Week 4 is the time when you may first begin to think you are pregnant and will probably take a pregnancy test. If you have been actively trying for a baby you will probably have spent the past two weeks desperate to take a test. You may also have begun to feel some of the symptoms which go along with early pregnancy although for most women it will be a couple of weeks before these begin. Your baby will be the size of an apple pip or grain of rice and is already called an embryo. It will even have the beginnings of it’s umbilical cord which is already starting to work.
What a difference a week makes. Two weeks ago you didn’t even know you were pregnant and now your baby has a heart which has started to beat and is already starting to develop it’s kidneys. The neural tube is also starting to develop so if you aren’t already then now is the time to start taking folic acid to reduce the chances of spina bifida.
Picture the stereotypical movie representation of a Roswell alien. That is your baby! This week your baby’s head has two large black spots where the eyes and nostrils will grow. Ears are beginning to grow and little buds are forming and will later become arms and legs. Even little hands, feet, fingers and toes are making their first appearance. Baby’s heart now has two chambers and has about 150 beats a minute.
When you have your newborn baby in your arms and kiss his or her little nose think back to this week as this is the week when that little nose tip starts to show. Other developments include the beginnings of eyelids and more complexity in the heart and brain. Your uterus has doubled in size and is the size of a grapefruit. You may start to feel that your pants are tighter and will possible feel more pregnant than you did in the first few weeks. Do not let little abdominal twinges worry you as long as they are not too painful or acompanied by one of the warning signs below. Pains similar to but less severe than period pains merely signal the muscles stretching in your abdomen.
Hurray! Baby is now a fetus! Don’t forget that folic acid though as this is one of the times of most rapid growth for baby. Arms and legs are starting to look “normal” and baby is even starting to move (although you usually won’t feel it for a few more weeks). Your symptoms of the past few weeks may begin to get stronger and you may begin to feel new symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Early Pregnancy
- Sore or tender breasts
- Morning sickness
- Sensitivity of smell and taste
- Aversion to foods
- Increased frequency of urination
- Increased hunger
- Darkened areola
- Tightened stomach muscles
- Slight spotting (known as implantation bleeding)
If you notice any of the following symptoms do not panic but do see your midwife or doctor as soon as possible;
- Sharp pain in your abdomen
- Affected vision (blurred, double sighted, etc)
- Severe headache for more than a couple of hours
- Leaking fluid from the vagina or bleeding
- Severe vomiting