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Month -4

Four Months Pregnant: What to Expect

Month -4

WEEK THIRTEENWEEK FOURTEENWEEK FIFTEENWEEK SIXTEEN

WEEK THIRTEEN

Your baby is now the size of a peach.

While the face might look a little like an alien’s to you, your baby’s features are forming every passing day. The ears have moved up from the neck into the right place and the eyes have moved from the sides of the head to the front of the face. Up until now, the head has been outpacing the body, but now the body is growing faster. Tiny bones are beginning to form – legs and arms – and of course, your baby is able to stick its thumb in its mouth. Also by now, all of your baby’s essential organs and systems have formed.

Your baby’s intestines are also going through some changes. All this while they’ve been growing in a cavity inside the umbilical cord, but now they’re moving to your baby’s abdomen.

Did you just hear your baby say ‘ I love you mommy’ – well your baby’s vocal cords are also developing this week.

YOUR BODY

The good news is, you’re one week away from the easiest trimester, and should be feeling pretty good soon – no more early pregnancy symptoms!

From tripping to dropping dishes, you might be feeling clumsier these days. Relaxin, another hormone that messes with you during pregnancy, loosens up your ligaments and joints in preparation for birth. Even though you need the extra give only in your pelvis, the hormone works on your entire body, which means your hands and feet are affected, too.

TIPS & TO DOS

  • If you have a history of early labour or miscarriage you may need to abstain from sex
  • Try new exercises like swimming or yoga

COMMON SYMPTOMS

  • Less Fatigue & Nausea
  • Visible Veins
  • Maybe an increased sex drive
  • Breast Tenderness & Changes
  • Heartburn & Indigestion
  • Food Cravings & Aversions
  • Constipation
  • Faintness or Dizziness

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WEEK FOURTEEN

Your baby is the size of a lemon.

And is now constantly on the move – not the jerky twitches you felt earlier, but a more synchronized dance style – smooth and fluid. Also, you baby’s neck is getting longer, helping the baby stand more erect. This gives your fetus a more straightened-out appearance.

The roof of your baby’s tiny mouth is fully formed now, and the constant sucking reflexes are helping to create full, cherubic cheeks and maybe a dimple or two!

Your baby could also be dressing in a cool mink coat largely for their warmth – Lanugo, your baby’s first ultrafine, downy hair (though the final colour may not be determined until birth), now covers the back, shoulders, ears, and forehead. It helps the baby retain body heat, but once they gain enough fat to do the job, this hair will fall off — probably before birth.

YOUR BODY 

Welcome to the second trimester — this one promises to be much easier compared to your first trimester; you’re probably already feeling a bit peppier and are now more used to carrying your baby. No more tender breasts, lesser morning sickness and fewer pee trips, and your usual energy levels are back.

Your little mom-to-be belly is beginning to show because the uterus is finally moving from the pelvic region into your lower abdomen. You might even be able to feel the top of your uterus (the fundus) if you press down right above your pelvic bone in your lower abdomen. Doesn’t that feel great!

For some women, the uterine growth may cause round ligament pain – an achy or sharp pain on one or both sides of your abdomen.This is because your uterus supported by thick bands of ligaments that run from the groin up the side of the abdomen. As your uterus grows, the supporting ligaments stretch and thin out to accommodate the increasing weight. This weight pulls on the ligaments and causes a sharp pain or a dull ache in your lower abdomen. It’s often more noticeable when you change positions suddenly or get up from sitting or lying down, or when you cough. The best way to bring relief? Put your feet up and rest in a comfortable position — that should ease the strain and the pain.

TIPS & TO DO’S

It’s not unusual for moles to develop or change right about now, thanks to pregnancy hormones. Get them evaluated by your doctor.

Take advantage of all the extra energy you gain at the start of this trimester! Get your (light to moderate) exercise on to avoid the risk of gestational diabetes.

COMMON SYMPTOMS

  • Decreasing Need To Urinate Frequently
  • Decreasing Fatigue
  • Continued Breast Growth, Less Tenderness
  • An End To Nausea & Vomiting
  • Increased Appetite
  • Varicose Veins: These large, swollen blood vessels, which often show up on the legs, are caused by the extra blood volume you produce to nourish your baby-to-be. Though you may not be able to prevent varicose veins entirely (they’re hereditary), you can help minimize them by walking throughout the day to keep blood circulating.
  • Stuffy Nose

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WEEK FIFTEEN

Your baby now looks like a navel orange.

That’s how big your little one is. With each passing week, your fetus is also looking more and more like the baby you’re picturing in your dreams. By now, the ears are positioned properly on the sides of the head (they used to be in the neck) and the eyes are moving from the side of the head to the front of the face — where they’ll soon meet your loving gaze.

