4 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms, Changes, Self Care During the 4th Week of Pregnancy

4 Weeks Pregnant

The 4th week of pregnancy is still very early in your pregnancy, but the chances of a home pregnancy test picking up the results are a lot higher as compared to in the third week.

Development during the 4th week of pregnancy

  • The process of implantation which began in the previous week continues, with the blastocyst being embedded still deeper in the uterine lining. Amniotic fluids begin to fill the now forming amniotic cavity.
  • During this stage your baby would be just about 0.078 inches long.
  • The rapid multiplication of your baby’s body cells, which began a week ago continues, with the appearance of an early placenta and the beginning of the connecting umbilical cord.
  • Your baby is now fed through the yolk sac, until the placenta becomes fully functional.
  • Your baby’s body cells are in three layers: the outer layer orĀ  ectoderm forms the hair, nails, skin, salivary glands, sweat glands and the brain, while the middle layer or mesoderm forms the circulatory and vascular systems including the heart, blood, and tissues, while the inner layer or endoderm starts to form what will be the lungs and the gastrointestinal tract and organs.
  • During the 4th week of pregnancy, the development of arm and leg buds also begins, but they are not distinguishable yet.

Physical and psychological changes when you are 4 weeks pregnant

The implantation and development of the placenta leads to hormonal changes and physical changes affect both temperament and your body. These 4 weeks pregnant symptoms however may be subtle and go unnoticed, and in other cases can even be confused with your period which would normally be due around now.

The symptoms you may experience are similar to those indicating periods and are identical to those listed in the third week. If you haven’t already experienced any of these changes you will most likely experience them now. These include headaches, backaches and bloating. Irritability, fatigue, nausea and mood swings are also quite normal. Most of these symptoms are caused by hormonal changes. Light cramping a diminished appetite, some spotting, and improved kidney function are also quite normal.

Recommended Tests during the fourth week

  • Lab work (Urinalysis)
  • Hemoglobin test
  • TORCH test
  • Chlamydia
  • Cervical smear test

Most of these tests are needed to ensure a normal pregnancy and delivery. They are meant to detect and treat any abnormalities in functioning or the presence of any diseases like syphilis or gonorrhea that can affect your baby.

Remedies and Self Care during your 4th week of pregnancy

  • Exercise remains important through most of your pregnancy, if not more. Light exercise like walking can also help. Whether you wish to continue with an existing fitness routine or take up a new one, always consult with your physician first.
  • Smoking and drinking any alcoholic and caffeinated products is strongly advised against.
  • A healthy balanced diet is necessary not just for your health but to meet the nutritional needs of your baby as well.
  • Ginger ale and soda crackers can help reduce nausea. Consuming smaller meals through the day instead of two large meals is not only healthy, but may also help reduce nausea.
  • Small afternoon naps can help deal with the exhaustion.
  • Keeping your body well hydrated should help reduce headaches. The use of a nursing bra can help reduce soreness.

Cautionary Note

While some symptoms may be normal there are others that could indicate something serious. In most cases there should be no cause for worry, but make sure that you bring them to the notice of your gynecologist immediately. Timely intervention can help prevent a number of complications or miscarriages:

  • Bleeding
  • Inexplicable pain
  • Dizziness
  • Unusual shortness of breath
  • Racing heartbeat or chest pain
  • Uterine contractions
  • Severe cramping