Pregnancy is a remarkable, life-changing experience for women. The first sign of a pregnancy is usually a missed period. A full-term pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. Knowing what to expect during various stages of pregnancy can help you to monitor your health and the health of the baby better.
Read this article to learn about the changes in your body during week 4 of your pregnancy and what precautions you should take for a healthy pregnancy. If you have just found out you are pregnant, you should read Week1, Week2, and Week 2 as well.
What it means to be 4 weeks pregnant?
Most women discover they are pregnant at around Week 4 when they miss their period. At this time, a home pregnancy test can confirm this news. This test measures the level of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG). This hormone is released once the egg is implanted. At this time, you should call your doctor to book your first prenatal appointment to confirm your pregnancy.
Although you have just discovered that you are pregnant, you are already in your week 4 of pregnancy. Pregnancy is measured from the first day of your last period. So, even though you were conceived two weeks ago, you are considered to be four weeks along.
The rise in the levels of hCG in the body, the hormone responsible for the positive pregnancy test, is responsible for the symptoms during the fourth week. These include:
Light bleeding can occur at this time as a result of implantation. However, if the bleeding is heavy and it lasts for more than a few days, it is time to check with your doctor.
2. Sore breasts
The higher levels of hormones in the body can lead to soreness and swelling in the breasts.
3. Mild cramping
Mild cramping is normal and nothing to worry about. Cramping occurs when the blastocyst is implanted in the lining of the uterus. If the cramping is severe, you must consult with your doctor immediately.
The pregnancy hormones can also lead to bloating.
5. Morning sickness
Around 50 to 90 percent of all pregnant women get morning sickness around this time. Nausea and vomiting get the worst at about nine weeks and then slowly improve.
Your body is working hard to turn a tiny ball of cells into an embryo, which may lead to fatigue.
7. Mood swings
Fluctuating hormones in the body and stress can lead to mood swings. Mood swings are the most drastic during the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy.
8. Frequent urination
Hormonal changes can increase urine production when you are pregnant. Your uterus expands and presses down on your bladder, so you feel the need to go more frequently.
9. A heightened sense of taste and smell
Hormonal changes, particularly estrogen, send your senses into overdrive during pregnancy. You may suddenly develop cravings or an aversion to certain foods that you once loved, and some smells may become smellier.
Your body at week 4
During this time, the level of hCG in the body rises very fast. It doubles every two to three days and peaks at around ten weeks. This hormone helps the ovaries to produce more progesterone, which is vital for the development of the baby.
Unfortunately, this hormone is also responsible for most of the symptoms like nausea, fatigue, and breast tenderness. At four weeks, the levels of hCG in the body should be around 5 to 426mlU/Ml.At four weeks, your belly will feel slightly bloated, but the changes are still not visible to others. Wear slightly looser clothes for comfort.
If you’re having twins, you are more likely to have higher hormone levels, which will amplify your symptoms.
Your baby at week 4
Just .078 inches in length, your baby is still a collection cells called the blastocyst. At this stage, your baby is growing at a rapid pace.
During week 4, the ball of cells will split into an embryo (the baby) and placenta. The baby’s neural tube, which is the building block of the brain, spine, and the backbone, is already formed. The amniotic sac and fluid are also getting formed to provide protective cushioning. Even though the baby is just the size of a poppy seed that can barely be seen on an ultrasound, the gestational sac carries within it all the blueprints for your child’s characteristics such as the sex, hair color, color of eyes, etc.
Your Week 4 doctor’s visit
When you call your doctor to tell him you’re pregnant, chances that he will ask you to visit him after four weeks. Most clinics schedule their first prenatal visit between six to 12 weeks. Be patient. While the wait may be a bit difficult for you, your doctor will be able to see much more, including your baby’s heartbeat, around eight weeks.
If you are healthy and have no risk of pregnancy-related complications, there is no need to see your doctor yet. However, it is essential to know that miscarriage rates can be high during early pregnancy. Almost 20 percent of pregnancies end up in miscarriages. Signs of a miscarriage include spotting, cramping, and heavy bleeding.
Tips for Week 4 pregnancy
- Schedule a pregnancy confirmation appointment.
- Continue eating a healthy diet that includes proteins, vitamins, healthy fats, and whole grains.
- Avoid junk food, caffeine, smoking, and alcohol.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Start exercising, and keep yourself fit and active.
- Drink water to keep yourself hydrated as you can lose fluid if you’ve been vomiting due to morning sickness.
- Continue to take prenatal vitamins, which include iron and folic acid, as it can prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
- Avoid self-medication and always consult your doctor before taking any medicines.
- Stay relaxed. Listen to some music that you enjoy, meditate, or do some relaxation exercises to lower your stress levels.
- Wearing a supportive bra during the day and in bed can help deal with sore breasts.
- Don’t hesitate to take a nap if you’re feeling tired. Exercising can also help to boost your energy levels.
- Taking small and frequent meals can help prevent nausea. Snacking on carbohydrates and tart foods can also help.
Tips for the partner
You have just learned this exciting life-altering news. You and your partner are both going through a rollercoaster of emotions. It is common for couples to have arguments during this time. This may be because of the anxiety you may be feeling about your future. During this time, you can seek the help and support of your parents, siblings, and friends.
If morning sickness has not taken over yet, you and your partner can enjoy some leisurely dinners at her favorite restaurant.
When you are 4 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a poppy seed. During this time, the level of hCG in the body rises very fast. This hormone helps the ovaries to produce more progesterone, which is essential for the development of the baby. This hormone is also responsible for many of the pregnancy symptoms like sore breasts, morning sickness, and aversion to certain foods.
During this week, you can schedule a pregnancy confirmation appointment. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, stay hydrated, and avoid junk food. Avoid self-medication and consult your doctor if you are at the risk of pregnancy-related complications.