So what keeps your baby busy all day?  Your baby is busy practicing and getting ready for the big debut – breathing, swallowing and sucking. Your fetus is also holding daily aerobics classes — kicking, curling toes and moving those little arms and legs – but because he or she weighs so little (a bit over two ounces), you won’t feel the fetal movements going on inside your abdominal gym just yet.

YOUR BODY

By now most of your early pregnancy symptoms have disappeared. It’s a good time to focus on your mouth, which, believe it or not, is also going through a number of pregnancy-induced changes.

Some uneasiness this morning while brushing ? Well, you might notice you have red, swollen gums and they may even be sore, sensitive or prone to bleeding when you brush or floss. It’s your good friend progesterone and oestrogen at work again, this time triggering gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) by making your gums react differently to the bacteria in plaque (those hormones are also the cause of chronic stuffy nose or even nosebleeds). Open wider and look even more closely and you may notice a small bump on your gums, called a pregnancy tumour. Before you start worrying, keep in mind that these benign growths are scarily named but completely harmless and painless. If you do develop one, it’ll go away on its own after delivery.

What is a little scarier is what can happen if you don’t take care of your teeth while you’re expecting. Gingivitis can progress to an infection of the bones and tissues supporting your teeth called periodontitis — and research has shown a link between periodontitis, premature labour and preeclampsia. So prevention is key. Good oral hygiene – which includes regular, preventive dental care; brushing at least twice a day; and gentle flossing once a day – will greatly reduce gum swelling, bleeding and soreness.

TIPS AND TO DO’S

High risk of preeclampsia? Consult your doctor to check on what medication is right.

COMMON SYMPTOMS

  • Heartburn & Indigestion
  • Guard against gastrointestinal discomfort by eating several small meals throughout the day (rather than three large ones) so as not to overload your digestive system.
  • Bloating & Gas
  • Occasional Headaches
  • Faintness Or Dizziness : If you can’t find a place to lie down or sit when you feel light-headed, kneel and bend your head forward as though you were tying your shoe. This will help prevent you from fainting and taking a spill.
  • Varicose Veins: The good news about varicose veins? They’re unlikely to cause any harm. Plus, their presence is a good excuse to sit down and kick back with your feet up, since elevating your legs helps keep blood circulating and reduces pressure on the veins in your legs.
  • Round Ligament Pain: As the muscles and ligaments that support your growing uterus stretch, you might notice some pain on the lower sides of your belly (technically called round ligament pain). This is perfectly normal — but if the pain becomes severe, let your practitioner know.
  • Pregnancy Brain: Can’t seem to remember where you left your wallet or when your next doctor appointment’s scheduled? It’s a hallmark of pregnancy and it’s real — your brain-cell volume actually decreases during pregnancy. Try using your laptop, smartphone or tablet to help keep you organized and less forgetful.

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WEEK SIXTEEN

Your baby is the size of an avocado.

Also some great news is that your baby’s eyesight and eyelashes are developing rapidly!

Your baby weighs somewhere between three to five ounces, and is about four to five inches in length. The backbone and tiny muscles are gaining strength. And interestingly, your baby’s also been practicing some interesting facial expressions – with the eyes making small side-to-side movements, although the eyelids are still sealed!

Also this week, your baby’s ears are in place, making it likely that your baby can hear your voice when you’re speaking (or singing in the shower)! 

YOUR BODY

You’re now going to be feeling the weight gain. Reduce your junk intake and maximize nutrient-dense foods. Get your regular exercise schedule in place – you don’t want baby fat to stay with you months after your delivery.

Your uterus is not the only thing that’s starting to swell. The mucous membranes of your nose may be too, from all the pregnancy hormones circulating in your body, which are also increasing blood flow. The result? Your nose probably already knows: pregnancy congestion and possibly even nosebleeds. Unfortunately, the stuffiness may only get worse as your pregnancy progresses, but your doctor will probably not prescribe any medication or  nasal sprays to help clear things up (but do ask if he or she recommends something else instead). A humidifier in your room and a little petroleum jelly dabbed under your nose may also help overcome the dryness associated with any congestion.

TIPS AND TO DO’S
To avoid painful varicose veins – don’t stand in one position for too long. Walk around, stretch and elevate your feet when you sit.

COMMON SYMPTOMS

  • Continued Breast Growth
  • Constipation: Try increasing the amount of liquid you drink to keep everything moving along
  • Increased Vaginal Discharge: Though vaginal discharge is actually good (it protects the birth canal from infection), it may not feel comfortable.
  • Stuffy Nose
  • Backaches
  • Bleeding Gums: see the dentist at least once during pregnancy to avoid gum disease, which can cause pregnancy complications if untreated

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Information Credit: Whattoexpect.com




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