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The 4th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby?

The most beautiful time for every woman is the period of waiting for her baby, when all the processes accompanying the formation of a new life are felt. However, the 4th week of pregnancy is not considered a significant enough time to experience all these delights. Whether this is true and what important moments accompany this term – you will learn about this next.

The 4th obstetric week of pregnancy

The 4th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby?

In the understanding of the obstetric week, this is the moment when the embryo implants into the uterus. The journey down the tube is already complete, and the woman herself has no idea of her situation (given that she did not plan for it).

However, the pregnant woman herself considers her due date already from the moment of fertilization of the egg by the sperm. Also many ladies consider delayed menstruation as a guide and main sign of pregnancy.

At this period (4 weeks after conception) the embryo in a protective shell has already attached itself to the uterine wall. It is also worth noting that at this point the formation of the primary placenta has been completed. The formation of the placental sac has not yet been completed during this period.

Active cell division of the embryo continues. Up to this point, the rudiments of internal organs are formed, the genitals are almost completely formed, and the sex of the future child is determined. Active formation of the umbilical cord tube, which will provide breathing and nutrition to the embryo (and later – the fetus) throughout pregnancy.

Ultrasound at 4 weeks of pregnancy

Usually, there is no special need for an ultrasound in the 4th week of pregnancy, if the mother is aware of her situation and does not feel much discomfort. Diagnosis is usually carried out at this stage by appointment, if the specialist sees a good reason for this (for example, the threat of spontaneous miscarriage at an early stage).

The 4th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby?

A significant reason for an ultrasound scan is the risk of ectopic pregnancy, which may be indicated by severe pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis. Also ultrasound examination at this term may be carried out if a woman has a multiple pregnancy, which requires more careful monitoring.

4 weeks of pregnancy: sensations

The 4th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby?

Feelings in the 4th week of pregnancy are quite vague and varied. Much depends on the condition and age of the pregnant woman.

At this term, the following symptoms may be observed:

  1. Morning sickness. This sign is always associated with pregnancy, but it cannot be assumed that all expectant mothers go through the throes of toxicosis. With this unpleasant symptom can be managed, and not always with medication – experts recommend that in the morning, without getting out of bed, take a few sips of water with a couple of drops of lemon juice, eat a cookie or a couple of nuts;
  2. Specific taste preferences – this is also considered a “sure” sign of pregnancy. Hormonal restructuring can arrange this, but not always and not with all women;
  3. Digestive problems. Pregnant women may have problems with gas and defecation (frequent constipation or diarrhea). However, all of this can also be solved without the use of drugs, but only need to review their digestive habits, diet and the amount of water consumed per day;
  4. Frequent urination. Such a sign is associated with an increase in pressure on the bladder due to changes that occur in the uterus;
  5. Headaches can also be considered a sign of early pregnancy (4 weeks) and are observed by many expectant mothers. The resulting discomfort can be explained by a peculiar reaction of the body to the altered state;
  6. Physical weakness, lethargy and similar ailments. Such symptomatology is partly related to hormonal changes and the growth of the uterus, which causes quite specific sensations;
  7. Sharp mood swings, caused by the same “cocktail” of various hormones that appear in the body. A woman during this period may be very touchy and sentimental, which does not affect the development of the fetus in a good way. All the people around, and especially relatives and friends should understand that the psychological state of a pregnant woman depends on them to a large extent.

However, it is impossible to assume that such symptoms of 4 weeks of pregnancy occur in every woman. Each person’s body is different, so it reacts differently.

A common fact can be considered that certain changes in the body, body and psyche of the expectant mother do occur. Someone focuses his attention on the slightest change, and for others, the early period of pregnancy is asymptomatic.

The 4th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby?

It is worth remembering that the symptoms of pregnancy in most cases do not deliver women distressing experiences or severe discomfort. However, there are clinical cases when, in the presence of pain or physical discomfort of another kind, there is no way to get help from a specialist, because there is a threat not only to the unborn child, but also to the life of the woman.

The 4th week of pregnancy: changes happening to the female body

The most noticeable change during pregnancy at 4 weeks for the expectant mother will be a rapid increase in breasts. Such a sign is observed in almost every case. A woman may note that in addition to an increase in the mammary glands, there may be an increase in its sensitivity (sometimes there is even discomfort associated with this).

The 4th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby?

