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The Fourth Month of Pregnancy

The Fourth Month of Pregnancy

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Your fetus is definitely looking more and more like a human being in the fourth month. While the ears are still tiny buds on the side of the head, this month they start developing into ears, and eyelashes and eyebrows grow on the face. The neck has grown longer, and the baby can lift the head, as well as kicking and swallowing. He or she sleeps and wakes, although not the same as a newborn would.

While these movements are still too tiny to detect, you may start to notice what's called quickening. Quickening is a fluttering sensation in your uterus, which occurs when the baby moves around. The fetus now weighs over five ounces, and will reach six ounces before the month is over. Your baby is now up to 10 inches long.

You'll see your caregiver once in the fourth month, unless you have a high risk pregnancy or health complications, in which case you'll be visiting your doctor or midwife more frequently. In the fourth month, the physician will be able to detect the fetal heartbeat, and will also check the size of your uterus and your weight.

A lot of couples tell their family and friends about their pregnancy around the third or fourth month. Up until the end of the third month, your risk of miscarriage is much higher, so many people wait until this point to reveal their pregnancy.

If you didn't experience any pregnancy symptoms before, you may start to now. You'll likely feel fatigued, as baby continues to take what he or she needs to grow and develop. Indigestion and heartburn often begin around this time, and besides feeling bloated you may also have gas and be constipated.

Every pregnancy is different, and some women don't experience any symptoms at all. However, many women notice other symptoms like swelling in the ankles and hands, varicose veins, and bleeding gums. The moodiness and irritability that happens in your first month or two can also return. Talk to your health care provider about these symptoms if you're concerned.

This is a good time to start planning for your pregnancy and birth. If you work, talk to your workplace about their parental leave policy, and find out how much of the delivery your health insurance will cover. Remember to share your feelings with your partner, and also discuss the division of labor and child care after the baby is born.


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