Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 4th Week
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Congratulations, you’ve already had 4 weeks with your baby. Of course, you probably just learned this news. While you didn’t know you were pregnant, she has been working hard for 3 weeks to give you this good news. You can follow what has been going on in your body in the past weeks, in our 1-2 week pregnancy and 3-week pregnancy article. But our main subject is the 4th week of pregnancy and the processes following this week.
You are very excited and you have hundreds of questions about your pregnancy process, right? Don’t worry, all your questions are answered. Let’s find out together what awaits you and your baby at 4 weeks of pregnancy.
Your Baby at 4th Week of Your Pregnancy
While you are at the very beginning of your pregnancy excitement, you need to know the movements in your body during this process and the details of your baby’s development. Here’s what you need to know about the 4-week-old baby.
How Big Has My Baby got?
This week is the beginning of the embryonic period. Your baby, whose organ development will begin after the 4th week, will use all his energy to prepare a solid ground for being a healthy baby. Your baby struggled to fertilize and attach to the uterus for 3 weeks.
The size of the 4-week-old baby, which is now attached to the uterus, is about the size of poppy seed for now. So she’s a little far from a baby look this week. You’ll be able to see him in a few weeks, but for now, you’ll have to wait a bit for this happiness.
Baby's Development at Week 4
Your baby, which was a ball of cells, or blastocyst, last week, will form the embryo and placenta this week. For this reason, we call the 4th week the beginning of the embryonic period for baby development.
Starting this week as a ball of cells, your little one’s cells will rapidly divide into 2 by serial mitotic divisions. Some of these cell layers will become embryos. The resulting embryo will initiate the development of the nervous system, skeleton, organs, and skin in the coming weeks. The placenta will accompany the development of the developing embryo this week. In other words, the other part of the dividing cells will form the placenta.
The placenta is an amazing structure that provides the exchange of substances between the mother and the baby. The placenta formed in the womb this week begins to deliver the digested nutritional contents of the mother to her baby. But do not think that your baby will not be fed during the formation of the placenta. The amniotic sac it is in produces red blood cells and the baby meets its nutritional needs with it until the placenta is formed.
Mother at 4th Week of Pregnancy
The 4-week pregnant is, first of all, very excited and has many questions that need to be answered in this process that she will live until the day she will have her baby. The mother, who is curious about her baby’s every step, is also sensitive about the changes in her own body.
Does your tummy swell at one week of pregnancy?
We can answer the question by saying that your stomach will not swell this week. You haven’t earned a pregnant look yet. Because at 4 weeks of pregnancy, the mother only notices the developments in her body. These changes noticed by the mother can also be defined as the 4th-week pregnancy symptoms. However, pregnancy will not be obvious from the outside yet.
4th Week of Pregnancy Pregnancy Symptoms
You may have experienced pregnancy symptoms in the past weeks. But we can even say that the 4th week of pregnancy is the period when the symptoms show themselves the most. This is because your hormones are becoming more active than ever before. Here are the changes in your body.
- Swelling: Due to the progesterone hormone, which is more intense this week than the previous weeks, bloating will show itself more clearly. The feeling of bloating is a symptom that will appear from time to time during pregnancy. You can take precautions against bloating by drinking plenty of water and paying attention to your diet.
- Mild cramp: At 4 weeks pregnant, cramping may worry you but calm down, these cramps are most likely a sign that the baby is properly implanted in the uterine lining. But if you are experiencing these cramps very severe or painful, you should definitely contact your doctor.
- Morning sickness: The activity of Beta HCG (Human Karyonic Gonadotropin) and estrogen hormones can cause nausea. Because stomach movements are usually experienced in the morning, this situation is defined as morning sickness. Morning sickness usually peaks around week 9 and then gradually improves. Nausea typically goes away completely in the second trimester.
- Breast tenderness: Your breasts may be visibly swollen due to the hormones that prepare your body for your baby. This swelling will also bring about tenderness in the breast. Actually, this is good news; Breast tenderness during pregnancy indicates the activity of the milk ducts.
