4 Months Pregnant
It’s likely that many of those annoying first trimester side effects such as morning sickness and dizziness have subsided, and you may begin to feel more comfortable in your new body. You may begin experiencing some new side effects, however, such as constipation caused by hormonal changes. If so, this uncomfortable condition can be minimized by drinking lots of water, exercising moderately, and eating lots of fruits and vegetables—things you should be doing for your baby anyway! If you haven’t started showing before now, you likely will this month. As your belly grows, it may be more comfortable to sleep on your side than on your back, and this is the actually the best possible resting position because it increases circulation and blood flow to the baby.
During the fourth month, you will also be subjected to all sorts of tests and evaluations from your doctor, and you may begin to feel a little like a pin cushion. These tests, although they may be a tad uncomfortable, are necessary to monitor your baby’s development and identify any risks for birth defects. A glucose screening will also be administered this month to check for gestational diabetes. If this test comes back positive, you will need to monitor your nutritional intake carefully throughout the remainder of your pregnancy. Awaiting these results can be anxiety-provoking and even scary, but rest assured that the vast majority of test results come back perfectly normal.
At this point in the pregnancy, your baby has made great strides toward resembling and even acting like a real live baby—which of course, it is! Although the baby’s head is much bigger than the rest of its body, giving it a disproportioned look, the majority of its anatomical features including newly formed eyelids, brows, and lashes, are there already, and your baby may even begin sucking its thumb. In addition, the baby can now swallow, yawn, and make a variety of different facial expressions. Your baby’s heartbeat will also become strong enough to be detectable by a Doppler instrument that your doctor will use in the office during your normal check-up. At the end of the fourth month, your baby will be approximately half a foot in length and weigh around 4 ounces.
As you begin the second trimester, you may begin making preparations for baby such as buying clothes and furniture and preparing a nursery. These are necessary and healthy ways to prepare yourself and your home for your new arrival. Just be sure that you don’t overexert yourself. Take frequent breaks, and let someone else do any heavy-lifting that might be involved. As you take care of your own body and brace yourself emotionally for the exciting and momentous events to come, you will not only be helping yourself, you will be protecting your baby as well!
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