What to expect when you are expecting in the fourth week of pregnancy

If you have missed your period it’s time to consider the fact that you may be pregnant! This is the point when things start to become more real for you. The implantation begins in the fourth week of your pregnancy and this will be a time of anticipation and joy for you. When the embryo, now known as blastocyst, reaches your uterus it will lodge in the uterine wall for sustenance. There may be a small bleed and you may start to think you are getting your period. But implantation bleed is very light and it does not last more than a day.

Some possible signs you may be pregnant

  • If you and your partner have been planning to have a baby, a common sign to identify your pregnancy is your missed period.
  • The production of Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin Hormone (HCG) by the placenta let’s your body know there is an embryo. An early home pregnancy test or a blood test at this time will let you know you are indeed pregnant. The most accurate way to test if you are pregnant is to do the test early in the morning. HCG levels are considered to be high at this time.
  • As mentioned above light spotting that just happens for a short period around 10 to 12 days after ovulation, may indicate you are pregnant.

Some common physical changes you may notice when you are four weeks pregnant

  • Sensitive and sore breasts: Hormonal changes in your body may make your breasts and nipples feel tender. The good news is your breasts will look and feel heavier. Investing in a good sports bra at this time is a good idea. A supportive bra will prevent your breasts from sagging.
  • Spells of nausea: You will start to feel nausea or vomiting in early pregnancy due to HCG. Nausea tends to be worse in the morning and sometimes it can last all day. The smell and taste of certain food might make you want to throw up. Try to eat small meals frequently and keep drinking plenty of water. Avoid foods and smell that make your nausea worse.
  • Frequent urination: You may have the urge to go the bathroom more often because your increasing uterus puts pressure on your bladder. If you are losing sleep because of frequent trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night avoid drinking liquids after evening.
  • Cramping and bloating: You may get light period like cramps during the implantation process and you may feel fuller than usual. Don’t worry this is usually just the adjustment period of your hormones, your uterus and eventually the extra blood volume in your body.

Some significant emotional changes you may experience this week

  • You may start to feel anxious and make frequent trips to the bathroom to check if you period starts. You may start to feel excited and apprehensive at the same time.
  • You may be easily irritable and start to feel moody and stressed.
  • If the test result for pregnancy has been negative you may experience frustration. Now would be a good time to talk to a trusted friend or your partner who will lift your mood.

The many changes that are going on with the baby growing inside of you

  • The baby is currently a millimeter long. It’s no longer than the length of the head of a pin.
  • When you are four weeks pregnant your baby’s body now has three distinct layers from which its organs will develop. The outer layer or ectoderm shapes the hair, nails, skin, salivary glands, sweat glands and the brain, while the middle layer or mesoderm outlines the circulatory and vascular systems including the heart, blood, and tissues, while the inner layer or endoderm starts to form what will be the lungs and the gastrointestinal tract and organs.

Some of the things you can do when you suspect you may be pregnant

  • Many women rely on home pregnancy tests to tell them if they are pregnant as a blood test involves going to a doctor. You can purchase one at a drugstore or a local grocery store these days. Read the instructions on the box before you purchase it so that you know which might be easier for you to use. These tests are relatively inexpensive. If the result was negative try again in a few days.
  • If the pregnancy test is positive make an appointment to see your doctor to discuss your care in pregnancy.
  • If you are pregnant there is a tendency for elevated temperature, try to stay healthy and maintain your temperature at the required level.