Week 4 to 6
Your baby is the size of a poppy seed at the beginning of week 4! Congratulations if you already know you’re pregnant because a lot of women do know they are pregnant at the stage especially since early pregnancy symptoms are not common at this stage.
It is totally fine if you know you’re pregnant at this stage (maybe because you took a pregnancy test) and not feeling any different. Your next call of action should be to schedule a doctor’s appointment where they will confirm your pregnancy with a urine or blood test.
Early pregnancy symptoms and changes common during week 4 to 6
Breast tenderness: This can be one of the earliest signs of pregnancy experienced by a lot of women. It resembles the tenderness of breasts experienced by some women during their menstrual period. It sometimes lasts all through the first trimester.
Fatigue: This also varies from woman to woman and occurs in varying degrees.. Some women find this is the first sign of pregnancy for them while others do not experience fatigue at this stage of their pregnancy until about week 6.
High basal temperature: If you’ve been charting your temperature, you’ll notice it’s been elevated for a while.
Cramping: Some women experience mild cramping at this stage.
Morning sickness: Which happens at any of the time usually starts at about 4 weeks in some women. For some its vomitting, for others discomfort. Expect it to run its course until the end of the first trimester.
Nausea isn’t the only thing that’ll send you running to the bathroom, hormonal changes and your kidneys working extra hard to dispose of waste will send you to the bathroom more often than not.
You’ll also be advised by your doctor to give up a number of foods as they are known to cause birth defects and miscarriages.
Some foods to avoid include: uncooked meat or fish, raw eggs or foods containing raw eggs, unpasteurized milk, juices, and apple cider, fish high in mercury, processed meats such as hot dogs (make sure they are well cooked if you have to eat them), unpasteurized cheeses such as fresh feta, goat cheese, blue cheese.
Keep away from cat litter boxes
Your baby at this stage
At 4 weeks your baby is about the size of a poppy seed. At this stage your baby-to-be is an embryo and is starting to develop organs and settling into your uterus. In these early weeks of pregnancy, the embryo is attached to a tiny yolk that provides it with nourishment at this stage. Your baby consumes whatever you consume, so, make sure it is healthy and safe.
At 5 weeks, your baby which has been a mass of cells begins to change. The outer cells reach out to form links with the mother’s blood supply which ensures the baby receives all the oxygen and nutrients it needs. The inner cells form into 2 and then later into 3 layers. Each of these 3 layers will grow to be different parts of the baby’s body.
The inner layer becomes the breathing and digestive systems, including the lungs, stomach, gut and bladder.
The middle layer becomes the heart, muscles, bones, and blood vessels.
The outer layer becomes the skin, nails, brain, nervous system, the eye lenses, and tooth enamel.
At 6 weeks, your baby’s heart will begin to beat and this might be able to be detected on ultrasound. Some small buds that will later grow into arms and legs will also appear this week. Full length of the baby is usually not possible at this point because of how curled up the baby usually is in the womb, so measurements are usually made from the crown of the head to the rump (buttocks). At this stage, your baby should measure between 0.08 to .02 inches.