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Inside the female body, amazing developments are happening to the baby during the 4th week of pregnancy.
The mother in week 4
- During the 4th week the fertilized egg also known as the zygote, begins to implant itself into the uterine wall (embryo implantation) about 6-12 days after conception.
- The embryo implantation can cause a woman to experience vaginal spotting during the process.
- This is followed by the development of the placenta and the umbilical cord.
Week 4 symptoms
Expect noticeable pregnancy symptoms during the 4th week. The week 4 symptoms are as follows:
Over fatigue is the body’s natural response in preparation for pregnancy. During the first few weeks of pregnancy, the female body is working on the inside to adjust for the motherhood stage.
The excessive progesterone that is produced can cause the basal body temperature to surge. This then will decrease energy levels which makes her feel over fatigue.Pregnancy week by week
Other than that, the heart pumps faster during pregnancy too since it has to deliver extra oxygen to the uterus.
Expect frequent trips to the bathroom once a woman becomes pregnant. Frequent urination is caused by the following sources:
- The uterus swells as the baby develops. The swelling uterus causes some pressure to the bladder which causes the woman to urinate frequently
- Excessive blood flow through the kidney also triggers the system to produce more urine
Food cravings and aversion
Food cravings is said to be the body’s way of protecting the developing baby. A woman starts to crave for some certain food in as early as 2 weeks after conception.
Developing a distaste to some certain kind of food (food aversion) is the body’s defensive mechanism to steer away free radicals and nitrates which can harm the fetus.
Breakthrough bleeding occurs when pregnancy hormones cover up the normal menstrual cycle however, the cycle continues for a while. This type of bleeding may happen more than once during the 4th week.
Did you know that about 1% out of 25 women experience sickness in the morning? The term for this symptom does not accurately describe that she will just feel sick during the morning. This symptom can strike in anytime of the day.
In addition to that, about 1% out of 3 women do not vomit when suffering from morning sickness. Oftentimes, morning sickness is accompanied with queasiness the moment she wake up. Unfortunately, some women endure this symptom for months.
Did you know that about 1% out of 100 women experience hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy? Since the process of digestion is slow during pregnancy, a woman purges what she have eaten through her mouth instead (vomiting).
Hyperemesis gravidarum (severe vomiting) is a rare pregnancy condition where women struggle to anything down their stomach. It is also considered as the most severe form of morning sickness.
Below are the following indications of suffering from HG:
- Sensitive sense of smell
- Excessive saliva
- Vomiting is prolonged and severe
- Vomiting in between meals
- About 5% pregnancy weight loss
- Suffering from dehydration
A pregnant woman is at higher risks of suffering from HG if:
- Expecting her first child
- Carrying a baby girl
- Carrying twins or triplets
- Prone to migraine
- Prone to motion sickness
- Teenage pregnancy
- Overweight in the start of pregnancy
- Hereditary HG
If HG started after the 12th week of pregnancy which is accompanied with fever and pain, there may be another causes:
- Gastric upset
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Thyroid disorder
HG usually occurs between 4-7 weeks. This condition relieves about 15 weeks of her pregnancy. In some cases, HG ends around the 20th week of pregnancy. Unfortunately, some women experience HG up until the end of their pregnancy.
The breasts begins to become sore in as early as week 2 and/or after conception. This is because the body is producing plenty of oestrogen and progesterone. Thus, these hormones trigger the growth of the glands inside the breast.
The fluxes of homrone production also causes the breasts to conserve more fluids and feel heavy, tender, and sore.
Bloating is caused by the production of progesterone (pregnancy hormone).
Cramping and bleeding
Cramping and bleeding is caused by the baby’s implantation to the uterine wall.
Headache during pregnancy is mainly caused by the increased levels of progesterone. It can also be a cause of the following sources:
- Hormonal fluctuation
However, the occurrence of migraine decreases as the pregnancy progresses.
Mood swings is caused by the fluctuation of pregnancy hormones. This symptom is most drastic during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The baby in week 4
The baby which is currently a blastocyst (ball of cells) is now an embryo in week 4. The unborn baby is currently about the size of a poppy seed at this point. Below are the step-by-step procedure of how the baby is growing this week:
- Embryo divides into three layers which later form into placenta, organs, and tissues.
