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Pregnancy Calendar, Week 4

 
 
How big is your baby?
At this stage of your pregnancy your baby is already 2 weeks old and measuring about 0.04 inches or about 1mm in length.
 
 
Your baby's development
Although fetal development is still in the early stages there is still plenty of changes taking place.
 
By this stage of your pregnancy the blastocyst would have embedded itself into the wall of your uterus even deeper and the amniotic cavity, which will later be filled with amniotic fluid, will already have started to form.
 
The germ layers, which are different layers of cells, will have begun to form. These layers will later form specialized parts of your baby's body and various organs. There are three germ layers: the ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm.
 
The ectoderm will form the nervous system, the brain, skin and hair. The endoderm will form the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas and thyroid. Lastly, the mesoderm will become the skeleton, connective tissue, blood system, urogenital system and the muscles.
 
One of the key developments which may take place this week is the development of the 'primitive streak'. The primitive streak is the forerunner of the brain and spinal cord. This also now makes it possible to identify the head from the body.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Your development
At this stage of your pregnancy you would still be expecting your period to begin, or may even be a little late. You still won't be showing at all and it will be a long time before you do start to show.
 
 
Early pregnancy symptoms
  • Slightly enlarged and/or tender breasts
  • Weight gain or even loss of up to five pounds
  • Fullness or an aching sensation in the pelvic area
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Frequent urination, morning sickness, mood swings and possible fatigue
     
Your body
This week your baby continues to implant in your uterus, burying itself deep within the endometrium. Once implanted, your baby starts to produce a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which helps to maintain the lining of the uterus. It also sends a signal to the ovary to stop releasing an egg each month, which stops your monthly periods.
 
Some women experience slight cramping and spotting of blood during this week while implantation is taking place, and they may mistake this for a period, as it often occurs around the time their monthly period was due.
 
hCG is the hormone that is measured in pregnancy tests. This week a pregnancy test will probably be able to detect your pregnancy! hCG also causes the symptoms of pregnancy, which can appear this week.
 
Fatigue, tingling or aching breasts, or nausea might lead you to believe your period will be starting any day because the first pregnancy symptoms resemble premenstrual syndrome (PMS). But by the end of this week, your expected period will not take place. Your pregnancy is well on its way!
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 



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