Table of contents:
Week of gestation: 4 weeks
Equals to the month: end of 1st month
Equals to days: 22 to 28 days of gestation
The development of the baby at 4 weeks of gestation is marked by the formation of the neural tube, which will give rise to the baby's nervous system and brain, and other layers of cells responsible for the development of other organs. In addition, the embryo is fixed in the upper part of the uterus and surrounded by the gestational sac, which protects the baby from infections or trauma and is responsible for forming the placenta and amniotic sac, being present until approximately the 12th week of gestation.
At this stage of pregnancy, a woman may begin to feel the first signs of pregnancy such as tiredness, irritability or breast tenderness, which can be confused with PMS symptoms.However, some women do not have any symptoms and the sign that they are pregnant is the delay in menstruation, which can be confirmed by testing the HCG in the urine or blood, as this hormone is already elevated at this stage of pregnancy.
In the fourth week of pregnancy, three layers of cells have already formed that will start all the baby's organs and grow lengthwise, giving the embryo a more elongated shape. In addition, the umbilical cord begins to form and the transport of nutrients and oxygen to the embryo begins.
The outermost layer of cells, the ectoderm, forms the baby's neural tube, skin, hair, nails, and teeth, and the middle layer, known as the mesoderm, forms the heart, blood vessels, bones, muscles, and reproductive organs. The innermost layer of cells, the endoderm, will form the lungs, liver, bladder and digestive system.
The embryo's neural tube is responsible for the development of the entire nervous system and brain and, with approximately 27 days of gestation, which is equivalent to the penultimate day of the fourth week, the baby already has the vertebral column and spinal cord formed, from the cervical to the coccyx.
During this phase, the gestational sac can be visualized by transvaginal ultrasound, which is located in the central part of the uterus, measuring 2 to 3 millimeters in diameter, being a good parameter for confirmation of pregnancy, in addition to the HCG test. Learn more about the gestational sac.
The size of the embryo at 4 weeks gestation is less than 2 millimeters, equivalent to the size of a poppy seed.
Changes in a woman's body
In the fourth week of pregnancy, symptoms of tiredness, discouragement, sore breasts, irritability, desire to cry, cramps, headache, excessive sleep and the belly may become a little hardened may occur.
These symptoms occur due to hormonal changes in a woman's body and can often be confused with PMS. However, if symptoms are present and menstruation does not come, a pregnancy test should be taken. See the best tests to confirm pregnancy.
Care during the 4th week
The 4th week of pregnancy is a good time to start practicing physical activities, such as water aerobics or walking, as long as they are guided and released by the obstetrician, to improve muscle tone and strength, help the body to sustain belly and changes in the curvature of the spine, in addition to avoiding gaining too much weight during pregnancy.
The diet at this stage should be balanced and alcohol and cigarettes should be avoided, in order to reduce the risk of complications during pregnancy and to ensure the he althy growth of the baby. One should also avoid the use of drugs, except those prescribed by the doctor, such as folic acid supplementation, for example, which is an important vitamin for the formation of the neural tube, tissues, growth and development of cells in the embryo and the uterus. placenta.Check out more benefits of folic acid in pregnancy and how to take it.
As soon as the pregnancy is confirmed, an appointment should be made with the obstetrician to confirm the stage of pregnancy and clarify doubts such as the probable date of birth of the baby and care during pregnancy.
Prenatal care is carried out through tests that assess and monitor the baby's development and the woman's he alth, and the main tests requested by the obstetrician include:
- Blood type, Rh factor and indirect Coombs test, to identify the risk of blood incompatibility between mother and fetus;
- Complete blood count;
- Fasting blood glucose;
- Hepatitis B and C;
Another test that the doctor should request is an obstetric ultrasound to confirm the gestational age, how the embryo is developing and if it is in the correct place inside the uterus, in addition to confirming if the pregnancy is with one or more babies.