When you're 4 weeks pregnant, this is the week your period is due… or late!
You may begin to suspect you're pregnant and experience some symptoms of early pregnancy.
At 4 weeks pregnant, your egg is now well attached to the inside wall of your uterus and has become an embryo.
The placenta is still developing, but is sending out tiny little hair-like tendrils, which wrap around the abundant small blood vessels in the lining of your uterus.
Under normal circumstances, your blood and the blood of your baby do not mix. You both have a separate circulatory system.
Exchange of oxygen, nutrients and waste products are made possible due to the closeness of your blood vessels to the blood vessels of the placenta.
The next six weeks are a critical stage of development for your baby, as their organs begin to develop. Some organs will even begin to function!
While you may not be a smoker, it's important to keep in mind that exposure to cigarette smoke has been linked with increased risk of miscarriage.
If you own a cat and have a litter box in the house, it's best to avoid cleaning the litter box due to a parasite that can be found in some cats’ faeces. The parasite causes toxoplasmosis and can cause serious health problems for your baby. Rest assured, you don't need to get rid of your cat. However, your partner will need to be assigned to kitty litter duty.
4 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body
You may have heard that it's important to get enough folate during pregnancy.
Folate helps the neural tube (a structure that forms the brain and spinal cord) to develop properly. It also helps prevent a major birth defect, spina bifida, from occurring by up to 70%.
Dietary sources of folate include dark leafy greens, nuts, eggs, meat and chicken.
Here are 9 top foods which contain folate.
Most pregnancy supplements include the synthetic form of folate (folic acid).
It’s important to note that 1 in 4 people can have problems converting synthetic folate into a usable form. It's believed this is due to the MTHFR gene mutation, which can affect 1 in 4 people seriously, and 1 in 2 mildly. One form of the mutation results in a 40% to 60% decreased ability to produce the body’s most active form of folate.
The best supplement to take instead is folinic acid, especially if you’ve had problems with fertility, pregnancy complications or miscarriage. A simple test for MTHFR may give you some answers, so don’t hesitate to ask your doctor.
Read more about MTHFR.
4 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby
At 4 weeks pregnant, your baby is now classed as an embryo.
He or she has made the journey to your uterus, and has embedded in the rich lining of the uterine wall, dividing into two groups of cells.
One group of cells has become the embryo and the other has become the placenta. The placenta is truly an impressive support system for your baby. Read our article, 10 amazing placenta facts.
The heart and circulatory system rapidly form. The neural tube also forms in the first 4-6 weeks of pregnancy and will develop into the brain and spinal cord.
At 4 weeks pregnant your baby is 1mm long and about the size of a poppy seed.
Here are some articles that may be helpful if you’re 4 weeks pregnant: