4 Weeks Pregnant

Fetal development in week 4

By the end of this week the round and pointy ends of your pear-baby will become more defined leaving them looking something like a miniature manatee.

Despite your baby looking like a sea creature without any eyes, ears or mouth, the earliest forms of what will become the larynx, internal ear, and eye lens are already present, although you'd have to be a trained expert to recognize them for what they're going to be in the future.

At the same time, tiny bumps are forming on your little embryo which will eventually become arms, elbows, fingers, legs, knees and toes - in all their miniaturized perfection.

Lastly, your magical sea creature will be sprouting a tiny tail by the end of this week! Don't worry, it's just the end of their developing spinal cord that'll eventually recede into their lower back.

A microscopic photo would reveal what seems to be their vertebrae filling out the spine and tail. Although they aren't bones yet, but rather, the "bone seeds" that will give rise to your baby's vertebrae, ribs and sternum.

And how's mom doing?

Who's tired & cranky? Just look in the mirror! To be perfectly fair, most women are just beginning to cue into the fact that they're pregnant, but that's where you're heading if you're not there yet!some doctors theorize that this sensitivity is potentially the whole reason for morning sickness: to clear your system of any toxic food by-products which—although fine for your adult stomach, could cause considerable harm to your baby’s newly forming digestive tract

In fact, the earliest symptoms of morning sickness may set in for some women at this time. The not-so-lovely symptoms are nausea and vomiting. Although this typically occurs in the morning and resolves itself by midday, morning sickness can come at any time, day or night, so—for an unlucky minority, you’ll be visiting puke-town throughout the day.

In general, most pregnant women don’t experience morning sickness until their sixth week, but it never hurts to know what vomit-y fate may be awaiting you.

Morning sickness is due to several changes that are taking place in your body. First, you are now pumping out significantly larger amounts of estrogen and progesterone than you're used to, which slows digestion waaaaay down in order to maximize nutrient absorption into your blood stream. Based on what sort of food you're eating, this slowed digestion can result in vomit-inducing nausea.

Also, your stomach is much more sensitive and some doctors theorize that this sensitivity is potentially the whole reason for morning sickness: to clear your system of any toxic food by-products which—although fine for your adult stomach, could cause considerable harm to your baby’s newly forming digestive tract and other body systems . If it helps, you could always think of the morning sickness as a baby-facilitated body cleanse.

(For more on morning sickness symptoms, causes and tips for prevention, please see Week 6.)

Did You Know?

During pregnancy the pelvic floor has a tough job: it supports the bladder, uterus, and intestines. The added weight of the uterus can really stretch out the floor and lead to either the intestines or bladder dropping out. It is also one of the main reasons so many elderly women suffer from incontinence. How to prevent all this from happening to you? Do your Kegel exercises religiously several times a day!

Pregnancy Psycho-Meter

How are you feeling at 4 weeks pregnant?
  • Great: 6919 votes
  • Pretty Good: 4217 votes
  • Just Okay: 2124 votes
  • Not So Grand: 1659 votes
  • Ugh Bad: 1312 votes
Week 4 cartoon