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4 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development

Congratulations! You’re just 4 weeks pregnant – something you’ve just recently discovered after missing your period. A home pregnancy test should show a positive result, thanks to the hormone hCG that's released by the brand-new placenta. Whether you’re completely thrilled about the prospect of becoming a new mom or are still getting used to the idea, now is the time to start planning while treating yourself to extra-special care.

While you’ve been adjusting to being pregnant, the new life inside you has been busy. The fertilized egg is implanting itself into the side of your uterus. It rapidly divides into layers of cells, at which point it is officially an embryo. The cell layers will grow into different parts of the developing fetus, such as the nervous system, skeleton, muscles, organs, and skin. The placenta, a disk-like organ that connects your body’s systems to that of the developing fetus, begins to form and attaches to the uterine wall where the egg is implanted. The umbilical cord comes out of one side of the placenta. The amniotic fluid, which will cushion the fetus throughout your pregnancy, is already forming inside an encircling membrane sac. At 4 weeks, your fetus has already formed a neural tube, which is the main building block for the brain and spine.

How Big is Your Baby at Four Weeks?

The newly implanted fetus is very tiny – just the size of a poppy seed. The average size is about 0.04 inches long and the average weight is usually less than 0.04 ounces.

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Mom’s Body at 4 Weeks Pregnant

This week pregnancy symptoms may already be present. For example, you might feel some cramping and see a little bit of spotting. That’s not all: Here are more early signs of pregnancy, 4 weeks along.

4 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

  • Bloated stomach – Your body is gradually preparing itself to house a rapidly growing fetus for the next several months. Expect a bit of bloating, particularly in your abdomen. Your uterine lining is getting a bit thicker, and the swelling means that your womb is taking up more room than usual.

  • Light Bleeding or Spotting – It’s common to see some spotting at 4 weeks – it’s called implantation spotting. If you see a lot of blood, if the spotting lasts longer than two days, or you have any concerns, see your doctor right away.

  • Moodiness – Now might be a great time to come up with some tactics for dealing with mood swings. They’re caused by hormones, and they’re likely to stick with you throughout the first trimester and return in the third. Relaxation exercises, massages, sleep, and eating right are some of the easiest ways to deal with the issue.

  • Breast tenderness – Just like your abdomen, your breasts are starting to prepare for the important job of nourishing a new arrival. Hormones are surging, and your milk ducts are just beginning to swell.

  • Classic Signs of Morning Sickness – You may or may not have morning sickness at 4 weeks pregnant. This symptom varies from one woman to the next, with some feeling only mildly nauseous and others vomiting. If it’s affecting you, consider yourself in good company: some level of morning sickness impacts approximately 85% of women during their pregnancies. The good news is that these symptoms usually subside during the second trimester.

  • Light-Colored Discharge – When you’re 4 weeks pregnant, discharge is usually a normal symptom. It should be clear to milky colored, with no real odor.

  • Feeling Fatigued – Don’t be surprised if you feel completely exhausted– and get ready for even more tired days ahead. Your body is just getting used to the idea of building a brand-new person, and it can affect your energy level. Talk to your doctor about your iron intake. Getting enough can help prevent anemia, which can lead to feelings of lethargy.

4 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

  • Now is a good time to start a healthy eating plan if you haven’t already.

  • Stop unhealthy habits right away. Now is the perfect time to quit smoking and replace alcohol with infused water and other healthy beverages.

  • Avoid secondhand smoke. Recent research shows that exposure can increase the risk of complications including low birth weight, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy.

  • Try to relax and keep your stress level low.

  • Keep on exercising if your doctor approves. Most women can continue exercising throughout pregnancy as long as there are no complications. If you’re not into exercise, consider asking your doctor whether you can start a simple routine that includes gentle activities like swimming, walking, and stretching. Labor and delivery are hard work – and the fitter you are, the better off you’ll be.the better off you’ll be.

  • Start taking prenatal vitamins every day – they’ll support your health and help the new life inside you grow! The best ones contain at least 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid, an important nutrient that’s proven to reduce the likelihood of birth defects. Remember to take your prenatal vitamin every day.

  • Have some fun trying to determine your due date. A good estimate is 40 weeks after the first day of your last period. Remember that it’s just an estimate, since most babies are born sometime between 38 and 42 weeks, with first-time moms often delivering a bit later than those who have already given birth.

  • Research the kind of doctor you’d like to work with if you don’t already have one in mind. Consider whether you’d like to involve a midwife, too.

4 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor

  • Plan an appointment with your healthcare provider – your first appointment will probably be scheduled for your 8th-12th week of pregnancy as long as everything seems normal.

  • Call your doctor right away for heavy bleeding or pain other than mild cramping.

4 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Schedule a pregnancy confirmation appointment, if needed

Share the good news with your partner, and maybe a few close family and friends

Keep eating a healthy diet and taking your prenatal vitamins

Sign up for weekly pregnancy tips

4 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Schedule a pregnancy confirmation appointment, if needed

Share the good news with your partner, and maybe a few close family and friends

Keep eating a healthy diet and taking your prenatal vitamins

Sign up to get weekly pregnancy tips

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