- Women's Health
Pregnancy Week Four
Welcome to week four of pregnancy! This week you may be able to confirm you're pregnant with a home pregnancy test. As I mentioned in week one, I highly recommend First Response, but to each his own. Keep in mind, the results will be more accurate in week five and six, so if your home test comes back negative be sure to take another in a few days or go see a doctor for a blood test.
Sometimes home pregnancy tests are not sensitive enough to detect pregnancy in it's early stages. If you're a first timer, you're probably wondering how home pregnancy tests work, right? Home pregnancy tests look for the pregnancy hormone HCG in your urine, which we discussed last week. If your result is positive, even very faintly, it is very likely that you are pregnant. If you are, you should contact your doctor and make an appointment to confirm it.
How's Mom Doing?
Right now, a primitive form of your placenta is developing. It will even begin to start functioning by the end of the week. This week it's creating space in your uterine lining to provide both nutrients and oxygen to your little one. Until that's finished, the yolk sac will provide your baby with the food he or she needs to grow and develop properly.
Also this week, you'll probably begin to feel some of the obvious signs of pregnancy. Not all women feel pregnant this early but some do. Some women experience fatigue, tender or swollen breasts, mild nausea and even mood swings in week four. It's not as uncommon as one would think. I was feeling morning sickness and fatigue during week four. It's not fun, and it will only get worse. But not to worry, It typically ends in the second trimester and will not rear it's ugly head again.
What's Going On With Your Baby?
This week is the first week of the embryonic period. The embryonic period will continue until you are ten week pregnant. This week your blastocyst baby will be embedded in the uterine wall. Right now, the blastocyst has grown into a disk-like structure and is two layers.One of these two layers is called the epiblast and the other layer is the hypoblast. These two layers divide the blastocyst into two chambers: the amniotic cavity and the yolk sac. Also, your baby's organs will begin to develop this week! First stop, heart central!
Mostly what's going on with your baby this week is rapid splitting of cells and production of new cells which will form all the essential bits of your baby and your placenta.
Suggestions and Advice for Week Four
If you do take a home pregnancy test this week and it does come back positive, call your doctor and set an appointment to confirm it. If it's confirmed and you are definitely pregnant there are some things you should discuss with your doctor. Talk to them about any prescribed or over-the-counter medications you are taking or take frequently. Ask about vitamin supplements, for example, if you're taking a generic prenatal vitamin see if your doctor can recommend a better prenatal vitamin. Discuss any bad habits or addictions that you have that may cause the baby harm. Your doctor can help you make a plan to deal with those habits or addictions. Also be sure to talk about any family medical history you can dig up so that you and your doctor can figure out possible complications now.
This is a crucial time in your baby's development. The first trimester is where the most development occurs. So it's important to avoid things like drugs, alcohol and cigarette smoke. I mentioned that some women can eat anything without it affecting their baby. This is still true, but I would advise you to save experimentation till the second trimester. Don't risk your baby's life or health over a craving for clams! Also make sure to avoid any medications or supplements or even cosmetics that state that you should take or handle them while pregnant or nursing. If you have a phenomenal doctor, they will most likely give you a list of medications you can definitely take without worrying. As far as cosmetics and dietary supplements go, it's a lot of guess work. Better not to risk anything. Avoid what you can.
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