Pregnancy Week 4

Oct 31, 2011
How is your baby?

At this stage of your pregnancy your baby is already 2 weeks old and measuring about 0.04 inches or about 1mm in length.

Your baby's development

Although fetal development is still in the early stages there is still plenty of changes taking place.

By this stage of your pregnancy the blastocyst would have embedded itself into the wall of your uterus even deeper and the amniotic cavity, which will later be filled with amniotic fluid, will already have started to form.

The germ layers, which are different layers of cells, will have begun to form. These layers will later form specialized parts of your babys body and various organs. There are three germ layers: the ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm.

The ectoderm will form the nervous system, the brain, skin and hair. The endoderm will form the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas and thyroid. Lastly, the mesoderm will become the skeleton, connective tissue, blood system, urogenital system and the muscles.

One of the key developments which may take place this week is the development of the 'primitive streak'. The primitive streak is the forerunner of the brain and spinal cord. This also now makes it possible to identify the head from the body.

Baby: Week 4 Development 4 Week Ultrasound Eye Development Primative Streak

Your development

At this stage of your pregnancy you would still be expecting your period to begin, or may even be a little late. You still wont be showing at all and it will be a long time before you do start to show.

Early pregnancy symptoms

You may be feeling a bit tired and queasy, but then again, maybe not. Many women feel as though they have jumbo PMS. Their period is due... but it doesn't arrive because this little embryo produces a hormone which stops your menstrual cycle. Your hormones responsible for most of what is happenig to you is hCG - also known as human Chorionic Gandotropin - and these levels will increase rapidly in the earlt stage of your pregnancy.

Some of the early signs and symptoms of being pregnant include:

  • slightly enlarged and/or tender breasts
  • weight gain or even loss of up to five pounds
  • fullness or an aching sensation in the pelvic area
  • increased vaginal discharge
  • frequent urination, morning sickness, mood swings and possible fatigue
How much weight gain?

During your pregnancy you should be prepared to gain weight, as it is necessary for both you and your babys health. A normal weight woman should gain is about 38 pounds during the course of a single pregnancy.

Where does all that weight go?

  • Baby 7.5 - 8.5 lbs
  • Amniotic Fluid 2 lbs
  • Placenta 1.5 - 2 lbs
  • Breast Tissue 1.5 - 2 lbs
  • Blood Volume 3 lbs
  • Uterine Muscle 2 - 2.5 lbs
  • Water 4 lbs
  • Maternal Stores 8 lbs

Pregnancy Week 4 with Dr Miriam Stoppard
This Week with Dr Miriam Stoppard

The key to healthy weight gain during pregnancy is to gain it slowly. Just because you are eating for two, does NOT mean you must eat twice as much. It is more about quality than quantity. Eating a healthy diet and following a regular exercise plan will help your weight gain to be steady, and possible more importantly help you to shed the extra weight post pregnancy.

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