Week 4: Habits to Crush During Your First Trimester

Your baby officially has a home! At week 4, the itty bitty embryo has burrowed into your uterus where it will stay for the next eight months. And while your baby is still super tiny (hello poppy seed!), check this out: if you’re expecting twins, you may already be able to see them on an ultrasound this week. Double trouble! Here’s what you can expect of pregnancy and your baby during week 4.

Pregnancy Week 4: Everything is in Motion

The gang’s all here! You won’t have to wonder any longer if you’re pregnant: your soon-to-be baby is now safely growing within your uterus. The cells will split into two groups with half of the embryo becoming your son or daughter, and the other half forms the placenta. This necessary lifeline will transfer nutrients to your baby and carries away waste until birth.

Despite it’s microscopic size, your little embryo is getting busy. The amniotic sac has formed, as well as the yolk sac, which will eventually become your baby’s digestive tract. The embryo’s three distinct layers of cells (endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm) will form specific parts of your baby’s body, including liver, lungs, heart, sex organs, bones, kidneys, muscles, nervous system, hair, skin and eyes. All of that miraculously originating from a bundle of cells no bigger than a poppy seed.

Body Changes to Expect for Week 4

Even though we’re talking about week 4, it’s still pretty early in your pregnancy. Some women experience early pregnancy signs like mood swings, bloating, cramping, etc. and then others don’t feel a thing. One occurrence to note: implantation bleeding is a thing. It’s usually pretty light, just a tinge that you barely notice. You may feel some abdominal pressure and have tender breasts, but otherwise it’s not a sign that anything is wrong.

Although the first few weeks of pregnancy can be confusing, it’s easier than you think to figure out a possible due date. Your estimated due date is 40 weeks from the first day of your last period. But remember the counting begins two weeks before your baby is conceived so it may be about 4 weeks before a pregnancy test will show a positive. Most babies don’t arrive right on schedule so be careful about setting your calendar to that due date. Babies are born anywhere between 38 and 42 weeks, with first-time moms usually delivering a little late.

Pregnancy Symptoms to Watch For

Spotting can occur during week 4, and is around the same time you would have had your period. Don’t be alarmed as implantation bleeding is a sign that your embryo has implanted itself into the uterine wall — a necessary step for a baby to grow! Don’t see any bleeding? No worries there either. Only a small percentage of women experience implantation bleeding and not seeing anything doesn’t mean you aren’t pregnant.

Hormones are now raging through your body, which can cause everything from moodiness to mild cramping and bloating. Get used to this, you’ll experience A LOT of these hormones during the next nine months.

Week 4 To-Do List

Week 4 is the best time to form habits to crush your first trimester. Avoid secondhand smoke as research shows exposure can lead to miscarriage, low birth weight, ectopic pregnancy and other complications. Load up on vitamin D, either from milk or being in the sun. It helps absorb calcium, which your baby needs lots of. You can also get vitamin D from canned sardines, fortified milk and egg yolks. Accomplish two goals in one by going for a swim! It’s low impact for your growing baby but has great cardiovascular benefits, along with more sunny D if you’re swimming outdoors. If food aversions have you hungry as a horse try making smart substitutions that keep the nausea away but fill your body with necessary nutrients. If you haven’t already made your first doctor’s appointment, now’s the time!  

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