Article reviewed by Dr. Anca Panaitescu, specialist gynecologist, Clinical Hospital Philanthropy
Week 4 of pregnancy marks the beginning of the embryonic period. From now until week 10, all the organs of your baby will grow and start functioning. As a result, this is the period when he is most vulnerable to anything that might interfere with his development.
Avoid alcohol, smoking, even passive, drug or drug use. Adopt a healthy lifestyle, get enough rest and seek moderate physical activity.
How big is the baby in week 4 of pregnancy
Now, your baby is like a mustard seed. It is called an embryo and measures only 1-2 mm, but contains several thousand cells that continue to multiply at a rapid rate.
Pregnancy at 4 weeks: how your baby grows
In the days that follow, cells specialize. From the external side of the embryo, the neural tube - the precursor of the nervous system, brain, spinal cord and nerves will develop; from the middle part of the embryo the heart and circulatory system will be formed, and from the internal side, the lungs, the digestive system and the liver. The process of organ formation (organogenesis) takes place, for many organs, in the first trimester of pregnancy, but their complete functioning will be ready only near the birth!
The primitive placenta is also composed of two layers at this time. Her cells form tunnels to the blood vessels in the uterine mucosa, creating spaces for the mother's blood to flow through them, so that the developing placenta can provide nutrients and oxygen to your baby.
At this point, the placenta is not fully functional, but when it is, it will be able to provide nutritional and respiratory support for the fetus and eliminate the residue from the fetus metabolism. It will be an organ that will produce hormones and ensure the protection of the fetus from certain potentially harmful factors. The connection between the placenta and fetus is made through the umbilical cord.
The amniotic sac - which will host the embryo, the amniotic fluid and the vitelline sac (or vesicle vein) that produces the red blood cells and helps to transmit nutrients to the baby until the placenta is ready to perform this function.
Also read: How the baby looks in your tummy in week 4 of pregnancy
Do not forget: Each baby develops slightly differently. Our information is intended to give you a general idea about the development of your baby.
What happens in your body in week 4 of pregnancy
Your body undergoes changes even from the fourth week of pregnancy. For example, it already produces more blood to transport oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. An increase in fluid intake can improve circulation, so it's good to drink 2 liters of fluids a day, optimally from hour to hour. It is best to avoid sweet carbonated drinks and those containing caffeine or artificial sweeteners. At the same time, the lining of the lining of the uterus thickens and the blood vessels inside begin to enlarge to nourish the fetus. The cervix begins to soften and change color.
Common symptoms at 4 weeks of pregnancy
This week you should find out if you are pregnant. How will you know for sure? Take home a pregnancy test; The tests available in pharmacies are not different from the tests used in most medical offices.
If the test is positive, call your doctor's office and make an appointment for your first prenatal check. Some doctors will not examine you until you are at least 6-8 weeks pregnant, when the pregnancy is older and can be viewed and ultrasound, but if you take any medicine - prescribed by the doctor or not - ask now if it is safe. for pregnancy. Also, tell your doctor if you have any other concerns.
You should already take folic acid, and if you haven't started, now is the time. The next 5 weeks are critical to your baby's development.
The placenta and umbilical cord, which favors the supply of nutrients and oxygen to your baby, are also in development, and partially work. Your baby is now exposed to whatever you put into your body, so make sure everything is healthy.
If the pregnancy test result is negative, repeat within a few days. At this point, some pregnant women are still not producing enough pregnancy hormone to get a positive test result.
If your menstruation has come in the meantime, you can try again to conceive a baby next month. But if you try unsuccessfully for a year or more (or for 6 months if you are over 35 years old), then talk to your doctor about a complete exam for you and your partner to find out any fertility issues.
No one wants to get in this situation, but keep in mind that a fertility problem discovered in time will shorten the waiting time until the dream of having a child is fulfilled.
If you are really pregnant, the symptoms include those related to breasts, which start to hurt, tingle or become more tense. Many women describe an increased sensitivity around the nipples at this time. Breasts will grow steadily during pregnancy.
Get ready for the morning sickness. According to several statistics, between 50 and 90% of pregnant women suffer from a milder or more severe form of morning sickness. They manifest themselves most strongly by the week nine, usually after which they decrease in intensity, and in the second trimester they disappear completely.
Take some mint candy or chew some gum after any episode of vomiting. Keep them in your bag, office, car and near your bed so they are handy when you need them.
In addition, you may also have:
- bloating (because of the hormone called progesterone);
- slight bleeding (spots on the underwear that occur especially when the nest occurs - implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus);
- Moderate cramps, which may indicate that the nesting was successful - if you feel severe cramps, a doctor says;
- High fatigue - It seems hard to believe since the embryo is only a mustard seed, but the fatigue is as intense as the body is working hard to turn the stem cell into an embryo;
- mood swings, which can occur not only because of hormonal fluctuations, but also because of stress. These are more pronounced in the first 12 weeks, after which a little attenuation.
This week is too early for analysis and investigation, but you can find out about pregnancy tests.
It's good to know about pregnancy tests
Are you ready to know for sure if you are pregnant? Home pregnancy tests are very accurate tools when done correctly and at the right time, but the instructions for use can be misunderstood. Here are some of the important things you need to know.
When can I take a pregnancy test and get an exact result?
The best time to take a pregnancy test is about a week after the time when your menstruation should have come. Most home pregnancy tests require 99% accuracy and this implies that you can use them even on the day when menstruation had to occur, but for added safety, the test should be done or at least repeated once a week. or even two after the expected date of menstruation.
The amount of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) - the hormone measured by pregnancy tests - in the urine, any day after implantation, varies considerably from one woman to another. A team of researchers evaluated 18 tests and found that only one of them was sensitive enough to detect the levels of hCG that most pregnant women will probably have on the first day of menstruation. Most of the other tests had a sensitivity of only 16% at that time.
How can I get the best result from a pregnancy test?
First check the expiration date of the test and make sure it is still valid. If you have kept the test in a place where there is moisture or heat (such as the bath), it may be damaged, so throw it away and buy a new one.
When you are ready to take the test, read the instructions carefully because they vary depending on the manufacturing company. For best results, take the test in the morning, when the urine is concentrated.
Does a pale line even mean I'm pregnant?
If you have a positive test result, even if it is very poor, there are chances that you will be pregnant. For a home test to give a positive result, your body must produce a detectable amount of hCG and this happens only during pregnancy. Many women have a very pale positive outcome if they did not wait long enough until they took the test.
To be sure, repeat the test over 2 or 3 days. If the positive result is more pronounced, congratulations! If it is negative, then you may have had a very early pregnancy loss. Experts estimate that 20-30% of all pregnancies end with a pregnancy loss, so unfortunately this is quite common.
What to do in week 4 of pregnancy
If you are pregnant, then the first thing you need to do is to give up any activity that could be harmful to your baby (smoking, alcohol consumption, unhealthy eating, medication). Then, get interested in choosing a good gynecologist, and make an appointment.
Regarding medicines, if you have a treatment that you can not stop, it is very important to talk to a doctor as soon as possible, so that it will offer you the optimal solution that will protect both the baby and you. .
Also, discuss with your partner about the pregnancy, especially if it is not planned and expected.
Also read: List of things to do in week 4 of pregnancy
Week 3 of pregnancy | Week 5 of pregnancy
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