The 4th Week of Pregnancy

How is the term countedFetal development at week 4
Feelings at week 4Toxicosis at 4 weeks
Visit to the doctor at week 4Recommendations to expectant mothers

How is the term counted?

Gestational age can be counted in different ways.

1. If the method of counting the duration of pregnancy is based on the health of the woman, it is called obstetric. In this case, the weeks of pregnancy are counted from the first day of the last menstruation. Thus, fertilization occurs in the second or third obstetric week of pregnancy.

2. If the method of counting the duration of pregnancy is based on the characteristics of the development of the fetus, it is called embryonic. Its start corresponds to conception, that is, the beginning of a new life within a woman.

In our pregnancy calendar on we use the obstetric counting method. This chapter is about the fourth obstetric week of pregnancy.

Therefore, the 4th week of gestation from conception (embryonic method of reference) IS NOT the 4th obstetric week of pregnancy at all! To get the embryonic period from the obstetric period, you need to subtract two weeks. That is, the 15th obstetric week of pregnancy equals to the 13th embryonic week. You should understand these peculiarities of the counting and remember this information.

Determining the exact date

Is it possible to determine the exact date in the first week of pregnancy? If this is the first obstetric week of pregnancy, then in fact the pregnancy has not yet occurred. There was still no ovulation, and, as a result, no point in sexual intercourse for conception. Therefore, trying to determine the exact date on the first obstetric week of pregnancy is impossible and meaningless, since the female body is only preparing for fertilization of the egg.

If this is an embryonic first week of pregnancy, then by the end of this week the test can display the fact of the birth of a new life under the heart of a pregnant woman, and she can determine the exact period by considering the days after sexual intercourse during which conception has taken place.

Fetal development in the 4th week of pregnancy

It has been 10-12 days since the sperm fertilized the egg.

Now your child is a flat disk consisting of three layers. These elements are the basis for the development of various tissues. The upper layer is responsible for the appearance of hair, nervous system, skin, lenses of the eyes, and the inner layer serves to form organs:

  • liver;
  • heart;
  • stomach, etc.

Bone and muscular systems as well as genitals are formed from the middle layer. In the ultrasound image you could see only a small spot, but it is at this moment the extra-embryonic organs are being developed. Also, the baby already has a head, but it is too small and you cannot see it on the ultrasound apparatus.

At the week 4 of pregnancy, the baby has amnion, chorion, and yolk sac.

At the last stage of transformation, the amnion will become the fetal bladder, and the chorion will become the placenta. Then the baby will be able to breathe and eat; it will be protected from the external environment. At this moment, its size is about 1 mm.

In the fourth week of pregnancy, the germ cells of your partner are most important in the formation of the embryo, since they are responsible for creating the most important organs of the child. A man is a supporter and protector not only in the family, but also in childbirth.

Feelings in the fourth week of pregnancy

The fourth week of pregnancy is only one tenth of the journey that you have traveled with your baby. Your condition is not yet noticeable to others, and you may not feel the restructuring of your body in a new way. If you do not see any signs, then the fact of pregnancy in the fourth week can be confirmed by a pregnancy test.

In addition to the standard test, you can understand that you are in a delicate condition because of the swelling chest that is painful to touch, and the nipples become aroused from the slightest touch. Nausea, drowsiness and weakness are the most pronounced symptoms of pregnancy at the 4th week.

But many women do not experience early toxicosis in the first trimester, so pay attention to other signs of pregnancy at week 4.

Secondary signs of pregnancy:

  • increased sensitivity to the environment;
  • mood swings;
  • drowsiness in the middle of the day;
  • acute reaction to odors;
  • drastic change of taste sensations;
  • sensitivity to weather changes.

Due to hormonal adjustment, there are frequent urges to urinate which is completely normal. For the same reason, acne may appear. In some cases, on the contrary, the skin becomes cleaner and even shines.

There can be no more signs of pregnancy. You don’t gain weight, your belly will not change in size for such a short period, but the above signals indicate your condition. Observant people will pay you more attention and be very careful. It is the right time to use your position.

Changes in the female body

It is too early to get registered and pass any tests.

You can contact your doctor if you want to confirm pregnancy. A routine examination and blood test for hCG are needed for this. You can also do an ultrasound. This survey does not make sense in the fourth week, if the process proceeds calmly.

Alarming signs:

  • bloody discharge;
  • lower abdominal pain;
  • severe toxicosis or any other warning signs.

Contact a doctor or call an ambulance immediately, because the timely treatment can help to avoid the worst consequences. Do not be afraid to disturb the doctors, because now you are in a special condition, therefore your health and peace of mind are very important for a successful pregnancy.

The mammary glands will increase throughout the pregnancy, the areolas will change color, veins may appear on the skin, the nipples will be hypersensitive to prepare the future mother for the upcoming lactation, that is, breastfeeding her baby. Now the blood flow in the mammary glands of a pregnant woman is increasing.


Of course, if a woman is pregnant, the next menstrual cycle will start only after delivery. In a normal and healthy pregnancy, vaginal discharge should be scarce, colorless, and without an unpleasant odor.

Implantation bleeding is non-abundant (1-2 smears) bloody discharge that indicates normal fixation (implantation) of the blastocyst in the uterus. It is normal.

Cottage cheese-like white discharge may indicate the development of thrush in the body of the expecting mother.

