0 to 4 weeks Into Your Pregnancy
So You've just found out that you are pregnant. This can be a wonderful thing, or it can be something that has caught you by surprise. Well, what now? Ah! Welcome to 9 whole months of waiting in anticipation!
Your baby is anywhere from a few days old to a few weeks old at this point. We can't tell for sure how old the baby is, but we can tell how far along you are. Count the weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period to see how many weeks along you are!
At this point, you probably aren't experiencing many symptoms of pregnancy - if any at all. Fear not... Morning sickness is just around the corner for 20% of you new preggos.
Your body is newly pregnant, so there aren't many changes happening aside from rising HCGH levels. HCGH is the hormone that is responsible for sustaining your pregnancy.
What You May Be Experiencing (At 4 Weeks)
- Sore or tender breasts
- A feeling of "fullness" in your breasts
- Sensitive nipples
- Mild cramping, much like your regular menstrual cramps... Yes, it's normal! Breathe!
- Slight light headedness or dizziness
- A change in appetite
- Frequent urination
- Feeling of fullness in general
- Light bleeding or spotting as your baby nuzzles itself into your uterine lining
- Nausea and/or vomitting
- Or no symptoms at all
- Constipation or even diarrhea
That all sounds lovely, doesn't it? Just you wait, first timers!
Your baby hasn't been conceived yet, but your body is amping up for its potential pregnancy.
The uterine lining sheds during the first week and slowly starts renewing itself in preperation for a fertilized egg.
Between the second and third week, half of your baby bursts out of the ovary in hopes of fertilization as it travels through your fallopian tube.
Your man's happy seed swims through all the twists and turns and makes its way towards the egg. Once it finds it, it fertilizes the egg, and the two seeds mingle together. Slowly, the egg divides eight times.
Once it's divided eight times, the egg; now a blastocyte, contains around 100 cells. Between the third and fourth week, this blastocyte (more generically called a zygote) will embed itself into the uterine lining.
Your body now starts to excrete HCGH (Human Chorionic Growth Hormone) to sustain the pregnancy. Other hormones are produced as well, but HCGH is the main one here - it's the lovely hormone that a home pregnancy test will look for!
At this point, your baby is getting its needs from its yolk sac, so you don't need to start wolfing down multiple more meals just yet. What you should be doing is taking Folic Acid daily if you haven't already started. The recommended amount is 0.4 milligrams.
Folic Acid is a water-soluble vitamin that has been proven to reduce neural tube defects in babies, such as spina bifida. Folic acid can be taken as a pill, or eaten naturally - fortified cereals, dried beans and peas, leafy vegies, fruit, yeast, and whole grain breads all contain folic acid.
If you haven't thought about prenatal vitamins just yet, try picking some up at your local grociery store. Make sure to take the vitamins with meals as your stomach may become weaker than usual and prenatal vitamins may make your stomach turn!
If you have already missed your period, you can take a home pregnancy test - they are pretty much the same urine tests that your doctor can give you. If it's negative, there is a chance that you tested too early. Wait a few days and test again... If you can hold off that long!