Pregnancy Week By Week : 4 Weeks Pregnant - What To Expect
Whoa! You are now 4 weeks pregnant. It's a big news because it has been almost a month since you are pregnant. By this time you would ha...
Last week, your baby was a mass of differentiated cells and the parental genes and chromosomes had already decided the gender of the baby. From this week onwards, your baby will undergo several critical developmental processes to finally take the human form in the coming months. Here are the developments to look out for:
Development of vital organs: There is a reason why your gynecologist will ask to take extra precautions during this time. It is because the embryo inside you has started developing its brain, spinal cord, heart, muscles, and tissues. The development is not yet complete during this stage but the process has begun and therefore this stage poses a high risk of abnormalities.
Two layer embryo: The embryo that has implanted itself in your uterus has still not taken a human shape like that of a baby, but it has divided into two layers – the hypoblast and the epiblast. Epiblast is the outermost layer of the embryo that will later form the ectoderm and mesoderm. The hypoblast, on the other hand, is a differentiated tissue that will form the inner cell mass of the embryo.
Development of the fluid sac: The fourth-week witnesses the development of a bag of fluid, better referred to as the amniotic, inside your womb. The sac is also termed as membranes as it consists of two membranes – amnion and chorion. Gradually the amniotic sac fills up with the amniotic fluid. This fluid is meant to protect the baby in a liquid environment till it is born.
Blood supply and nourishment: In the fourth week of pregnancy, the yolk sac is attached to the embryo. It is formed by the hypoblast cells mentioned above. This membranous sac is very important for embryonic blood supply at this stage. The yolk sac is also essential in nourishing the embryo till the placenta comes into play. Then the yolk sac will become a part of your baby's digestive tract.
The size of your baby: You have read about a lot of developments taking place in your womb and may get an idea that your baby is of a significant size. You may find it strange to believe but your baby is still quite microscopic in size, no more than half of the tiniest sesame seed in your breakfast bagel. In terms of measurement, it is about .4 mm long now.
Body Changes & Common Symptoms
Your body is caught in a whirlwind of transformations though you may still appear calm at the surface, oblivious to the changes happening inside of you. Read on to find out what changes are taking place in your body during this week.
This is not common for all women, but many will experience slight bleeding as the dense mass of embryonic cells houses itself into the uterine wall. This is not your period, so don't panic when you see blood spots.
Slight increase in your breast size
Thanks to the growth and pregnancy hormones filling up your system, your breasts may be in for growth spurts. They will feel tender (it may occur in week three as well) and your lingerie may seem tighter than usual. Don't worry about it as it is a natural phenomenon indicating that you are progressing towards motherhood.
Secretion of human chorionic gonadotropin hormone
Don't feel intimidated by the long name. This is the growth hormone that is essential for your pregnancy and for the growing baby inside you. The HCG may cause nausea, dizziness, fatigue and mood swings. There may also be an occasional episode of fainting because of this, but there is nothing to worry about, as it is an indication of you being pregnant.
As the hormones rage inside your body and the embryonic cells divide to take the human form gradually, you will feel an increasing level of tiredness. Don't try to push yourself at this time. Listen to your body, give it rest if it craves rest.
This is by far one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy. It is called the morning sickness because most women feel sick and throw up after waking up in the morning. However, this sickness is not restricted to the morning only and you may get a sense of vomiting throughout the day or at any particular time such as early evening, or late night.
This is by far one of the most critical and important phases of your pregnancy. Therefore, it is imperative to pay attention to your health and make changes in your lifestyle, if you have any unhealthy habits.
- Ensure you are only taking safe drugs, only if it is necessary. Don't burden your body with medication unless it is absolutely needed.
- Avoid strenuous work if your body does not permit you to do so. If you feel tired or fatigued, take rest. Call in sick at work for a day or two if required, but make sure you don't force yourself at this stage to do something that may affect your health.
- Get your spouse involved in your pregnancy and let him know about your feelings and concerns regarding the same. If you need some pampering, ask for it.
- Talk to your doctor about your health problems to make sure you are taking the right steps to ensure the safety of the growing baby in your womb.
- Eat right and avoid any kind of drugs, alcohol or harmful addictive stuff. No matter how much you crave unhealthy things, remember, it is in the best interest of you and your baby to let go of the bad eating habits.
You have made it this far. The next few weeks may be more demanding, but eventually, all will be fine and you will soon be cruising through your pregnancy.
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