Pregnancy Week 4

Your baby in weeks 1-4

By the end of week 4 of your pregnancy, your baby is about the size of a bean seed, curled into an arc and measures about 4mm across.

This is a critical time for your baby and a good time for you to start eating and living as healthily as you possibly can.

The ball of cells that will develop into your baby has completed its journey from your fallopian tube to your uterus. Once it has settled in its new home, it will split into two groups. Half will become your baby (or embryo), while the other half will form the placenta i.e. what your baby depends on until delivery.

The multilayered embryo will grow into specialized parts of your baby’s body. The inner layer, known as the endoderm, will develop into your baby’s digestive system, liver, and lungs. The middle layer, called the mesoderm, will soon be your baby’s heart, sex organs, bones, kidneys, and muscles. The outer layer, or ectoderm, will eventually form your baby’s nervous system, hair, skin, and eyes.

Your body in weeks 1-4

By now, you have probably missed your first menstrual cycle, taken a pregnancy test, and found out the good news. Congratulations dear!

Your symptoms during week 4 will be minimal. Now you may probably have started exhibiting early pregnancy symptoms like cramping, bloating, and mood swings and these may even mimic the usual symptoms of your menstrual cycle.

The cramping may feel like you are getting your period but is actually caused from the fertilised egg implanting itself in your uterus.  Implantation bleeding may occur, this is a light pink, red, or brown spotting that can occur when the egg settles into your uterus.

You might also feel some pressure in your abdomen and your breasts may feel a little tender and become slightly bigger.

If you have not already started, now is the time to begin taking daily prenatal vitamins. The extra folic acid and iron that is in prenatal vitamins are very important. Folic acid has been shown to reduce the risk of certain birth defects that can develop early in pregnancy. The extra iron is needed because your body is now producing more blood to accommodate the development of your baby. The more blood, the more iron is needed to prevent you from becoming anaemic. Iron also helps with the fatigue that comes with pregnancy.

The fatigue you may now feel is the result of the increased blood that your body is now producing.