Developing is hard work! And your baby’s now settling in and getting ready for it. The egg cell has implanted in the uterus, plus the amniotic fluid (the liquid that will hold and protect your baby) and placenta are starting to form.
The organs and bloodstream also begin to take shape at around this time. By the end of the week, the fetal placental circulation – which is how your baby gets oxygen and nutrients – will be up and running.
Right now your baby is just a tiny decimal point floating in amniotic fluid, but amazingly, the weight of that precious dot has already multiplied by 10,000 since conception!
It’s been six weeks since your last period, and now you’re in your 4th week of pregnancy.
The tiny dot that is your baby has moved all the way from the fallopian tubes to find a comfy spot in your uterus to burrow in. This may cause implantation bleeding, which is very mild spotting that’s often mistaken for the start of one’s period, but is actually an early sign of pregnancy.
The moment your baby attaches to your uterine lining, a big wave of hormones is released. Essential for your baby’s healthy growth, these hormones help form the placenta that supplies your baby with oxygen, nutrients, and protection against germs and pollutants. It’s those very same hormones that prevent you from having a period again while you’re carrying a baby.
Eating healthy is important throughout all pregnancy stages, but that can sometimes seem like a tall and vague order. Always consult with your doctor and follow expert advice on what you can and cannot eat.
A good rule of thumb is to focus on quality, and to try to develop good eating habits early on in your pregnancy.
On top of what to eat, you also need to pay special attention to how you prepare it. Thoroughly cook your meats, clean your veggies, and wash your hands before and after prepping meals to avoid the risk of food poisoning, both for you and your baby. Avoid eating leftovers in which bacteria might have had a chance to grow. As much as possible, clean the fridge regularly using soapy water and bleach.
It may seem like a lot of work, but remember that a little caution can go a long way to keeping you and your baby in the pink of health.
“Is it a good idea to take a vitamin-mineral supplement while pregnant?”
It’s best to consult a doctor who can give you a recommendation more suited to your specific case.
Generally, the medical community tends to agree that vitamin and mineral needs are usually covered by a balanced diet. However, the reality is that many women today have an unbalanced diet. The requirements for iron, calcium, vitamin D, and folic acid are also higher for pregnant women.
But as with all medication, always consult with your doctor first before taking any dietary supplements for your pregnancy. Wrong doses of certain nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin D, selenium, and fluorine can be bad for your baby.
By the way, have you visited your gynecologist yet? Don’t forget to schedule a first consultation before the end of the third month. Your doctor will order a blood test for early pregnancy and schedule your first ultrasound, which will take place around the 12th week.
As for what happens on the 5th week, you’ll have to read this to find out.