- The neural tube begins to form in the top layer. This is where the brain, backbone, and spinal cord begins develop.
- The inner layer (endoderm) which will form the baby’s digestive system, liver, lungs, and urinary tract.
- Next is the middle layer (mesoderm) which will form the heart, bones, muscles, sex organs of the baby.
- The last layer, the outer layer (ectoderm) which will form the baby’s nervous system, skin, hair, and eyes.
- The amniotic sac (also called the bag of waters) forms into a protective cushioning for the baby. Then the yolk sac follows and begin to produce red blood cells (RBC) and nutrients for the developing baby. Additionally, the yolk sac will later be incorporated to the baby’s developing digestive tract.
- Placenta cells begin to burrow into the uterine lining, which will develop into a chorionic villi (microscopic fingers of tissues).
- Once the placenta is fully functional and developed, it will replace the yolk sac from supplying nutrients and oxygen to the baby. The placenta also takes away the baby’s fecal matters. Other than that, the umbilical cord distributes the nutrients and oxygen to the baby.
- Then the baby continues to grow and develop for nine months.
Pregnancy tips for 4th of pregnancy
There are a lot of things a woman needs to know for her to lessen the pain and burden she feels during the 4th week of pregnancy. Pregnancy may be a difficult phase of every woman’s life, but the pain is all worth it once the baby is conceived.
Things to do during the 4th week of pregnancy
Buy a supportive bra
Once a woman notices that her breasts are starting to swell, she must buy a supportive bra. A regular bra is not suitable for sore and tender breasts.
Call the doctor for medical concerns
A pregnant woman is required to call the doctor for medical concerns if she experiences the following situations:
- If she experiences vaginal bleeding, consult the doctor immediately. This may be a cause of something that is alarming that is why immediate medical attention is a must
- If urinating is accompanied by a burning sensation, medical attention is required as well. This may indicate any signs of infection
- If her body mass index (BMI) is higher than 30, the doctor will prescribe her a higher dose of folic acid which suits her
On the other hand, it is recommended to visit an Ob-Gyn once she reaches the 8th week of pregnancy.
Start a gentle exercise routine. Engaging in exercises is very beneficial during the 4th week of pregnancy, below are as follows:
- Good for muscle toning
- Boosts body strength and endurance
- Maintains a healthy weight gain
- Helps her body prepare for child labor
Below are the following exercises that is suitable for pregnant women:
- Brisk walking
Take prenatal vitamins
Take prenatal vitamins during the 4th week of pregnancy such as the following:
- B6 supplements (400-600 micrograms) to reduce nausea
- Did you know that the folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects for about 70%? This B vitamin also support the placenal development
- Did you know that a fetus is capable of seeping calcium from the mother’s bones? That is why a mother is required to take enough Calcium (1,200 mg) to strengthen the mother and baby’s tooth and bones
- Did you know that eating foods that are combined with iron and vitamin C aids in iron absorption? Iron (30 mg per day) supplement to increase blood levels for about 50%
- Zinc intake (15 mg per day) reduces the risks of having birth defects and preterm labor for about 50%
- Fiber (25-35 milligrams per day) is essential for the mother’s health during pregnancy. Fiber intake prevents constipation and hemorrhoids
- Folic acid supplement (400 micrograms) prevents the baby from having spinal, neural tube, and brain defects. Additionally, the orange fruit contains enough of folic acid as well. A daily dose of the orange fruit is good for pregnancy
Whenever a woman feels like she is experience nausea and vomiting, wear acupressure wristbands to relieve the following symptoms.
Eat a healthy diet
Eating healthy foods is very beneficial for both the mother and the baby during pregnancy. Take note to eat with 3-4 hours interval to keep the blood sugar levels high enough to support pregnancy.
Choose foods which contain the following:
- Rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This boosts the baby’s brain and neurological development
- Rich in protein
- Rich in magnesium
Drink enough water
Drinking enough glasses of water per day keeps the blood pressure high enough to support pregnancy.
Do not reduce fluid intake even though a woman is undergoing frequent urination.
Do not smoke, avoid smoke
Smoking while pregnant is strictly prohibited it increases the risk of miscarriage and birth defects. Additionally, second-hand smoke does the same effect as well. So avoid being surrounded with people who smoke.