- The inner layer is also known as the endoderm. It helps in the formation of organs such as the digestive system, the liver, urinary bladder, etc.,
- The middle layer is also known as the mesoderm. It leads to the creation of organs such as blood vessels, bones, and the heart.
- The outer layer is also known as ectoderm. It helps in the formation of the brain, the nervous system, skin, etc.,
4 Weeks Pregnant
What Happens During the Fourth Week of Pregnancy?
During the fourth week of pregnancy, you may not find any noticeable changes physically. However, numerous internal transformations are occurring, ranging from hormonal to bodily changes. They include:
The placenta would start the production of Human Chorionic Hormone (HCG). It would prevent the release of more eggs and would help you understand that you are pregnant. Due to the rise of this hormone, it would result in nausea. HCG will also lead to an increase in progesterone and estrogen levels.
These two hormones would offer the required nourishment to the baby till the placenta takes over. These hormones would work together to create a favorable environment for your baby's development. However, they can also result in sickness, mood swings, and fatigue. Sometimes you might not face any of these issues. Even then, it is perfectly normal as each person is different.
During this week of pregnancy, one of the most predominant changes would be a missed period. However, it is understandable when you have a regular menstrual cycle. Apart from that, you may not notice any specific signs of pregnancy, especially if it is your first time. But, if it is not, your belly and uterus would stretch sooner.
During this time, implantation would be taking place inside your belly. Similarly, there will be the formation of the amniotic sac and placenta required for your child's growth. When the implantation is happening, you might notice slight bleeding and spotting. It happens to 25% of pregnant women, but it is not always necessary. It is because of the burrowing of the cells to the uterine wall, and this bleeding would take place a few days before your periods. It is lighter than your period and would be pink or brown. If you find any difficulties, it is best to talk with your doctor as it helps you avoid any form of complications.
Other than that, you would have symptoms similar to that of PMSing. They range from nausea, tiredness, breast soreness, frequent urination, abdominal pressure, etc.
You might also have a heightened sense of smell, thickening of hair, pregnancy discharge. You might also get a mask of pregnancy, which is a brown patch on the skin. Sometimes, you might have cravings for certain types of food items. However, you may or may not have these symptoms, and sometimes, you would have different symptoms.
The fertilized egg would undergo cell division, which leads to the formation of thousands of cells, known as a blastocyst. The blastocyst will move forward with implantation, creating a safe home in the uterine lining. The embryo would start developing tissues and structures. It is also the time of egg division and also twin formation.
It means that during this time of pregnancy, as part of cell division, the blastocyst can form identical or non-identical twins. At this time, your baby would be only 2 mm long and 3 mm in diameter. Here, there are three layers of cells leading to the development of different organs. They include:
It is during this time that your child would start developing its face and other vital organs. Hence, it is pertinent to take care of your physical, emotional, and mental health. When it comes to ultrasound, you don't need to get one during the fourth week of pregnancy. Your doctor would suggest it between the eighth and fourteenth weeks of pregnancy.
Tips for the Fourth Week of Pregnancy
As you are almost at the end of your first month of pregnancy, you have to prioritize self-care. Here are a few tips that can help you in improving your well-being while you are pregnant.
Taking Care of Your Diet
Similar to the other three weeks, you have to continue taking care of yourself, especially your diet, during this time. You have to ensure that you are having a wide range of nutritious food items in your diet. Along with that, you need to stay hydrated, which includes having six to eight-ounce glasses of water daily.
Even though many people say you need to have food for two, it is just a misconception. You need to include an extra 300 calories per day for your baby. You have to continue the intake of folic acid, which has to be 400 mcg. You have to do so till your 12th week of pregnancy. It is beneficial in the formation of your child's nervous system. You have to include vitamins, especially vitamin D, in your diet.
Generally, you can absorb it from sunlight. Besides that, you can get it from fortified milk and orange juice. They help enhance the bone and teeth strength of your child. It is because this vitamin assists in the absorption of calcium. It is best to have 600 IU to 1000 IU of vitamin D, but you can always consult your doctor for their opinion.
Similarly, you have to get essential fatty acids in your diet, especially Omega-3 fatty acids. It helps in the development of your child's brain and eyes. It is significant because it is the time when different organs are forming in your baby. You can get Omega-3 fatty acids from pregnancy-friendly fishes, such as salmon. You can also obtain these prenatal vitamins while you are on a vegan diet through flaxseeds.
As part of eating healthy and staying in good health, you have to cut down certain food items like running eggs or raw dairy. When you reduce them from your diet, you can decrease the chances of getting food burns or food poisoning. Sometimes, you might get a stomach bug like listeria. Under such circumstances, you have to take care of yourself and even seek professional help if you find it necessary.
Apart from them, it is best to avoid alcohol consumption and also reduce the intake of caffeine. Cutting down on processed food items, salty and fatty products can also be beneficial for your health. Even though you might not be smoking, you have to reduce exposure to secondhand smoking too.
Physical, Emotional, and Mental Well-being
The recommended duration for exercising while you are pregnant is 150 minutes per week. If you are someone who works out regularly, you can continue with it. However, if you plan on doing anything vigorous, it is best to speak with your medical practitioner. If not, you can start slow by exercising for 10 minutes every day. You can even join an online or offline class, where you can get instructions for exercises suited for pregnancy. You can also speak with your doctor and get their help in gaining suggestions on the same.
During these initial days, you might feel anxious and even doubtful. Under these circumstances, it is best to speak with your doctor or your loved ones. They could help you gain courage and get past the hurdles. Sometimes, your doctor would suggest you to a therapist who can help you during your pregnancy. Besides that, you have to get enough rest as there is a chance that you might feel exhausted.
If you have any mental health condition before getting pregnant, you must speak with your medical practitioner.
Speaking with Your Doctor
Your healthcare professional can guide you through your pregnancy. With your OBGYN/midwife's assistance, it would be easy for you to gain clarity about pregnancy. During your first appointment, you can get a date for your ultrasound as well. You can also opt for prenatal care as it would reduce complications if any. In total, you would have ten appointments and two scans during your gestation period.
During your visit, your doctor would check your height, weight and conduct a blood test. It will help the doctor understand if there are any blood-borne diseases. Besides that, your doctor will also conduct a urine test to check your glucose and protein levels.
If you have any long-term health condition or medication, you have to speak with your doctor. Your doctor might also suggest joining an antenatal class as helpful. Through this, you can prepare yourself for parenthood with other parents.