It is also worth noting changes that can also be observed in a pregnant woman:

  • Darkening of the nipple aureoles, but this can also be observed before the beginning of menstruation;
  • The appearance of pigmented spots on the body, which may be almost invisible. If there is severe pigmentation that appears early in pregnancy, you should contact your doctor (e.g., an endocrinologist), as this may indicate the presence of exacerbated health problems;
  • Slight swelling, especially of the legs during an intense rhythm of life. Such signs are partly related to hormonal restructuring in the body, and partly to changes in eating habits, which are often observed in pregnant women.

Particularly attentive ladies note an increase in vaginal discharge. Such processes are normal, because in the reproductive organs there are serious changes related to the development of the embryo.

How does the abdomen change in the 4th week of pregnancy?

4 weeks is not so many months that a woman’s belly changes dramatically. The size of the embryo is still very insignificant to cause visible changes with the abdomen.

In some cases, especially sensitive to their appearance ladies may note a slight swelling in the waist area. However, experts point out that this is only indirectly related to pregnancy – due to the high content of progesterone in the body of a pregnant woman, gases may accumulate in the intestines.

4 weeks: what happens to the fetus, diagnosis of pregnancy

The 4th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby?

The 4th week of pregnancy from conception is a fairly insignificant period to radically change the appearance of a woman. However, inside her, the embryo is changing and developing very quickly, forming the basis of the future fetus.

The fetus is already about 4 millimeters tall at this stage. In the part where the head will be located, a clot is formed on which ears and eyes are already visible. If you increase the ultrasound picture on the embryo, you can already see bulges in the areas where the arms and legs will be located. The rudiments of fingers and the protrusions of joints can be noted on these bulges.

During this period, the gastrointestinal tract begins to develop and the lungs are almost formed. Also, blood vessels develop in the umbilical cord, which play a very important role in the nutrition and breathing of the embryo.

The 4th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby?

However, all these processes are not the only changes that occur at this term. At 4 weeks, the heart tube is formed from the heart tube. It is during this period that you can trace obvious heartbeats with the help of special equipment. It is worth noting that so far the heart is two-chambered (ventricle and atrium), but it is already functioning normally (provided there are no pathologies).

Useful tips and tricks

Since the 4th week of pregnancy is still considered a risky period, a woman in an interesting position should pay special attention to diet and psychological condition. Also all physical changes should be monitored. It is worthwhile to talk about each of these points in more detail:

  • There should be sufficient time for sleep and rest. A pregnant woman should very carefully monitor the daily routine, if necessary, attention should be paid to changing the regime (especially in the presence of indisposition). Especially careful attention should be paid to the quality of sleep – sleep only on a quality mattress and quality bedding;
  • The diet of a pregnant woman should not contain products to the consumption of which the body reacts with allergic reactions or irritable bowel. In principle, categorical bans on certain foods or dishes are not, but fatty, smoked and fried food should be eaten in small amounts, and better to exclude altogether during pregnancy and lactation. Lean meat (poultry, beef) and fish of fatty varieties should certainly be in your diet;
  • Mood and psychological state of the expectant mother is also very important, because it also affects the peculiarities of fetal development. One should not be anxious and stressed; otherwise it may result in heart problems for the baby. At this time, meditative practices or engaging in a favorite hobby will be especially useful. In some cases, it is worth to attend training sessions or talk to a psychologist, who will help to overcome possible fears and psychological barriers;
  • Physical sensations are undoubtedly important, but not all difficulties and discomfort may indicate problems. It is normal for a pregnant woman at an early stage to feel discomfort, headaches, pulling pains in the lower abdomen or lower back and the like. For severe pain, fainting and similar serious abnormalities, you should consult a doctor, and no self-treatment.

Naturally useful for pregnant women walking, it is desirable to give this ritual enough time. The doctor recommends being out in the fresh air at least twice a day. Useful will be gymnastics or special yoga for pregnant women, courses on which you can find on the Internet and practice on their own at home. It is worth noting that engage in moderate physical activity only when the doctor has confirmed the normal development of pregnancy.

The 4th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby?

You should also monitor the cleanliness of your body. Pay sufficient attention to hygiene. This is especially important if you have allergies – it may be a reaction to unsuitable cosmetics. It is also important to use good household chemicals that will not cause allergic reactions.

You should be especially careful to monitor your psychological state. If there are problems or disturbing topics, you should not hide it in yourself – ask for help from a psychologist, talk to your husband or girlfriend. Listening to classical music or meditation helps some women.

The 4th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby?

It is recommended to take vitamins, but it is advisable to consult a doctor beforehand and choose the best composition of the drug. It is especially useful to include in the list of mandatory rituals the intake of folic acid, which is incredibly useful for the baby.



Manjula Yulia Vladimirovna - obstetrician, 17 years of experience.
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