Four weeks after conception, your baby is now really starting to grow at a rapid rate, with the umbilical cord starting to form. The neural tube along your baby’s back has closed over. In addition, there has been major growth in the brain as it grows in size to fill the new-formed, enlarging head. The eyes begin to develop this week on the side of the head as do the passageways that will comprise the inner ear. Buds that will later become arms and legs are starting to show.
However, this is all small change in comparison to your baby’s first heartbeat. That’s right, this week your baby’s hart should start to beat and blood will start to circulate, even though it can’t yet be heard. These developments are taking place on an extremely small scale, though-your baby only measures 0.08 to 0.16 inches (2 to 4 millimeters) from crown to rump!
Common pregnancy complaints may hit in full force this week. You may feel extreme fatigue, even before you know you’re pregnant, as your body adjusts to the demands of pregnancy. In addition, tender, aching breasts and nausea and vomiting, or morning sickness, may leave you feeling less than great. Having a miscarriage is a very real threat at this stage of your pregnancy, so be sure to not over exert yourself, keep caffeine intake to one cup a day and avoid any alcohol. Some of the signs of a miscarriage are:
- Passing of grayish or pinkish tissue
- If you are experiencing any of these signs, make an appointment to see your health care provider as soon as possible.
- How you are being affected
- Morning sickness will more than likely be in full swing during this week, so remember the tips on dealing with morning sickness and remember that it will all soon be over. Keep drinking fluids to keep hydrated and avoid dehydrating.
Quick Tip: Now would be a good time for you and your partner to decide when you are going to break the news of your pregnancy to everyone.
Revision date: June 11, 2011
Last revised: by Andrew G. Epstein, M.D.