Help your growing baby develop in pregnancy week 4.

The foundation of your growing baby’s brain starts developing this week. Support your developing baby’s growth by eating DHA, folate, and protein-rich food.

What’s happening this week?

Your growing baby is a tiny ball of rapidly developing cells known as a blastocyst, around 0.36-1 mm in lengthi. It has comfortably settled inside your uterus, which has been preparing for this moment by developing a lining thick with nutrient-rich blood.ii

Amniotic fluid is collecting and a yolk sac is forming. Part of the blastocyst will grow into your growing baby; while another part of it turns into your placenta. Upon implantation into the rich lining of your uterus, the blastocyst becomes an embryo and so begins your life-long bond with your developing baby.iii

What can you expect? 

At the end of this week, you’ll probably be waiting on your period—will it come or not? If it doesn’t, then you might just be pregnant! To be sure, you can take a blood test even though you haven’t yet missed your period.

Your tiny growing baby’s neural tube has started to develop.iv It is this that turns into his or her brain, spinal cord, and nervous system.

The hormones flooding your body may result in headaches – one of the very first signs of pregnancy. Drink plenty of water and cut down on foods that may trigger headaches, like caffeine.

Remember, do seek medical help if the pain from the headaches becomes severe.

What can you do to support your pregnancy?

At this stage, you’re probably mostly preoccupied with having a safe and healthy pregnancy. You can do that by maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. Nourish your developing baby’s brain growth by consuming around 200mg of DHAv and 400mcg of folic acid dailyvi. By consuming adequate protein and other essential nutrients, you are, in effect, also nurturing your growing baby’s development, including the foundation of your developing baby’s brain.

Constipation is a common symptom of pregnancy, and one that you might experience soon. Be prepared for it with these tips:

  • Eat more fiber. Fiber helps to move your stools through your system more efficiently. Good fiber sources include fresh fruits and vegetables; and whole grains, such as breads and cereals.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated has plenty of health benefits, including the prevention of constipation.
  • Exercise. A daily walk not only helps you stay healthy, but also helps regularize your bowel movements.vii

You could also start researching obstetricians (asking your mum or your friends is a good place to start) so that you can make an appointment the moment your pregnancy is confirmed.

 


 

 

References:
i    Curtis, G. B., & Schuler, J. (2016). Your Pregnancy Week by Week  (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press.
ii   Fetal development: The 1st trimester. (n.d.). Retrieved March 21, 2017, from        
iii  Developmental Stages in Human Embryos. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2017, from      
iv  BBC - GCSE Bitesize Science - The menstrual cycle and fertilisation: Revision. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2017, from        
     revision/1/
v   Pansky, B. (n.d.). 19. Week 3 of Development: The Notochord, Neural Tube, and Allantois.      
     Retrieved April 05, 2017, from    
     -neural-tube-and-allantois
vi   Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,. Fats And Fatty Acids In Human Nutrition:      
      Report Of An Expert Consultation. Geneva: N.p., 2010. Web. 5 Apr. 2017. FAO Food And NutritionPaper.
vii  Pregnancy diet: Focus on these essential nutrients. (n.d.). Retrieved April 05, 2017, from      
viii  Murry, M. M. (2011, August 19). Pregnancy constipation: Seeking relief. Retrieved March 21, 2017, from