10 Tips Of What Should & Shouldn’t Do During the TWW
The two-week wait or the TWW is an all too familiar term if you are trying to conceive (TTC). You must have heard everyone advising you to stay patient during TWW, but it sure is much harder than it might seem.
For many women, this can be a stressful time and overanalyzing your symptoms can be tempting to conclude whether you are pregnant or not. If you understand what to expect during the TWW, it might get easier to wait and not overthink things and keep your excitement under control.
If you are wondering what to do and what not to do during the TWW to increase your chances of pregnancy, keep reading!
What does the two-week wait mean?
The Abbreviation TWW stands for the two-week wait, the time from ovulation up to your next expected period. The timeframe of two weeks is there. It takes about two weeks after ovulation for the hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) to reach a detectable level in the urine if you are pregnant. And hence it is advised that you wait at least two weeks before testing for the hormone using a Fertility2Family early detection pregnancy test.
If you are trying to get pregnant, the earliest that you should test is the first day of your next expected period. Testing too early can hurt the test outcome. You can either see a false positive or even a false negative. So, in short, waiting patiently during the TWW is the best thing you can do.
For most women trying to conceive, the two-week wait can feel like an eternity. You want to see whether your efforts were fruitful or not and whether you are pregnant, and that’s quite understandable. You might be looking for any signs that help you conclude that you are finally pregnant.
The signs and symptoms can differ markedly between the first and the second week of TWW. During the first seven days of the two-week wait, the most common symptoms experienced by women include-
- Tenderness in the breasts
- Feeling of bloating
- Cravings for food
- Headaches and occasionally body aches as well
Your body will start producing the pregnancy hormone or hCG by the 10th day of the two-week wait on average. The most noticeable symptoms that you might experience are due to this hormone only.
Some women might even experience what is known as implantation bleeding during this time of the TWW. The bleeding occurs as the embryo reaches the uterus and starts to implant itself in the endometrial lining of the uterus. The implantation might lead to rupture of some blood vessels that can lead to implantation bleeding. Not all women might experience this type of bleeding, though. Only about 33% of women experience implantation bleeding.
Apart from the implantation bleeding, you might even experience some other symptoms, including-
- Darker pigmentation around the nipple and areola
- Morning sickness
- Craving for specific foods
- Increased appetite
- Increase in the frequency of urination
- You might even develop sensitivity to some smells and foods
All the changes that we discussed are mainly due to the rising level of hCG in your body secreted by the embryo. As the hCG increases in your body, you might see an increase in the intensity of these symptoms till your body gets used to the higher amount of hCG.
What hormonal changes happen during the TWW?
The hormonal changes during the two-week wait depend on whether you have conceived or not. One of the most important hormones in this regard is the progesterone secreted by the corpus luteum, a structure remaining in the ovary after the mature follicle releases the egg.
The level of progesterone will keep on rising if the egg is not fertilized after ovulation. This rise usually is curbed at around ten days post ovulation in women who have not conceived. The decrease in the level of this hormone is an indication to the body that you are not pregnant, and it is time to start your period.
On the other hand, if you are pregnant, the progesterone levels won’t decline; rather continue to increase. Along with progesterone, the levels of estrogen and hCG will also start rising in your body. All these three hormones work in tandem to let your body know that you are pregnant and start preparing it for carrying the fetus. All these changes in hormonal levels make their presence appear in the form of symptoms that you experience during the later parts of the TWW.
During the two-week wait, especially towards the end of the TWW, symptoms might give you an idea about your pregnancy status. That said, the symptoms are not that different from those you experience during PMS, so it can be confusing to pinpoint pregnancy symptoms.
What happens to your body during TWW?
If you are TTC, it is hard to ignore any symptoms you might experience during the TWW and link it to pregnancy. You might end up wondering whether you are pregnant if you have tenderness in the breasts or food cravings, but those could very well be the signs of PMS. All this might leave you confused, and you might be tempted to whip out a Fertility2Family home pregnancy test and take it right then and there.
Some unique symptoms to early pregnancy and not to PMS include morning sickness sensitivity to smells and darkening of the nipples and areola. Although the phenomenon is termed morning sickness, it can spike you ate any hour of the day. So, if you find yourself feeling nausea in the middle of the night despite eating a regular meal, it might be something more than food poisoning.