- Fatigue: In the 4th week of pregnancy, when that tiny ball of cells in your body turns into an embryo, the body works hard. For this reason, you may feel quite tired as a mother who is 4 weeks pregnant.
- Altered mood: Pregnancy is a period known for mood swings. You can clearly feel it this week. Mood swings in pregnancy will be active for the first 12 weeks. Because after this period, the hormones will calm down a little more.
Which Pregnancy Test Is Done At 4 Weeks Pregnancy?
Your period is late and you feel you are experiencing a few pregnancy symptoms. If you suspect that you are pregnant, if you have a strong feeling in this direction, you can take a pregnancy test at the 4th week of pregnancy. Experiencing one or more of the symptoms does not necessarily mean you are pregnant. The best thing to do to clarify this situation would be to take a pregnancy test.
This week, the hormone HCG, known as the pregnancy hormone, reaches very high levels. Since the production of other pregnancy hormones such as estrogen and progesterone is also thrown, you can get results with home pregnancy tests from this week. Home tests give a positive or negative result, sensitive to the level of HCG in the urine.
In order for the test result to be valid, you must check the expiration date of the pregnancy test. Also, if the line on the test stick is not very clear, but the result is positive, you are likely to be pregnant. However, if you still want to be sure of the result of this test, it would be good to test a second time.
A blood test gives the safest result in a pregnancy test. By looking at the HCG hormone concentration in the blood sample taken from the expectant mother, a clear conclusion about the pregnancy status is reached. For this reason, when you go to the doctor with a positive home test, your doctor may request a blood test for a definite result. Thus, you can share the result with your loved ones with peace of mind.
Doctor Checks Start During Pregnancy. When to Start?
If the result is positive when you take a urine pregnancy test at home, you should definitely go to the doctor to confirm this situation. Because the blood test will give you the clearest answer in the first weeks of pregnancy. After your doctor confirms that you are pregnant, you are ready for the first examination.
In the first pregnancy examination, pregnancy status can be checked by visualizing the gestational sac with vaginal ultrasound. In order to understand whether you have a healthy pregnancy or not, your doctor will ask you for tests such as blood, smear, thyroid function. You have to be a little patient to see the ultrasound image of the baby during the examination. You can see a baby image on ultrasound only after 8 weeks.
Things You Need to Pay Attention to as of the 4th Week of Pregnancy!
You got the good news, you are very happy. But now that you are pregnant, you may need to make some simple lifestyle changes to protect your own health and that of your baby. 4 weeks of pregnancy is an ideal time to take precautions for a healthy pregnancy. Then we will give you a few suggestions about what to consider during pregnancy.
- Follow Your Baby’s Development Closely: Especially after the 12th week, you will go to the doctor’s controls frequently and you will see your baby through ultrasound. But before 12 weeks, there will be a series of changes in you and your baby. It is important to have information about the process in order to be aware of these changes and to manage the process better.
- Say Goodbye to Your Harmful Habits Now: If you have habits that will harm your health in your routine life, you should give up on them as soon as possible.
If you smoke, you should completely get rid of this habit and even not allow smoking around you. Because smoking; can cause premature birth, breathing problems in the baby, and risk of miscarriage.
Alcohol use during pregnancy is also among the habits that should be abandoned. Alcohol use during pregnancy increases the chances of premature birth and miscarriage. The harms of alcohol, which also causes developmental delay in the baby in the mother’s womb, can adversely affect the health of the baby after birth.
- Limit Caffeine Use: Caffeine should be limited during pregnancy. An overdose of caffeine has effects on the heart, circulatory system, and even the nervous system. Of course, this situation that affects you will directly affect your baby as well. Babies have a hard time removing the caffeine they take from the body.
Moreover, excess caffeine weakens iron absorption and can cause anemia in the mother. Moreover, considering the fact that one of the values you will need most during this period is iron, iron deficiency will not be a desirable situation.
Caffeine isn’t just found in coffee. Tea, chocolate, soda, etc. The products also contain caffeine. These foods and drinks should be consumed in a limited way, especially during pregnancy.
