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Journey of Pregnancy Week 4

4 Weeks Pregnant: Small, Like A Poppy Seed

You’re 4 weeks pregnant. Incredible! However, your baby now is practically still microscopic. Their size can be as big as the size of a poppy seed but no more. It’s called the blastocyst and currently, it has completed its long and arduous journey from the fallopian tube into the heart of your uterus. 

Occasionally, you would have slight bleeding (spotting) but that just means your baby is trying hard enough to get through you to live. He is a fighter. Better make a super strong connection now that would be at least unbreakable for the next 36 weeks or so.

Three layers of embryo, the tale of a 4 weeks pregnant

Instead of just being a clump of cells, when you are 4 weeks pregnant, your embryo already has three distinct layers. The outermost layer (ectoderm) would form the nervous system, outer layer of skin, hair and eyes. By this moment, your baby’s neural tube which is the building block for the formation of the brain, spine and backbone has already been formed. 

It seems healthy but  I hope you are still taking your folic acid frequently though. I mean, it's easy, right? Don’t chug the whole bottle though. The second layer or the middle is the mesoderm. Soon, this layer would develop into a variety of important organs that your baby can’t live without. 

Sex organs, bones, heart, muscles and kidneys; all of these came from the mesoderm of your embryo. Better hope it would develop properly then. How about the inner layer? It's called the endoderm. This particular layer would form your baby’s liver, digestive system and sure, the lungs. It's vital for them right after their birth. Yeah, not now. Soon.

40 weeks but you can expect 38 to be exact

There is a slightly confusing part when it comes to count your expected date of delivery (EDD). Practically, it can be calculated quite easily. Your EDD should be 40 weeks after your first day of your last period. However, what you should know is that figure is just an estimation.

The actual moment when your baby clocked in can be very difficult to be determined. That’s because their clock starts about two weeks before conception. We have been using the date of women’s last period to count when the development actually started about two weeks later from the date given.

It doesn’t matter which counting technique you use but it will be convenient to stick to the usual last menstrual period method. You are currently 4 weeks pregnant which means you would have another 36 weeks to reach full term. As this is an estimation, we can expect you to deliver in between 37 to 40 weeks. Some might stretch even further and deliver at the 41 or 42 weeks of pregnancy.

A tiny dot, that’s what you can get so far

If you are eager to do an ultrasound scan, just so you know, the thing that you can see on that machine up to this point (4 weeks pregnant), is just a tiny dot which we called the gestational sac. However, it's unlikely for you to have the first ultrasound scan as early as the first month. Usually, when you call your doctor to set up an appointment for prenatal screening, they would see you in a month's time. 

So the earliest scan you would have could be done as early as 6 to 8 weeks of gestation. There is no need to see a doctor early if you are healthy as a horse when you are 4 weeks pregnant. Just remember to eat well, avoid drinking alcohol and smoking, enjoy your bits of freedom and stay hydrated. It’s certainly a big day for you but you better get some rest. We will see you next week.

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