Tommy’s - 4 weeks pregnant - what to expect
Each week we ll offer advice on how to cope with pregnancy symptoms (the good, the bad and the ugly), and take you through the practical bits, like booking appointments. Before week 4
If your periods are usually regular, conception is likely to happen in the middle of weeks one to four. You are very unlikely to know you're pregnant at this stage.
Pregnancies are measured from the first day of your last period rather than the day you actually conceived your baby. This is because it's not always easy to be sure of the exact date you became pregnant.
I spent the entire week my period was due running to the loo, just to double check I didn t have my period. My boobs felt tender - but that can be a sign of PMT too. I took an early test in the end and couldn t believe it when it showed positive. Ayida, mum of one
Although a fertilised egg may have implanted in your womb just two weeks ago, if the first day of your last period was four weeks ago, you are officially four weeks pregnant! This may seem odd if you think you can definitely date the pregnancy more recently. What does my baby look like?
They may be miniscule but big things are happening: The fertilised egg has snuggled into the side of your womb. It divides into layers of cells that will eventually become different parts of your baby s body.
Your baby s nervous system and heart are developing. Amazingly your tiny dot already has some of its own blood vessels and blood is starting to circulate. A string of these blood vessels connects you to your baby. This will eventually become the umbilical cord.
Right now, your poppy seed is known as an embryo. They get their energy and nourishment from a yolk sac (until the placenta takes over in a few weeks). Your baby is surrounded by amniotic fluid within the amniotic sac, providing a comfy cushion for them throughout your pregnancy. Your symptoms - what to expect Noticed some light spotting?
You might notice some very light bleeding, or spotting , known as implantation bleeding. This can be caused by your little seed burrowing into the lining of your womb. It often happens around the time your period would have been due and is relatively common.
If you notice any bleeding at any stage of your pregnancy, though, it's important to get it checked out by your doctor or midwife. Sore boobs
This week, a surge in progesterone can start to make your boobs feel tender, heavy and sore - a bit like how they might feel before your period.
Remarkably, these are pregnancy hormones already preparing your body to produce milk. This tenderness usually eases off by the end of the first trimester. Actions to take Say bye bye booze
If you use street or recreational drugs, stop or ask your doctor for advice on stopping safely. STIs
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and genital herpes can affect your baby's health during pregnancy or birth.
If you think you or your partner might have an STI, go for a check-up as soon as you can. Your doctor or midwife can tell you where you can find your nearest sexual health clinic.
Don't worry, nobody will judge you and it's important to be checked as soon as possible. Start taking your supplements
There are two vitamins that are very important in pregnancy and that you can take as supplements: Folic acid and vitamin D.
Folic acid (folate) is naturally present in leafy vegetables, fruits and berries, beans and wholegrain products - but keep taking folic acid supplements too, until at least week 12.
Folic acid helps in the formation of your baby's nervous system and reduces the risk of spina bifida, which is where the baby's spine doesn't close up properly.
You should take: 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day throughout your pregnancy and if you breastfeed 400 micrograms of folic acid each day you should take this from before you are pregnant until you are 12 weeks pregnant
Find out more about vital supplements in pregnancy. Book a GP appointment to let them know your news
Once you know you re pregnant, make an appointment to see your doctor or a midwife to get any advice you need and to be booked in for your antenatal care appointments.
This is an important time to talk about any health issues you have to make sure your pregnancy goes well. Tell your doctor about any medication you may be on, especially long-term medicines for conditions related to diabetes, hormone therapy, heart problems and so on.
Find out more about your antenatal appointment schedule. If you have an existing mental health problem
If you have a pre-existing mental health condition and take medication, tell your doctor and the person who prescribed the medication that you re pregnant as soon as possible.
They will talk to you about whether your medication is safe in pregnancy or whether you should consider a different treatment. What are my chances of miscarrying?
It s a sad thing to think about, but up to one in five pregnancies will end in miscarriage in the first three months.
If you do experience light bleeding, spotting or stomach pains, this doesn't mean you are going to miscarry. However, you should always speak to your doctor or midwife and ask for advice. Read 5 weeks pregnant- what to expect First trimester worries Common worries in the first trimester of pregnancy First trimester trials Constant nausea, indescribable tiredness, aching boobs, awkward white lies...the first trimester is not always easy. In fact, it can be pretty horrendous. Here’s our survival guide to get you through the first 12 weeks. 6 weeks pregnant - what to expect By the end of this week your baby will have grown to the size of an orange pip. ▾ ▴ Sources
1. You and your baby at 0 8 weeks pregnant, NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-4-5-6-7-8.aspx#close [accessed 7 May 2015] (last reviewed: 9 February 2015; next review due: 9 February 2017)
2. You and your baby at 0 8 weeks pregnant, NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-4-5-6-7-8.aspx [accessed 28 February 2015] (last reviewed: 9 February 2015; next review due: 9 February 2017)
3. You and your baby at 0 8 weeks pregnant, NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-4-5-6-7-8.aspx [accessed 28 February 2015] (last reviewed: 9 February 2015; next review due: 9 February 2017)
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