Pregnancy Calendar Week 4 – Its Official! You Are Pregnant
Congratulations, by the time you are reading this piece, you are now officially pregnant. Your egg might have been fertilized in the last two weeks, yet the dating is determined from your last menstrual cycle. Scroll down to read what’s up this week for you.
As you have learned about pregnancy via urine test kit, you would be fully excited and wondering about the next phases. You either underwent a home pregnancy test when you missed your period or your doctor has confirmed that from the blood test. However, for some women, it might take 2-3 weeks after missing period before they begin to produce detectable amount of hCG hormone.
Your body this week
The fertilized egg also called as zygote, has implanted in the uterine wall and the placenta and the umbilical cord begins to form. Your body will now begin to experience a range of incredible changes which will go till your baby completes the 9 months journey. Once the implantation completes, the embryo begins to produce hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) and the production will increase with the each passing day. This hormone comes into the scene as soon as 7-10 days of conceiving.
The hCG performs several functions in your body during pregnancy. One of its primary jobs is to maintain the uterine lining. It also sends a signal to the ovaries to stop releasing egg every month. This also stops your monthly periods. At the same time, hCG stimulate the ovaries to produce progesterone which is extremely critical for the development of the fetus. This also brings up a range of symptoms.
The same pregnancy hormone which gave you the good news of arrival of the newcomer, is also responsible for typical symptoms of pregnancy. However, you are truly oblivious what’s going on inside. Though it’s completely normal to be 4 weeks pregnant with no symptoms, you have to brace yourself for nausea and vomiting very soon. Other symptoms include:
- Mild cramping
- Light spotting
- Mood swings
- Morning sickness
- Frequent urination
- Soreness and tenderness in breasts
The symptoms can be worse if you are carrying twin pregnancies. Though it’s not possible to know the number of babies until 8th week, the increased levels of hCG hormone may give a clue. Also, if you are undergoing fertility treatment, you might have to take early appointment with the doctor.
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Your baby this week
Your baby is currently a collection of cells known as blastocyst. It consists of mainly two layers of cells namely epiblast and hypoblast. These cells will eventually form various organs and body parts of your baby. The development will be rapid in this week and around half of the cells will turn into an embryo. The other half of the cells consisting of yolk sac will shoulder the duty of nourishment until the placenta takes over.
The nervous system is one of the first organs to be developed and by the end of this week, brain and spinal cord begin developing.
Size and appearance
At this stage, your baby is approximately the size of a poppy seed. Although it is still of microscopic level at 0.78 inches, the ball of cells can now be officially called as embryo consisting of two parts epiblast and hypoblast mentioned above.
You might think it’s too early to begin eating healthy at week 4, but it means a lot for your baby. Now if you are with a child growing inside, you need to thoroughly evaluate your diet. So start adding healthy eating habits into your lifestyle. Following tips will help you.
- If your pregnancy is confirmed, ask the doctor if you can increase the limit of folic acid from 400 micrograms to 600 micrograms.
- Caffeine consumption should be avoided as it may wash out calcium and other key nutrients.
- Add at least 3 servings of dairy in your daily diet
- Eat 3-4 portion of meat everyday including chicken or lean meat
- Eat 5 servings of fruits daily
Whether your pregnancy was planned or not, to-be parents can be an exciting as well as heavy phase for both the partners. While the woman is the only who is going through the physical symptoms, the emotional roller coaster will be experienced by both. So, empathy and compassion between both is the key to success.
The anticipation of being a mom could let her think that the time is standing still. So, try to help her get through this week of waiting by giving an extra rub on her back.
Generally, it is not required to meet your doctor every week or two until you are 28 weeks pregnant. While you don’t have to worry in this week, the frequencies of miscarriages are higher in early pregnancy. Experts opines that up to 20 percent of known pregnancies end up in miscarriage, out of which many occurs around the time a woman expects the start of her periods.
So if you fall in high risk category or have history of miscarriage, this should be the right time to make appointment with your gynecologist. It is the best for the health for you and your baby. The doctor would conduct blood tests to check for hormone levels. Generally, ultrasound is not conducted in this week as it just shows a gestational sac.
Tips for the week
Once your pregnancy is confirmed, you would be going through unexpected symptoms. You need to add some healthy lifestyle as well as home remedies to get relief from symptoms.
- You can wear a supportive bra for breast soreness and tenderness before going to bed.
- Exercise can give you a much-needed energy boost.
- If you are finding yourself too often in the bathroom, you may want to cut back on liquid consumption. However, too much reduction can be harmful as your body needs more hydration than ever.
- Try eating small frequent meals.
- Take rest and stay relaxed
- Quit smoking
You should start meeting your gynecologist and keep her updated. This is because each pregnancy is unique, what works for other does not necessarily mean will work for you. In this situation, the first guide will be your healthcare provider.
1. National Women's Health Resource Center. Healthywomen.org. Pregnancy & Parenting. Amniocentesis: Do I Need It? read more
2. The Nemours Foundation. Kidshealth.org. Pregnancy Calendar, Week 2 read more
3. Drehmer M, Duncan BB, Kac G, Schmidt MI. Association of second and third trimester weight gain in pregnancy with maternal and fetal outcomes. read more