What you can expect for you and your baby in your 4 weeks of pregnancy…
Now that you are 4 weeks pregnant, if might be time to purchase that home pregnancy test, or schedule an appointment with your doctor for a blood test to confirm that you are expecting.
Your baby at 4 weeks pregnant
At four weeks pregnant, your baby is not quite.3mm long and about the size of a poppy seed. The blastocyst has attached itself to your uterus wall and is now ready to split into two, half of which is the embryo and the other which will form the placenta. The placenta will supply your baby with the nutrients it needs to survive, grow and develop the next 8 months, while also disposing of waste. Until the placenta is fully formed, the embryo is protected by a yolk sac, which produces blood and provides nutrients. The amniotic sac is forming to protect the baby until birth.
At 4 weeks pregnant the brain and central nervous system are beginning to form as the neural tubes are developing. The heart and circulatory systems are starting to take shape and as well as the lungs and intestines. As the vascular network is developing, it aids in delivering oxygen, blood and nutrients from your body to your baby’s via the umbilical cord.
Your body at four weeks pregnant
If at this point you suspect that you are pregnant, and have a positive result on a home pregnancy test, you should schedule your first prenatal visit with your doctor to for confirmation. Your doctor will ask you questions regarding your health, family history, diet and habits. He will then prescribe the proper prenatal vitamins and other supplements such as folic acid you should be taking. You will schedule your prenatal appointments for the remainder of your pregnancy. It is important that you keep these visits and strictly adhere to everything your doctor tells you.
Again, home pregnancy tests have come a long way, but they are not always accurate and you may get a false-positive, or a false-negative so it is imperative that you follow up with your doctor for a blood test to confirm that you are pregnant.
Pregnancy symptoms at 4 weeks pregnant
You may be experiencing early pregnancy symptoms, but some of these are similar to PMS symptoms, so following up with your doctor is always the best course of action. Below are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing at this early stage:
- breast tenderness: sore nipples, tingling sensation, darker nipples and sensitivity
- fatigue: your body is going through many changes and producing pregnancy hormones This will cause you to feel less energetic than usual. Your energy will return in a few weeks.
- implantation bleeding: this light bleeding or spotting usually occurs for about a week after the embryo buries itself into the uterine wall and is no reason for concern. However, if you notice heavy bleeding, contact your physician immediately.
- frequent urination: this occurs from the uterus expanding and swelling as well as the increased blood flow to your kidneys, causing increased urine production.
- bloating, cramps and backache: again this is caused by the growth and expansion of the uterus as well as the hormonal changes that are occurring in your body.
- mood swings: you made feel irritable or extremely weepy, this is caused by the influx of pregnancy hormones
- dizziness: this is caused by low blood sugar so you need to make sure you are eating properly. Some women also experience severe vertigo and fainting spells.
- headaches: these are caused by pregnancy hormones and dehydration. Make sure you are drinking 6-8 glasses of water every day
Other symptoms include heartburn, constipation, hot flashes, shortness of breath and changes in sleep habits. Again, contact your physician if any of these become severe.
You might also notice that your body is becoming more sensitive to various foods and smells. Certain foods that never bothered you before may suddenly make you feel queasy, the same thing goes for certain scents. This will pass eventually. You need to pay attention to your body and avoid that things that trigger nausea.
A healthy lifestyle is important at this stage
At 4 weeks pregnant exercise is beneficial during pregnancy as it helps you prepare for labor. Light to moderate exercise such as walking and swimming are recommended forms of aerobic activity during pregnancy.
Your doctor may prescribe a prenatal vitamin that contains folic acid. The daily recommended dosage during pregnancy is 400-600mcg. Folic acid helps prevent birth defects such as spina bifida and helps the neural tube develop properly. You can also get folic acid from food sources such as dark leafy greens, fruits, nuts and grains. As well as fully cooked eggs, lean meat and chicken. Avoid soft cheese, raw, under cooked or processed meats. Likewise seafood that contains a high level of mercury, unpasteurized foods and pate.
You might want to start researching the ingredients on the foods you are consuming and stay away from processed foods and eat as much fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. Of course you will want to completely avoid alcohol, smoking, recreational drugs and caffeine. You need to discuss any prescription medications you are taking with your doctor. These include as well over the counter medications, vitamins and supplements. Your health, as well as your baby’s is at stake so it is imperative that you take care of yourself during your pregnancy.
At 4 weeks pregnant you need to take care of your health and monitor any changes. If you experience symptoms such as heavy bleeding, severe cramping, decreased urination, painful or burning sensation during urination, visual disturbances such as blurred vision or flashes of light, sharp pelvic pain, severe nausea and vomiting, swelling in hands, fingers, feet or facial area, severe dizzy spells, blackouts, fainting or excessive vaginal leakage, you need to contact your doctor immediately as these could be serious complications and can lead to pregnancy complications and miscarriage.