Pain and bleeding

At the very beginning of your happy journey to motherhood, at the fourth obstetric week of pregnancy, there may be drawing pain in the lower abdomen and bloody vaginal discharge.

Most likely, these signs are observed due to:

  • sexual intercourse;
  • examination by a gynecologist (very little discharge);
  • cervical erosion;
  • missed abortion (spotting);
  • ectopic pregnancy.

In the last three cases, the woman should immediately contact a medical institution for qualified assistance.

Missed abortion

Possible problems of the first weeks of pregnancy also include missed abortion. It can be provoked by:

  • hormonal disorders in a woman’s body after taking medications that are contraindicated during pregnancy;
  • genetic abnormalities in the embryo;
  • genital infections, viral infections, somatic or psychological strain of a woman;
  • conflict of the Rh factors of mother and baby;
  • history of repeated abortions.

There can be no specific symptoms of missed abortion during this period. It is almost impossible to diagnose it without specialists.


If the expecting mother follows all the recommendations of a gynecologist, leads a healthy lifestyle, and there is no genetic incompatibility between the embryo and the mother’s body, a miscarriage, that is, a spontaneous abortion, is extremely unlikely.

What signs can tell a pregnant woman about miscarriage in the fourth week? Acute and severe pain in the lower abdomen, extending to the lower back, bloody vaginal discharge of scarlet or red-brown color with chunks of tissue.

An increase in body temperature over 37.5 degrees Celsius is possible. With these symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor.

Toxicosis in the 4th week of pregnancy

In the fourth obstetric week of pregnancy, corresponding to the second embryonic week, the expectant mother is most likely to have early toxemia, which lasts the entire first trimester of pregnancy. It is manifested by nausea and vomiting, intolerance to certain foods, an acute reaction to odors. The probability of early toxicosis is higher if this is the first pregnancy.

Early toxemia in the first trimester of pregnancy is not a mandatory companion of the “delicate condition”. You may not have it.

What are the reasons why this phenomenon occurs in the female body?

1. Drastic changes of hormones in the body.

2. Untreated diseases of the digestive tract.

3. Intoxication as a result of the penetration by the waste products of the fetus into the blood of the pregnant woman

4. Genetic predisposition (if the early toxicosis was in the mother of a pregnant woman).

Nausea during early toxicosis is accompanied by high salivation, possibly vomiting. It is most often manifested in the morning, before breakfast.

The fractional nutrition has a positive effect – try eating 5-6 meals per day in small portions.

Visiting a doctor at the 4th week of pregnancy

There are several ways to confirm pregnancy. The first one is a test that shows two bars. The second way is to wait for the estimated date of the new menstruation and make sure there are no monthly periods, that is, a delay. The third way is to do an ultrasound at the end of the fourth obstetric week. The embryo (a small point) will be seen on the surface of the endometrium of the uterus. Pictures from the 4th week of pregnancy (at the end of the 4th week and the beginning of the 5th) will clearly indicate pregnancy. The fourth method is to pass a blood test for hCG.

It is worth visiting a doctor for a consultation only in the case of a “delicate condition” confirmed by one of the indicated methods.

On the fourth obstetric week, it is still early to register in the woman’s health clinic at the place of residence. This can be done before the twelfth week.

During the initial visit, the doctor will carry out an external examination, collect your data, recommend multivitamin complexes for pregnant women, give advice on lifestyle and refer to the tests and examinations necessary for the next visit.

Intimate life

Intimate life is not contraindicated in the first 4 weeks of pregnancy. The spouse should be extremely attentive and tolerant to the expectant mother. Now a pregnant woman can suffer from drastic mood swings – from fears and tears to euphoria and deep laughter. This is a consequence of the new hormones that prepare the woman for childbearing and motherhood. The partner must take into account all these circumstances.

Recommendations to expectant mothers

1. Remember that in the first twelve weeks the formation of the fetus occurs. During this period, it is especially important to monitor health, establish sleep schedule and start eating properly. Give up alcohol and smoking. At this stage, these bad habits can cause significant damage to the health of the baby.

2. Try to include foods that contain vitamins and minerals enhancing immunity in your diet. Don’t forget that poor nutrition, physical loads, and colds can lead to miscarriage at an early period, so you need to take care of yourself.

3. Your daily routine should include a twelve-hour night’s sleep. Try to relax more during the daytime in order to accumulate and save energy for such a difficult and important process as the development of the child.

4. If there are no contraindications and threatened miscarriage, then you can safely have sex with your partner. The hormone of happiness produced during the sexual intercourse will improve your emotional state.

By observing the recommendations and showing yourself a little more attention than before, you will create a comfortable environment for the development of your baby.

Diet for the expecting mother

The diet of a pregnant woman should contain products that have enough:

  • folic acid (Vitamin B9);
  • iron (to prevent anemia in a pregnant woman);
  • calcium (for the formation of the musculoskeletal system of the baby);
  • other vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

If you are not sure that you are able to consume all the recommended dosages of micronutrients with food, you can take vitamin complexes for pregnant women.

Opt out of the fried, fatty, spicy, smoked food. It is the best to get protein from steamed, stewed or boiled meat.

Depending on the season, eat more fruits, berries, nuts, herbs and vegetables. Cereals and various dairy products are a must in the menu of the expecting mother.

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