FOURTH WEEK OF PREGNANCY
When a woman notices her missed period and her pregnancy test is positive
In the fourth week of pregnancy the embryo is growing
Around fourth week of pregnancy, when a woman notices her missed period and her pregnancy test is positive, two to six weeks have usually passed since the first day of her previous period. Conception happens 14 days before the first day of the menstrual expected period, but most women are unaware of it having occurred. By the time a woman generally gets a positive pregnancy test result, the embryo already measures about 5 millimeters (0,19 inch). It seems minute but its spinal column is forming, its heart is organizing its first beats and the embryonic outlines of the various organs are there.
The mother to be
During fouth week of pregnancy, a woman may begin to feel the presence of pregnancy hormones in her body. While a missed period is usually the first symptom of pregnancy, breast changes begin shortly afterwards. Breasts start to swell and may even begin to feel sore because of stimulated by high concentrations of progesterone produced by the ovaries. Blood levels of the pregnancy hormone HCG, which doubles in concentration every 48 hours, may cause morning sickness and vomiting. Women may also notice increased fatigue, thirst, urination & fluid retention. The renal system, which regulates liquids, induces liquid retention increase blood volume by 50%. A pregnant woman’s heart and respiratory rates accelerate.
Important to know
It is important for the mother-to-be to call to schedule her first pre-natal visit with her obstetrician-gynecologist, midwife or nurse practitioner as soon as she knows she is pregnant. This first visit is where the mother will discuss all the information needed to get her pregnancy off to a healthy start. At this visit the healthcare provider will review the mother’s medical history and make recommendations about health behaviors that should be changed, such as stopping smoking or alcohol. She will probably recommend starting pre-natal vitamins, discuss whether any vaccines are recommended (eg. a flu shot), and provide diagnostic or therapeutic recommendations to make the pregnancy is as safe as possible for the woman and her growing fetus.
TIPS: Once your pregnancy test is positive, call your healthcare provider to make your first pre-natal visit. Depending on where you live, it may take a few weeks to get on their schedule!