The 4 weeks pregnancy mark is an exciting time for expectant parents. At the end of this week, a woman will likely miss her first period and this is the time that a pregnancy test will likely come out positive, indicating a pregnancy!
When you are four weeks pregnant, the embryo travels to the uterus and attaches to the inner lining there. This is called implantation and this is the signal to the body to stop shedding the uterine lining (which is why your period stops during pregnancy). Many women experience some amount of spotting or bleeding at this time which is called implantation bleeding. It could occur at about the same time that the period would have been due and so can be rather confusing.
Changes in the baby
By the fourth week of pregnancy, the embryo is probably in its second week of development. The risk of anything going wrong is highest right now – tubal pregnancy, miscarriage, molar pregnancy, neural tube defects occur during the first trimester. So exposure to chemicals, hot tubs, medications, alcohol, drugs, etc. are most important to avoid right now.
- Layers of specialized cells are forming which will later differentiate into the different organs, the bones, skin, hair, etc.
- The embryo is still deriving sustenance from the uterine lining and later will do so from the placenta.
Changes in the mom to be
By the end of the 4th week of pregnancy, most women with regular 28 day cycles would have missed their period. Since the baby eats what the mother does, it is important for the mother to be as healthy and eat as healthy as possible.
- If you want to take a pregnancy test, wait until the date that you would have expected to have your period and then take it, so that it is most likely to be accurate.
- If the test comes back negative, repeat after a few days. It is likely that conception had occurred later in your cycle and that the hCG levels weren’t high enough to be detected the first time.
Tips for the 4th week
Week 4 is critical for the baby’s development. So, you need to take special precautions:
- If you are on any medication, ask the doctor if it is safe for you to continue it. Even over the counter medications should be cleared first.
- High fever, hot tubs, very strenuous exercise that raises the body temperature significantly should also be avoided since any rise in body temperature is inimical for the baby.