At 4 weeks, pregnant women are still going through a transitional process. A pregnancy test taken during these seven days will already be pretty reliable.
However, some ladies will have to wait for the next week, after when their period is normally due, to get good news. During week 4, pregnancy symptoms become more evident, and it is the ideal time for you to get your first contact with the midwife or the doctor. They'll provide you with a roadmap that will help you throughout the next exciting 9 months.
Getting advice from the doctor is vital, but extra information never hurts. If you are eager to know every single detail as a 4 weeks pregnant woman, pay full attention to the following clues.
4 weeks pregnant: Embryo, it's your turn!
Normally, the implantation of the conceptus, resulting from the union of the sperm and the egg, will recently have taken place in the uterine wall. In other words, the blastocyst has settled down and it is ready to be nourished from your oxygen and nutrient-rich blood, which will allow the primitive embryo to develop for the next six weeks.
At the same time, the placenta is starting to form into two different layers, building a connection to the lining of your uterus. This linking process will provide the necessary nutrients and oxygen to the growing embryo, which now is formed by the epiblast and the hypoblast; two layers of cells that will soon define the organs and the different parts of your future baby's body.
Along with the embryo's development, an initial membrane of amniotic sac is also getting ready inside your uterus, which by now is full of activity!
4 weeks pregnant: Figure it out
Do you feel well? When it comes to pregnancy, week 4 is usually a wake-up call. In a previous article for expecting mums who are 3 weeks pregnant, we listed and explained the most common pregnancy symptoms that you may experience at this early stage. If they haven't shown up in the past few weeks, they should by now. In general, you'll go through an over-sensitive version of your monthly PMS. Broadly, expect to feel:
- Swollen and sore breasts
- Morning sickness
- Heightened smell
- Spotting (not all women have it, but if you do, don't panic. If it persists over a few days, call the doctor).
4 weeks pregnant: Beat the odds
You are 4 weeks pregnant and, if you haven't tried it yet, you should now take a home pregnancy test. Statistically, women are more likely to get the positive result from 5 week on, when pregnancy hormone production is high enough to be detected in your urine. But you never know. Maybe you're body is getting it all sorted out and you receive an early answer! If not, don't get nervous. Experts claim that only a very small percentage of pregnancy tests are reliable as early as the day you miss your period (in theory, when they are meant to work).
Here are some tips to improve the chances of a good result when testing:
- Make sure the test isn't expired
- Humid and steamy environments, like the bathroom after a shower, can deteriorate the test if it gets even a little moist.
- Take the test in the morning, when your urine is denser and the levels of accuracy, higher.
- A negative result doesn't necessarily mean that you are not pregnant. Sometimes this early on, there can be false negatives because the hormone levels aren’t quite high enough. Give it a chance and keep trying over the next few days.
4 weeks pregnant: “Doctor, I'm expecting!”
If you 'hit the jackpot' and you are, indeed, expecting a baby, it is time for you to have a first meeting with a midwife or an obstetrician. They'll want to make sure that you and your future baby are alright, and will use this first appointment to give you basic information about pregnancy and what it means in your daily life; the changes you'll need to adopt (hopefully, by now you must have started giving up some bad habits like smoking or drinking alcohol) in order to keep yourself and the baby healthy.
In this first visit to the doctor, you will also get information about your future antenatal appointments, which are usually ten. For now, though, expect to:
- Have folic acid and vitamin D supplements prescribed
- Be asked about your medical history and habits (the more information you can provide them, the better).
- Have your blood pressure taken
- Have the doctor measure and weigh you
- Setting a date for a dating scan (which will reveal when you are due), a urine and blood test.
Take advantage of this first medical contact at 4 weeks. Pregnant women tend to have a lot of questions in the beginning, so being 4 weeks pregnant, it’s the best opportunity to get good answers. In the previous weeks, uncertainty ruled your feelings and expecting a baby was a desire, more than anything else. Now the feeling is turning into something real. A new reality can probably be confirmed at week 4: pregnancy!