This week, your baby is as big as a poppy seed.
If menstruation has been late for a week, you can use a home pregnancy test or go to your OBGYN to have a blood test for hCG. If the result is positive, congratulations you are pregnant! You can call your Obstetrician to schedule your first prenatal visit. If the result is negative, it is recommended to test again in a weeks time if you still haven’t got your period.
Some pregnancies are not planned and women can choose to terminate it by having an abortion. This can be a difficult decision for some people so if you did not plan to having children, you may want to consult an obstetrician to discuss your options. Additionally, this can be a traumatic time for anybody, so it is important you get the psychological support that you need.
At 4 weeks of gestation, your baby has 3 embryonic germ layers from which various organs will develop. The placenta begins to form. It will eventually deliver nutrients to your baby.
Your baby is already growing at an incredible rate in your uterus, developing 3 different germ layers from which the various organs will develop. The baby is now about 0.1 cm long, similar to the size of a poppy seed.
The placenta carries the nutrients you eat to your baby and will continue to thicken until the fourth month of pregnancy. Although the placenta is formed from the tissues that both mother and child share, your blood and your baby's blood don't come into direct contact.
The baby is curved in a "C" shape.
The body will bend into a "C" shape. The cells in outer layer will form the spinal nerves, which will gradually develop into the brain, spine, spinal cord, and nerves; the remaining cells will develop into the intestinal organs.
The concentration of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the body will continue to rise in the early stages of pregnancy. This helps increase the production of progesterone and oestrogen and stimulates the formation of the placenta. For some women, hormonal changes in the early stages of pregnancy can lead to discomfort in the form of these early signs of pregnancy:
Although you can go earlier, many pregnant women attend their first check-up between weeks 6 and 10. Usually, obstetricians will conduct an ultrasound scan to:
You will also learn about the schedule and details of the upcoming prenatal check-ups, such as prenatal blood tests (blood type, haemoglobin, platelets, and infectious disease screening), NIPT test, preeclampsia screening, structural ultrasound scanning, gestational diabetes testing, and Group B streptococcus test, etc.
After confirming the fatal heartbeat, the chance of miscarriage is greatly reduced (from 15% to 3-5%), but pregnant women should still pay attention to prevent miscarriage.
It is suggested to take supplements like folic acid (up to 12 weeks) , multivitamins, calcium, vitamin D, and DHA. Pay attention to a healthy diet and avoid uncooked food, such as raw fish, oysters, raw/soft-boiled eggs, soft-boiled beef, etc.
Slight changes in the smell of your vaginal discharge may be noticed in early pregnancy due to heightened sense of smell during pregnancy. In case of brown discharge, strong stench, or yellow-green vaginal discharge, itching, and pain in the genitals, you should consult your obstetrician as soon as possible.