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Week 4 of pregnancy

The little life that is breeding in you, which started just a week back, is ready to settle down and make home! The zygote is now an embryo and is ready to implant and settle itself in the uterus. The implantation of the embryo brings along an increase in levels of pregnancy hormones in week 4 of pregnancy.

 There would be enough hCG to detect an early pregnancy at home. You still have a long way to go. Most of the women identify their pregnancy, with skipped menstruation in this period. Week 4 of pregnancy is the beginning of the embryonic period.

What does week 4 of pregnancy look like?

You may not be able to notice any difference in your body. For most of women, the obvious sign of pregnancy is a missed period, which mostly falls in week 4. To confirm the pregnancy, take a test either at home or at the clinic. Some women notice slight bleeding, caused due to implantation of embryos. The amniotic sac and placenta are developing during this time. It provides oxygen and necessary nutrients for the embryo later on. 

If you test positive, congratulations! You can start tracking your due date and take up necessary visits to the doctor. It is crucial to get yourself registered with an OBGYN now and maintain yours follow up visits. The start date can be different after the healthcare provider completes an ultrasound scan later on after some weeks, which will help you track your dates. Ideally, the earlier the scan is done, the more accurate the dates are!

Week 4 of pregnancy

What are the symptoms of the week 4 pregnancy?

Bloating

Blame it on the pregnancy hormones, you might feel bloated almost all time. You may feel uneasy and have a hard time buttoning up your jeans. It is finally time to get stretchy and comfy pants on!

Mild cramping

Now that the embryo flows down the uterine tubes and implants upon the thick wall around the uterus, you might feel slight cramps. It is an indication of the good news! However, if you feel severe and sharp pain during this time for too long, you have to consult the doctor immediately and identify the problem.

Spotting

Slight bleeding can be expected as there is a pressure over the lining around the uterus due to the embryo. It is completely normal. Some women don’t get such spotting and it is completely fine as well. But, if the bleeding is heavy, like a period, consult the doctor immediately.

Mood swings

It is not because of your thoughts, it is the pregnancy hormones that is giving you a hard time. The fluctuating levels of hormones interferes with our mood and how we feel. Pregnancy mood swings are observed to be volatile till week 12, before it levels down a bit.

Consistent rise in Basal Body Temperature

If you are tracking BBT from the last menstruation, you will notice that your BBT is constantly high. A consistent rise of temperature for 18 days or more is an indicator of pregnancy. Even though this pattern is an indicator of pregnancy, it is not an absolute one.

Breasts becoming sorer

The breasts get sore and tender because of surging hormones in the body. It might also be a sign of menstruation, so it is hard to tell the symptoms. You just need to patiently wait and watch.

Fetal development at week 4

At the starting of week 4, your baby is called an embryo. The embryo is 0.2 mm, about the size of poppy seed.

The fertilized egg settles in the uterus and attaches itself to the uterine wall. The embryo grows over the lining of the uterus. 

Early development

The fertilized egg is the bundle of all the cells that will develop into organs of the baby. There are three layers of the embryo-

  • The inner layer (endoderm) develops into the lining of lungs, gastrointestinal system and urinary bladder.
  • The middle layer (mesoderm) develops into heart, blood vessels, muscles and bones.
  • The outer layer (ectoderm) forms the brain and nervous system along with skin.

The embryo draws nourishment from amniotic sac and placenta surrounds the embryo and grows to be the support system for the embryo.

You may also like to know: Week 3 of pregnancy

Self care tips

Maintain a healthy diet

It is a time period when you will notice a lot of hormonal changes in your body. Maintaining a healthy diet helps to battle down the complications and fight stress. Fulfilling the body’s nutritional requirement is important for the baby, even before conceiving. Make sure you have all the essential vitamins for pregnancy as recommended by the doctor. Have plenty of fluids.

Regular exercising

Exercises help to physically maintain strength to deal with complications associated with pregnancy. It helps to fight stress and improves sleeping patterns and also helps to maintain healthy weight as recommended by doctors during pregnancy.

Reducing stress

Blame it on hormones and the pressure of getting pregnant, you might feel low and stressed. It is important to stay optimistic and cheerful. Stress affects the fertility of the egg, which can affect the chances of getting pregnant

Week 4 of pregnancy

Important checklist for week 4 pregnancy

  • Eat well
  • Continue the physical exercise as recommended by the doctor
  • Get sufficient rest
  • Continue prenatal vitamins
  • Ask the doctor to schedule an ultrasound scan

Bottomline

Once you find out that you are pregnant, it is important to have a check up with the doctor. Even at the start of this journey, the healthcare providers would give expert advice on how you can deal with complications and counsel on the best way in which you can take care of yourself.

While it is a week of waiting, you will experience incredible things at this time, from change of mood to finding out your pregnancy, it sure is a tough ride. Next week, the wait is over and get ready for some big news!

Reference:

Healthline.com:Pregnancy: Signs, Symptoms, Overview, & Health Tips You Should Know

Medicineplus.gov: Pregnancy | Pregnant | Prenatal Care | MedlinePlus

Womenshealth.gov: Stages of pregnancy

What do you think?

Written by Neetu Verma

I am a certified Nurse in General Nursing - Midwifery. I am currently fighting coronavirus in a government hospital in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India as a nurse on special duty. I have a special love for writing and write as and when time allows me to do so.

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