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Congratulations! So, you found out that you are pregnant? You must be elated and dying to break the news to your partner and loved ones. Why not! But, maybe, you should first confirm the same through a blood test at a medical centre. This week literally marks the beginning of your pregnancy because you have just missed your period and found out that you are pregnant. You must be elated!
Your Baby’s Growth during Pregnancy – Week 4
4th week of pregnancy is a week for implantation. The blastocyst finally sets itself up in the uterine lining and splits into two to form placenta and embryo. This is the week when the amniotic sac or the bag of water and the yolk sac, a part of your baby’s digestive system, forms around the little embryo. Your little embryo also grows into three distinct parts during the 4th week. These three parts of the embryo, endoderm (the inner layer), mesoderm (the middle layer) and ectoderm (out layer), later form your baby’s body organs. No doubt, it’s an important week for the growth and development of your little wonder.
What is the Baby’s Size?
This week is a critical week as it marks the onset of the embryonic period. Right now, the size of your baby, which is the embryo, is that of a poppy seed. This poppy seed has two layers, the epiblast and the hypoblast, that will go on to grow into your little one’s body parts. While the size of the baby when you are 4 weeks pregnant is practically microscopic, it is going through some major developments which are definitely noteworthy.
Common Body Changes
The various pregnancy hormones have been released in your body and your body this week is busy gearing up to adjust to these hormonal changes. You will soon start experiencing the early pregnancy symptoms. You will start feeling irritated and exhausted. You will feel the working of some chemical reactions inside your body, and it is but obvious to feel this way. After all, the blastocyst, your baby, in other words, is finally making contact with the uterus and settling down! It has been observed that 30% of the time, during the 4th week of pregnancy, implantation bleeding may occur in the form of spotting. This is not periods and there is nothing to worry about. Due to this, you may feel cramps in your stomach or even tenderness of breasts. But don’t worry, your body is made to withstand the body changes during pregnancy. You just revel in the good news and prepare yourself to become a mommy soon.
Symptoms of Pregnancy at Week 4
The release of various pregnancy hormones in the 4th week makes your body behave weirdly. Some of the common 4-week pregnancy symptoms are:
- Due to the release of progesterone in your body, you may feel puffed up and bloated.
- Mild cramping in the stomach is a result of implantation and you must not worry about it. But if you experience severe cramping then, do tell your doctor all about it.
- Implantation of the blastocyst into the uterus may also cause mild spotting which may be of pink, light red or brownish red colour. Again, there is nothing to worry about till it lasts for more than a couple of days.
- The fluctuating hormones will cause your mood to go on full swing. You will have no control of it. Just pray that people around you understand what you are going through and cooperate! After all, they will only last for about 12 weeks!
- Morning sickness is one of the most common symptoms. About 90% of women get some sort of morning sicknesses like nausea or vomiting. It gets better after 9 weeks, so, just hold on!
- Your body is really working hard to grow that small embryo into a healthy baby. It is but obvious that you will feel very exhausted. But it will get better after the first trimester.
- The ever-increasing pregnancy hormones will also make your breasts feel sore and tender.
Belly at 4 Weeks of Pregnancy
Your stomach will bloat during the 4th week of pregnancy due to the release of progesterone in your body but it is still not the time for you to look pregnant. Your baby is just the size of a poppy seed this week, so, rest assured, your secret is kept!
4 Weeks Ultrasound
There is so much happening inside your body this week. The blastocyst in settling down in the uterine lining, and it is also splitting up to form embryo and placenta. The building block of your baby’s spine, brain, and backbone, i.e. baby’s neural tube is already formed. The amniotic sac and fluid are at work to form a protective cushioning for your baby, and all you can see in the 4-week ultrasound is a tiny dot like thing which is called the gestational sac. Disappointed? Don’t be. Just keep patience. You will see and feel everything as your pregnancy progresses.
What to Eat
Eating healthy is a key to delivering a healthy baby. Whole wheat, leafy vegetables, legumes, water, meat, fish, dairy products, and 5 servings of fruits should become a part and parcel of your diet for the next nine months now. If you haven’t started taking prenatal vitamins with folic acid or folate, then start right away. All this is critical for the healthy growth and development of your little one.
But there is one thing that you need to kick out from your diet starting today and that is caffeine. Caffeine is an abstergent that washes calcium and other key pregnancy nutrients and hence, must be avoided. If caffeine is what gets you started in the morning, then you may find it a little difficult to let it go. Don’t give it all up at one go. Just take it slow. Replace caffeine with some healthy drinks and some yummy protein snacks. You must be very careful about what you eat from now on.
Tips & Care
If you have been able to successfully conduct the test this week and have also discovered that you are pregnant, then it’s time not only to meet and finalise your doctor, but also to check your medical insurance: and start digging into it, and learn how you will be covered from prenatal to delivery. Other dos and don’ts include:
- Get yourself a home pregnancy test kit.
- Eat healthy food.
- Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
- Get yourself a supplement of prenatal vitamin with folic acid.
- Avoid junk food.
- Quit smoking, drinking or using drugs.
- Quit caffeine.
- Stay relaxed and take rest when your body craves for it.
- Be in touch with your doctor and avoid taking medicines of any kind.
What You Need to Shop for
Your shopping bucket for week 4 stays uncomplicated. A book on pregnancy, a pregnancy test kit and comfortable cotton bra if what you may what to pick if you haven’t bought anything yet. What you may want to add to this list are stretchy pants, leggings, and anything else that’s loose on the tummy. Your skinny jeans’ buttons may feel a little uncomfortable on your bloated tummy. So, don’t shy away from indulging in some extra shopping.
Read this article in Arabic: اربع أسابيع من الحمل