Pregnancy Week 4100 Comments
Week 4 fetal development image showing the fetal growth of your baby to date.
Roughly the size of a poppy seed, your baby is now entering the phase of development known as the embryonic period. The cluster of cells that is becoming baby has traveled down the fallopian tubes and have settled into the uterus, where the next big task is to divide in half. One half of the cells become the placenta while the other half becomes baby. The baby cells divide further, into three groups. The first, the inner layer, is called the endoderm. The endoderm develops into the digestive system, liver, lungs, pancreas and thyroid. The middle layer, or mesoderm, becomes heart, reproductive organs, bones, kidneys and muscles. The outer layer, or ectoderm, becomes brain, spine, nerves, skin, hair, eyes, teeth, sweat and mammary glands. The amniotic sac and yolk sac are forming now as well. The yolk sac eventually will become part of the digestive system.
Sounds a lot like PMS, doesn't it? Early pregnancy symptoms are quite similar to premenstrual syndrome. You might feel more breast tenderness than you usually would with your period however, and your breasts might be enlarged somewhat. You may feel some abdominal pressure and might experience implantation bleeding. This is spotting, and may be light pink, red or brown. It happens when the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall. It's not rare, but certainly not unexpected either. Whether you have spotting or not, you need not worry.
Visit With the Obstetrician
Usually you won't be seeing a physician for your pregnancy until your 8th week or so. However, you will be taking a home pregnancy test at this point most likely. If it is negative, wait a week and retest. Sometimes the pregnancy hormone, hCG, is still too faint at 4 weeks for many tests to pick them up. You can begin looking for a doctor or health care provider, and might interview the most promising prospects to see if you have a good match in expectations.
Preparing for Baby
This is a great time to just start reading up on early pregnancy.
- What foods are no-no's?
- Which healthy foods should you be eating?
- What is recommended for exercise during pregnancy?
- Is pregnancy going to be an issue with your work?
- Will you need to make some changes at the work site or to your schedule?
- What is the maternity leave policy at your job?
- Thinking ahead, not worrying, is a good way to start preparing mentally for this new pregnancy.
Check that medicine cabinet. Are there prescriptions drugs you take regularly? If so, read up on them or talk to your pharmacist about the safety of taking them while pregnant. If you find out a drug you take can be dangerous in pregnancy, talk to the prescribing physician immediately. Don't wait until your prenatal visits begin. Also, check on any over the counter medications to see if they are safe to take while pregnant.
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