Nausea and vomiting are not the symptoms of a regular period. So, if you are experiencing these symptoms, it might indicate that you are pregnant. Similarly, darkening o the nipples or sensitivity to smells is not something you associate with PMS either.
How to cope up with anxiety during the two-week wait?
Feeling excitement can quickly descend to a feeling of anxiety when you are waiting for things to happen during TWW. It is common to feel anxious and tempted to take a pregnancy test early, and when the test comes negative, you might feel dejected. All you think is natural, and you need to make space for these emotions in your life during your journey to motherhood.
Many women might start observing for the signs and symptoms of pregnancy quite obsessively. However, all the worry in the world is not going to help you; rather, it can make the situation worse. The best thing is to relax and resist the urge to obsess over anything this way or that. Try to distract your mind away from all these thoughts and let yourself some room to breathe.
Some women who have been trying hard to conceive might put their self-worth on their ability to get pregnant. They might feel that they are somehow not good enough or a failure if they cannot conceive. It is impotent that you have someone to talk to and ease your anxiety at times like these. A friend, family member, or even a therapist can be of great help in this case.
What can I do during the TWW?
The 14 days of the two-week wait can be excruciating. It might feel that the days are taking years to go by, and it’s perfectly natural. But as they say, if you are enjoying yourself, time just flies. So try and engage in activities that give you pleasure. Read a book, watch movies, do anything that makes you happy.
Here are some ideas that have worked for many women during the TWW-
- Doing the things that you enjoy
Once you have a baby, your life will have a monumental change. There will be many things that you won’t be able to de in quite the same way as you can now. You will have less time for yourself, and TWW is the best time to pamper yourself. You might not have enough time for your hobbies once you are a mom. Sleep can be a rare commodity, and eating a meal peacefully becomes a rare occurrence once the little one arrives. So, grab this opportunity to do whatever you feel like doing, eat, sleep and relax.
- Get some exercise
Exercising during the two-week wait has several advantages. It is a potent stress-reliever and a way to keep your body healthy in preparation for pregnancy. The TWW is an excellent time to go to the gym, put on your jogging shoes, or stretch on your yoga mat. Spend time performing whichever form of exercise you enjoy the most while it is still safe to do so. You will be limited in the types of activities you can do later in pregnancy.
- Try some relaxation techniques.
Have we mentioned how stressful the TWW can be? Relaxation techniques are one of the most effective strategies to ease stress and anxiety. Meditation and yoga are simple to learn and don’t require any special equipment (you don’t even need a yoga mat). To gain the advantages of relaxing, you can follow guided meditations or yoga videos available for free on YouTube. There are even videos developed just for ladies who are trying to conceive.
- Talk about your feelings.
Your partner is always one of the few people who understands what you’re going through. Your partner is also going through this fertility process with you. They’re likely to have the same anxieties, concerns, and questions as you. During the two-week wait, the most important thing you can do is connect with and support one another. A solid connection is the foundation of excellent parenting, and you can’t have one without taking the time to express your feelings to one another.
- Find support from people around you.
Parenthood is a journey that can be tough to comprehend if you have never experienced it. Other parents “get it,” and they may be able to offer helpful advice on pregnancy and everything that follows. You can talk to friends who have children or even your parents about their experiences trying to conceive you. In this digital age, there are even online support groups for new moms to connect with.
What Do I Need to Avoid During the TWW?
You’re probably already stressed out if you are in the two-week wait. Making the wrong decisions could cause you to experience even more worry in the weeks leading up to your next period. Avoid these two common blunders to ensure that your TWW runs smoothly and without adding to your anxieties.
- Don’t Get Overly Obsessed with Pregnancy Tests
It’s natural to want to know if you’re pregnant as soon as possible when you’re TTC. Still, as exciting as this period is, taking a pregnancy test too soon could lead to avoidable disappointment. If you take pregnancy strip tests before the TWW is up, false-positive and false-negative findings are common.
- Don’t Tell Too Many People About Your Cycle
In the end, the decision to reveal details about your reproductive journey is purely personal. It’s entirely up to you how many people you inform, though it’s probably best not to announce your pregnancy too soon. Even if a pregnancy test comes back positive or you’re having early pregnancy symptoms, you won’t know for sure if you’re pregnant until the TWW is through. Avoid the heartbreak of having to retract a pregnancy announcement by waiting until you are certain.