4 Weeks Pregnant

Calculating Your Pregnancy

In case you are just joining with tracking your pregnancy, this is a reminder of how your pregnancy is calculated. Many people have a challenge trying to figure out when they conceived, how far along they are and when their baby is due. The first day of your last menstrual period is date used for estimating your date of conception, your due date and how far along you are.  Pregnancy is tracked from this day even though conception occurs approximately two weeks later.  Many people discover that they are pregnant at about the time they miss their period (approximately 4 weeks after the LMP) and get told that they are four weeks along when in your mind you know conception happened about two weeks ago.  That is because pregnancy is tracked from the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP).

4 Weeks Pregnant – My Growing Baby

My growing baby is somewhere around .014 to .04 of an inch long.*

4 Weeks Pregnant – Changes for my baby

There are three layers to your baby- the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. These three layers will form the baby’s organs and tissues. The ectoderm will become the nervous system (which includes the brain), skin, hair, nails, mammary glands, sweat glands, and enamel for the teeth. The mesoderm will become the heart, circulatory system, skeleton, connective tissues, blood system, urogenital system, and the muscles. The endoderm will house the lungs and develops into the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, the liver, pancreas, and thyroid.

Arm and leg buds begin developing, but are not clearly distinguishable. The placenta has also begun to form and is producing some important hormones including hCG. There is movement of rudimentary blood through the main vessels.*

4 Weeks Pregnant – Changes for me

Being 4 weeks pregnant, you may begin to exhibit some of the early pregnancy symptoms such as breast tenderness, headache, backache, or others. It is important to know that many of the early pregnancy symptoms are similar to those you may experience before your period. Other women may not have any symptoms of pregnancy except for a late or irregular period. If you have missed your period, then you could take a pregnancy test. This would be the earliest that a home pregnancy test can detect pregnancy.*

4 Weeks Pregnant – Planning this week

If your period is late or you have an irregular period, you would want to take a home pregnancy test. If the result is positive then you would want to schedule an appointment with a health care provider. Many health care providers wait to see you until you are 8 to 12 weeks pregnant.

If your test is negative and your period is late, then you should wait a week before testing again. Some women take 2 to 3 weeks after a missed period before producing a detectable level of the pregnancy hormone.

You also want to begin looking for a health care provider and decide where you will have your baby. Many doctors and midwives will allow you to arrange an appointment so that you can meet them and ask them questions before deciding if they will become your provider. For more information on choosing your health care provider, see our information on your birthing choices.

4 Weeks Pregnant – Health Tips

If you have not begun an exercise routine, since you are 4 weeks pregnant you will want to check with your healthcare provider to see what he/she recommends. Even if you already have a routine, you might want to read about exercise during pregnancy. Take a look at our information on exercise guidelines during pregnancy, effects of exercise during pregnancy, top recommended exercises, and exercise warning signs.

You also want to be careful about the different medications you take during pregnancy. You should check with your health care provider before taking any over-the-counter or prescription medications.

Your prenatal vitamin should contain at least .4 mg of folic acid. Prenatal vitamins normally contain .8 mg to 1 mg of folic acid and also have a high iron content. These are important for both you and your baby.

My Pregnancy – Tips for my partner

Continue being open with your partner about your fears and excitement about her being pregnant. Talk about when you want to share the news with family and friends. Some couples like to share the news right away, while others prefer to wait until they have had their first prenatal appointment. Discuss the pros and cons of sharing the news now versus waiting.

If your partner has decided to interview several health care providers, try to go with her to as many of these appointments as possible.

Last Updated: 10/2012

* All measurements are provided as a general guide for common pregnancy development which may vary depending on the nutrition, mother’s health or accurate dating of conception.  Every pregnancy is unique and may be experienced differently even for the same woman.  It is important to undertand that babies develop at a different rate even before they are born. The purpose of this developmental information is to give you a general idea of how your baby is growing, and you must remember that your baby’s growth may vary from that which is outlined.

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