Pregnancy at 4 Weeks
Your body is producing high levels of human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG), especially in the morning. This happens after successful conception, that is, once a fertilized egg is implanted in the lining of the uterus. High levels of HCG, which makes pregnancy tests read positive, are necessary to sustain pregnancy. A plug of mucus develops at the entrance of the uterus to protect the embryo from infection.
Development in 4th Week Pregnancy
At 4 weeks the cells are dividing and multiplying rapidly, and three layers of cells have now formed:
- The outer layer (the ectoderm) will develop into your baby's brain, nervous system, skin, hair, nails and teeth.
- The middle layer (the mesoderm) will become her heart and blood vessels, bones, muscles and reproductive organs.
- The inner layer (the endoderm) will develop into her lungs, liver, bladder and digestive system.
Appearance in 4th Week Pregnancy
The cells of the embryo grow lengthwise, so that the initially round cluster of cells assumes a leaner shape. The outer cells extend tiny finger-like projections (villi), which link up with your circulation.
Within each of the embryo's body cells are 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs with one of each pair inherited from each parent. As cell division takes places, so long as the chromosomes have been copied correctly, each new cell will have the same number of chromosomes and the same genetic information.
|I accidentally got pregnant while taking the pill. I stopped taking it as soon as I found out. Will this have harmed my baby?
It is very unlikely that this will have caused any damage at all to your developing baby because the amounts of hormones that are contained in the contraceptive pill are relatively small. The synthetic hormones from die pill will have cleared from your body by now and you will be making your own natural pregnancy hormones. If you are still worried, talk to your doctor or midwife, who can provide information to reassure you about this.
|Does it really matter what I eat and drink so early in pregnancy?
By 12 weeks of pregnancy die embryo will be almost fully developed, which means that the majority of development happens at die start of your pregnancy. Sometimes, things go wrong for no apparent reason, but you can take steps to improve die chances of a successful pregnancy. Avoiding certain foods and taking folic acid will give die tiny embryo extra protection.
You should also avoid drugs, smoking and alcohol, all of which can affect development. It is also best to avoid close contact with certain chemicals and and toxic substances around tiiis time. If you have a problem with dependency or addiction, confide in your midwife who can help to refer you for additional support.