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Week 4

How Big is the Baby at Four Weeks Pregnant?

Your baby at 4 weeks is still incredibly miniscule, about .014 to .04 inches long. That is roughly the equivalent to 1/2 to 1mm long, which isn't very long at all. Your baby will however slowly start changing by 4 weeks pregnant so that she starts resembling more of a small tadpole with eyes than an egg. That is quite an accomplishment for your little bean!

Your Baby's Growth and Development

Your baby will be implanting furiously during pregnancy week 4 into the uterine lining, to ensure that she has a safe and secure home for the next nine months. Fetal development by and large is still in the earliest stages at this point in time. By now the blastocyst or ball of cells that is your baby will be imbedding deeper and deeper into the lining of the uterus. The amniotic cavity is forming and the placenta is starting to form.

As you continue to grow and expand during your pregnancy week by week, the placenta will help nourish and support your baby during the nine months of pregnancy. It consists of vascular networks and blood from your body that helps transport oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. There are several different layers of cells developing in your body, which will eventually develop into your baby's organs and other body parts. Other layers will form the nervous system including the brain.

A pregnancy of 4 weeks is often noted as the beginning of the embryonic period. During your pregnancy at 4 weeks, your baby's organs will start developing. The early weeks of pregnancy are considered a critical time of development. Any exposure to harmful substances during pregnancy week 4 or later in the first trimester is most likely to cause damage to or harm your developing fetus. It is extremely important that you do everything possible to try to avoid exposure to any potential pollutants or toxins during this time. You should inform your healthcare practitioner if you are exposed to any potentially hazardous substances that might affect your baby's development.

Remember that the most common substances implicated in fetal deformities or malformations are common toxins such as alcohol and tobacco. Substance abuse of any type can also be harmful to an unborn fetus. If you have an addiction, you should talk with your healthcare provider immediately so they can help you determine the best way to proceed. Your healthcare provider will likely direct you to some support groups so that you can change your habits during this highly important time in your life.

Your Growth and Development

By the end of 4 weeks pregnant you would normally expect your period to arrive. If it does not there is a good chance you might be pregnant!
During the early weeks of pregnancy before the placenta is fully formed, an area of your ovary forms what is called the corpus luteum. This generally occurs at the site where your egg is released from the follicle. The corpus luteum is believed to produce progesterone during the early weeks of pregnancy. The placenta actually starts producing the majority of progesterone your body needs to carry a pregnancy typically by about 12 weeks.

Changes in You

You might actually start realizing some changes 4 weeks pregnant. Some women start to feel a little bit tired during pregnancy at 4 weeks, which is not a surprise given the remarkable work your body is performing to support your new baby! Many women liken the symptoms they are feeling during this stage to those they feel around the time of menstruation. You may in fact experience during pregnancy at 4 weeks nothing other than some menstrual symptoms, including a bit of nausea and even some cramping. Believe it or not, some women cramp very badly during this time and are absolutely positive that they are about to get their period, only to find that they are actually pregnant a week or so later.

Many women will be able to find out if they are pregnant by 4 weeks pregnant. A home pregnancy test is sufficient for determining whether or not you are pregnant. If you take a test and find that you are pregnant, you should call your healthcare provider to set up your first prenatal visit. Chances are they won't want to see you for a few more weeks yet, but it is important nonetheless to schedule your visits. Your healthcare provider can also prescribe a prenatal vitamin if you aren't already taking one.

Some women are disappointed to find that their pregnancy test comes back negative. Give it some time however. Some women don't produce enough pregnancy hormones right away in order for a standard test to detect a pregnancy.





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