- Create a Healthy Diet Program: During pregnancy, your body needs nutrients more than ever before. Since your baby is directly affected by your nutrition, healthy eating is an important criterion for him as well. Benefiting from adequate vitamins and minerals, the mother takes a strong step towards a problem-free pregnancy process and ensures the healthy development of the baby. Your baby, which turns into an embryo in the 4th week and takes the developmental steps rapidly, needs the support you will provide to him/her through nutrients.
You should definitely take advantage of foods that increase iron absorption and provide the body with the vitamins and minerals you need. You should definitely evaluate milk and dairy products that are sources of calcium, red meat, white meat and fish that are protein heroes, and fruits and vegetables that contain various vitamins.
- Now is Folic Acid Time: Folic acid supports the development of the baby’s nervous system, helping to prevent many nervous system problems, especially neural tube defects (NTD). For this reason, folic acid support is very important in these first weeks when your little one’s developmental steps are taken. The mother, who receives this value at a sufficient level, supports the healthy brain and spinal cord development of the baby.
Neural tube defect is not a common problem, but experts say that folic acid supplementation should be used in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Your doctor may give you some supplements for this. In addition to supplements, you can also get this support through nutrition. Foods containing folic acids such as legumes, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, avocados, and bananas must be present in your diet.
- Pay Attention to Medication Use: Especially in the first trimester, the use of drugs during pregnancy is also important. Some drugs during pregnancy can cause harm to the mother and baby. For this reason, the mother should definitely use medication under the supervision of a doctor. If you have a chronic illness, you should share this with your doctor and manage the process together, even if you are on regular medication.
- Avoid Harmful Chemicals: Your body is more sensitive now. You must have felt it these days when you are experiencing nausea. Various chemicals adversely affect not only your stomach health but also your entire body and your baby’s development.
Products such as bleach and salt spirit used while cleaning, creams you apply to your skin, etc. You should be more sensitive about it. Even if there is no scientific explanation for dyeing hair during pregnancy, the chemicals contained in the dye can harm you and your baby. As a precaution, you can delay dyeing your hair.
- Keep Moving: Yes, your body has not gotten heavy yet and you are not experiencing any movement restrictions for now, but you should still avoid heavy movements during this period. Of course, this does not require you to stay still. While doing sports supports the person psychologically, it is important for ideal blood circulation and body health. Therefore, you can start walking and exercises that will not tire the body. You can do light-paced walks and back exercises that include stretching to strengthen the spine.
- Consume Plenty of Water: Consumption of water helps to prevent situations such as digestive problems, skin problems, nausea, and contractions that you will probably experience both in this period and later in the process. Since water is extremely important for the cell structure of the baby and the amniotic fluid in which it lives, daily water consumption during pregnancy should not be less than 3-3.5 liters.
Creative Ways to Tell Your Partner About Pregnancy
You are living the first days of one of the most beautiful developments of your life. Of course, you should share the beginning of this sacred feeling with your loved ones. Of course, as a mother, it’s normal to want to share this news with your father first.
If you want to announce that your little baby is coming to the world in the best way, we have a few suggestions to increase your excitement. Here are the tactics to announce a pregnancy in the most unusual ways.
- If you say good morning to your spouse every morning, you can turn this routine into a memory he will never forget. “Good morning daddy!” you can wake up. He will not know how to wake up and will start the day with excitement, surprise, and great news. We do not recommend trying the same situation in case of falling asleep. If possible, this sweet news should be experienced throughout the day.
- Prepare a gift box and tell your partner that you want to buy him a gift and give him the package. You can place a pregnant note, a baby photo, or baby shoes on the package.
- You can wait for your first examination to let you know. After the exam, you can give the ultrasound image of your baby to him or put it in an area he uses often. If you wish, you can leave a sweet note next to the ultrasound photo like “Hello daddy, let’s meet”.
- You can give this news at the most unexpected time at a romantic dinner. In the menu, you can leave a photo of the ultrasound or a note saying that you are pregnant.
- No matter how you present the news, be sure to record these moments on video. You should remember this wonderful memory for life and even share it with your little ones when they grow up.
In summary, the 4th week of pregnancy is a very exciting period for you and a very active period for your baby. While helping him develop, don’t forget to take care of yourself and enjoy this process to the fullest.