Pregnancy is a unique time of joy and change, with so much to be grateful for. This is your baby’s first few weeks on the planet, and the only body he or she will ever know. It’s a time for bonding and growing and exploring your first child, and it is precious. However, many women go through the physical experience of pregnancy without really getting to know their baby because they’ve been focused so intently on surviving their pregnancy.
If you’re pregnant, you probably want to know as much as you can about your baby. You want to know if your baby is growing as he or she should be, and you want to know what he or she’s up to during this time in your pregnancy. Here’s what you should know about your baby’s development in the first few weeks. To better know your little one, take time to read more about his or her growth and development and research what you can.
How big is your embryo at week 4?
Your embryo is very tiny when it is newly implanted. It can be up to one-third of a millimeter in size. We get to watch it as it grows. Once the embryo is ready to implant, it attaches itself to the lining of the uterus by forming a pocket.
From 0 to 4 weeks your body is totally different. You have a bump (a baby bump), swelling, you might have a bit of fat stuck around your bottom, or ‘poo poo’ or just feel a bit bloated.
How are you feeling?
It’s common to feel nauseous, and you may have some light cramping at first. As the pregnancy continues, you may feel less nauseous and cramping may become less painful.
How are your symptoms different from those you had in the first few weeks?
Many women experience morning sickness with this pregnancy. Morning sickness is the most common symptom women experience in the first few weeks of pregnancy.
Symptoms of early pregnancy
Some common pregnancy symptoms include:
- It’s totally normal to bleed a little bit, and some people may even have a little light spotting right after sex or any time in the first several weeks.
- Stiff joints, particularly after standing for a long time.
- Lower back pain or even hip pain.
- Food cravings
- Breast tenderness
- Extreme fatigue.
- Pain in the neck.
- Wool bags on the legs, usually due to swelling in the legs.
- Bad headaches, especially if headaches occur two or more times in a row.
- Painful cramps
- Some women even describe this as a bit painful.
4 weeks pregnant: What’s normal?
Early pregnancy symptoms can vary from person to person, but here’s the gist of what to expect:
- Your period may start, and ovulation might be delayed or missed (which can result in a missed ovulation).
- You might have tender breasts or sore breasts, and might not be able to sleep comfortably because your breasts feel full and heavy.
- You might experience increased body odor.
- You may experience nausea and vomiting.
- Your uterus could start to grow, which could cause a gassy belly and more frequent bathroom trips.
Changes in later pregnancy
From 4 weeks to 4 months your baby grows to a 5 cm or so size. You’re starting to feel different, I don’t know if you can feel it but you might find yourself holding your tummy if your baby moves too much! Your boobs are a bit bigger, your pelvis is a bit wider. Your fingers and toes are much closer to one another.
From 4 months to 9 months it all goes a bit crazy. You can’t believe how much baby has grown in a year or so. It’s like suddenly being a fat lad for the first time in your life and having to make do with some brothel sized hands and feet.
From 9 months to 12 months you’re feeling like you’ve been pregnant for ages. Although it may sound daft, you do start to lose track of how long you’ve been pregnant.
Risk factors in early pregnancy
During any time in pregnancy, it’s important to remember that pregnancy could be in jeopardy. For instance, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage (10% of them in the first trimester), according to the American Pregnancy Association. Miscarriage risk rises by the proportion of amniotic fluid lost. It is therefore difficult to predict the risk at the first stage of pregnancy. Risks increase depending on the stage of pregnancy.
For example, a woman who is over the age of 35 has an increased risk of miscarriage than a younger woman. A woman in her first trimester has the highest risk. A woman who has been pregnant before and has a history of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or stillbirth has an increased risk of early pregnancy loss.
Higher risk for preterm delivery
Most first-time pregnant women who have no known medical issues are at risk for preterm delivery. The type of pregnancy (gestational age) and health (being overweight, smoking, family history of complications) of the mom put her at a higher risk.
Risk factors in early pregnancy that may lead to pregnancy-induced hypertension include male sex, pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure, often accompanied by signs of damage to the kidneys), and pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure in the first month of pregnancy).
Women who are obese or have diabetes are also more likely to have high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Having multiple pregnancy complications increases a woman’s risk of developing pre-eclampsia.
Things to do during the early weeks of a healthy pregnancy
Let’s take a look at some things you can do to keep your baby safe during the early weeks of the pregnancy.
Take supplements for iron
Iron deficiency is the most common deficiency of women in pregnancy and leads to iron toxicity and a spike in glucose. Though this is not dangerous in the first trimester, it increases in severity after that. Therefore, supplementation is a must. You can take a multivitamin with iron or an iron supplement.
Pregnant women need to exercise because it helps lower your blood pressure, stress hormones, and weight gain.
Avoid tea and coffee
They have caffeine which is harmful to pregnant women.
Get vitamin D
A deficiency of vitamin D in pregnancy, if not treated, can cause the baby to be deprived of the fats and nutrients necessary to grow properly.
You should get your recommended amount of sleep each night.
Cut down on salt
Salt causes blood to clot and lowers platelet count in the blood.
Avoid foods high in MSG
Sticking to the Mediterranean diet will help you keep your baby healthy. This diet is low in sodium and high in olive oil, fruit, vegetables, and beans.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy harms the developing baby’s brain development and causes it to overheat.
Use sanitary pads
Look for sanitary pads that are a little larger than usual to avoid leaks.
Yoga During the Pregnancy
While pregnancy yoga is a great way to get into your flow and be strong, Take this as a guide, and always consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet or routine. These are just a few things to keep in mind when it comes to your nutrition during your pregnancy, and you need to do what’s best for your baby.
Pregnancy is an overwhelming experience of a woman in her lifetime. The growth of the embryo into a fetus and then into a full baby in a woman is a wonderful experience. Taking some measures to ensure safe pregnancy and following a healthy diet can help a woman to deliver the baby safely.