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Week 4

Week 4

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By now, you probably know that you're pregnant. Most likely, you've taken a pregnancy test and maybe even confirmed your pregnancy with your doctor. The fourth week of pregnancy is also where you'll begin to experience pregnancy symptoms. Every woman experiences pregnancy differently, so you may not have each symptom or any at all!

Common pregnancy symptoms include morning sickness, dizziness, cramping, and tender breasts. Your stomach may feel bloated, and you may experience frequent urination. Soon after conception, you may experience implantation bleeding, which occurs when the blastocyst attaches itself to the endometrial surface.

It has taken the fertilized egg between seven and ten days to reach your uterus, where it has implanted and divided into two different parts. The first part becomes the placenta, which will nourish your baby during the nine months of pregnancy. Until the placenta is fully formed, the yolk sac already present will feed the baby. The second part of the egg forms the embryo. The stalk that will soon become the umbilical cord is formed, and so are the two layers that form the amniotic bag of water.

It's time to start eating for two but that doesn't mean free reign to eat high fat and sugary foods as often as you wish! Actually, you only need about 300 extra calories while you're pregnant, and they should come from fruits and vegetables, fortified cereals, lean meats and low fat dairy products.

Don't forget to keep taking your folic acid! Every woman of childbearing age should be taking a folic acid supplement, which reduces the risk of neural tube defects in your baby. These neural tube defects occur in the first weeks of pregnancy, so you need to ensure you're taking 400 micrograms each day. Your prenatal supplement will contain folic acid, as well as other nutrients your body needs such as iron and calcium.

You may have already seen your physician to confirm your pregnancy, and if you haven't, schedule an appointment right away. During your first appointment, your doctor will ask detailed questions about your medical history, as well as take a urinalysis to make sure you don't have a urinary tract infection, and a blood test to rule out potential health complications like anemia or HIV. You need to tell your doctor if you have had a sexually transmitted disease in the past, as these can be passed on from mother to baby during delivery.


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