Pregnancy Week 4

Pregnancy Week 4

How big is your baby?
At this stage of your pregnancy your baby is already 2 weeks old and measuring about0.04 inches or about 1mm in length.
Your baby’s development
Although fetal development is still in the early stages there is still plenty ofchanges taking place.

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

The germ layers, which are different layers of cells, will have begun to form. Theselayers 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 endodermwill 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 ofthe ‘primitive streak’. The primitive streak is the forerunner of the brain andspinal cord. This also now makes it possible to identify the head from the body.

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 along 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 womenfeel as though they have jumbo PMS. Their period is due… but it doesn’t arrivebecause 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 willincrease 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 swingsand possible fatigue

Get more information on the early pregnancy symptoms.

How much weight gain?
During your pregnancy you should be prepared to gain weight, as it is necessaryfor both you and your babys health. A normal weight woman should gain is about 38pounds 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
This Week with Dr Miriam Stoppard

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

Pregnancy Week 4