is produced by a placenta when a woman is pregnant. The HCG levels increase in the early pregnancy stage, and the hormone starts to appear immediately after the embryo links to the lining of the uterus.

You may need to wait for weeks before you can see your health care provider because most practitioners don’t see cases until they’re eight weeks pregnant. However, you should see your health care provider sooner than that if you have a previous history of difficulty in giving birth or you have a high-risk pregnancy.

Your Symptoms

There won’t be any significant outward changes in your body at the early stages of pregnancy although your body temperature will be higher than usual in the morning. According to Mayo Clinic, some women will notice a small amount of vaginal bleeding or spotting. This is known as implantation bleeding, and light bleeding or spotting is normal. You may also encounter some mild uterine cramping.

At this point, some women may experience some pregnancy symptoms, including exhaustion and fatigue which, according to Mayo Clinic, may be linked to rising levels of the hormone progesterone during the first trimester. Rising hormone levels can cause your breasts to feel sore and tender during the early stages of pregnancy with an increase in blood flow to the breasts. Additionally, elevated hormone levels can increase the need to urinate more frequently caused by an increase in blood flow to the pelvic region.

Increased sensitivity to odour and smells is caused by rapidly rising levels of oestrogen, which contribute to vomiting and nausea known as “morning sickness” that may begin between the second and eighth week of pregnancy. Food that you previously enjoyed may start to taste different and you may begin to crave for certain foods.

Foetal Development

The blastocyst, a tiny group of embryonic cells, will make their way from the fallopian tube straight to the uterus and will implant themselves into the uterine wall. Some of the cells will form the placenta, and others will develop an embryo after the fertilised egg implants. The placenta will provide nutrients and oxygen to the developing embryo. The fluid filled amniotic sac surrounds the embryo to help cushion and protect it.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the brain, and spinal cord, begins to form during the first month of pregnancy. The heart and lungs then develop, and the arms and legs begin to form.

Diet and Lifestyle

You should avoid recreational drugs, alcohol, tobacco and all substances that may affect foetal development at this point and throughout the pregnancy. It’s also recommended you ask your health care provider to make sure that none of the medication you’re using affects the foetus.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists advises that women should begin taking vitamin B and a daily multivitamin containing at least 400 micrograms of folic acid to help prevent certain congenital disabilities. According to March of Dimes, an American non-profit organization, consuming folic acid before and during pregnancy can help reduce the baby’s risk of congenital disabilities of the spine and brain.

Pregnant women should also include a good source of vitamin D in their diets such as milk and salmon as well as iron-rich food like meat, chicken, fish, beans and iron-fortified cereals.