4 Months Pregnancy: Symptoms, Belly, Baby’s Development, Diet & Care

4 months pregnant is kind of a big deal for pregnant women’s. Lots of exciting milestones occur during this period as you get closer and closer to the big arrival.


4 Months Pregnancy Symptoms

Around 4 months uterus is growing by the day and things are getting just the slightest bit cramped in your midsection.

  • heartburn and indigestion
  • backache
  • Stretch marks
  • spider or varicose veins
  • shortness of breath
  • nasal swelling and congestion
  • irritated or bleeding gums
  • constipation
  • round ligament pain
  • Increased energy
  • Changes in skin pigmentation


Symptoms, like vein changes and nasal congestion, are because you have so much extra blood pumping through your veins. Your body ramps up production around 4 months and continues at this pace for up to 35 weeks.

Week One Pregnancy Symptoms

Other symptoms — like heartburn, constipation, and shortness of breath — are because your growing uterus is shifting your other organs around.

Early Pregnancy Symptoms

What to Expect 4 Months Pregnantly

During this period emotional, physical, and psychological characteristics will change a lot once you finish your 3rd month. 4th-month-pregnancy care will vary greatly and will involve a lot more medical assessments as you go along. Here are some things you can expect in the 4th month of pregnancy are 

  • Usually, your doctor will suggest you ultrasound test to know the growth of the baby.
  • Some pregnant women can notice thin, reddish lines around the thighs, which are superficial varicose veins. After birth, these lines will fade and completely vanish.
  • At 4 months of pregnancy, the belly of a pregnant woman will be the size of a cantaloupe.
  • At the 4 months of pregnancy morning, sickness will disappear, but you may still feel tired and irritable.
  • Your appetite will change and it is important to take nutritious, delicious food for the development of your baby.

Changes in Your Body During 4 Months Pregnancy

During the 4-month pregnancy the biggest changes you may notice in your belly. But much more changes are happening inside your body as much as on the outside.

  • As your uterus starts growing by the day, you will feel pain in your back, thighs, abdomen, and groin area. This ache will continue for the next 5 months.
  • Due to hormonal changes your breasts size will increase.
  • Constipation occurs in some women due to higher levels of hormonal imbalance, which slows down digestion.
  • Higher urination frequency and leakage are also fairly common due to the pressure on the bladder and urethra as the baby grows.
  • Some women may see tingling hands or carpal tunnel syndrome, which is mainly due to swelling of tissues around the wrists. This usually disappears after delivery.
  • During pregnancy, increase in blood volume in the body, veins on the legs enlarge, causing varicose veins. This too will disappear after delivery.
  • Heartburn is another common change, as digestion slows down during pregnancy.
  • You may also notice an increase in vaginal discharge due to hormonal changes.

Common Concerns During the 4 Month of Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, you may have some worries and concerns that are bothering you and your partner.

Here are some common concerns:

  • An increase in appetite is very common, during the fourth month of pregnancy because you need to eat for two for the nourishment of the baby and yourself. At this time your pregnancy diet may also differ from your regular diet.
  • Heartburn and constipation are common during this time. If you need any medical advice about it, consult with your doctor.
  • This time your doctor will also recommend you to take a tetanus vaccination during pregnancy– the first within the first three months and the second a month before delivery.
  • It is safe to have sex during pregnancy, unless the doctor advises otherwise, in cases where there is a medical history of miscarriage or if it’s a high-risk pregnancy. Both you and your partner discuss this with their doctor before going ahead.

The Baby’s Development in the 4th Month of Pregnancy

While you experience many changes in your body, the foetus is also developing and changing.

The things that happen are:

  • The foetus starts developing facial features.
  • Eyelids, eyebrows and lashes also develop in the baby.
  • At about 17 weeks the baby is nearly 13.1 cm (5 inches) from crown to rump.
  • The baby also develops unique fingerprints.
  • The baby starts developing slight movement and will start kicking.
  • The baby’s skin is covered in fine hair called lanugo.
  • Ears are starting to develop, hence, the baby can now start hearing the sounds outside.
  • The tail has completely disappeared from the foetus at this stage.

4 Months Pregnant Baby Bump

Most pregnant women have started gaining some actual pregnancy weight at this moment. You may experience some intense food cravings, this is normal.

The amount of weight you’ll gain differs from individual to individual. If you have concerns about whether you’re gaining too much or too little, consult with your doctor — they know your medical history and your body size, so they should be able to give you a ballpark number for healthy weight gain in the second trimester of pregnancy.

Regardless of how much weight you have or haven’t gained, at this moment your baby belly is likely making an appearance. If this is your first pregnancy, it may still be super small or even non-existent that’s normal. But if this isn’t your first rodeo, you’re probably well-acquainted with your bump by now as it likely made an early showing.

4 Months Pregnant Belly Size

By the end of the fourth month of pregnancy, your uterus is about the size of a head of cabbage. The top of the uterus lies below the belly button.

Twins at 4 Months Pregnant

At 4 months pregnant with twins, you — and your babies — are actually very much aligned with a singleton pregnancy. Your twins are also avocado-sized, they’re developing along the same growth curve, and you may or may not be noticing your babies beginning to move around.

The only slight difference is that you may have gained more weight and your baby bump is probably pretty noticeable because there are two avocados in there, not one.

How to Take Care of Yourself in the 4th Month of Pregnancy

As you move into the second trimester in your pregnancy, 4-month- pregnancy care must be taken to see a happy and healthy baby by the end of the journey. Here are some do’s and don’ts.

Do’s

  • A growing baby needs a lot of nourishment, and so does the mother. So, it’s important to ensure that you are taking enough vitamins. If you aren’t getting enough, ask for supplements from your doctor.
  • Exercise regularly. It is important to continue your normal routine and go for yoga and walks when you are pregnant, as mobility helps during delivery.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Your body is working for two people and, hence, ample rest of 7-8 hours is a must.
  • Eat a lot of seafood. Fish is rich in Omega 3 and other minerals. Hence, a portion of cooked fish is a must. Make sure it is fresh and thoroughly cleaned. Avoid eating raw fish and fish with a high mercury content.
  • Do have sex. It is important to keep the intimacy between you and your partner alive, as your body prepares for the next adventure. However, consult your doctor first.
  • Make sure you get a flu shot so that you do not contract any diseases while you are pregnant.
  • Gaining weight is natural, but make sure you gain weight smartly by eating healthy.
  • Make sure you go to your dentist for a regular checkup to avoid bleeding gums or any other dental complications.

Don’ts

  • Do not have too much caffeine, as it can increase your baby’s heart rate.
  • If you have pets like cats, do not clean the cat litter, as you could contract a parasite from the litter.
  • Do not sit in a hot tub or a sauna, as the high heat environment can cause complications in pregnancy.
  • Avoid eating meat cooked outside, as you do not know if it is cleaned and cooked properly.
  • Don’t drink alcohol, as the foetus can develop fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).
  • Do not smoke, as expectant mothers who smoke can deliver babies with low birth weight and are at a greater risk of disabilities.

Diet

Iron, calcium and folic acid are extremely important for pregnant women. Since the mother is eating for two, she shouldn’t worry about weight gain, as long as the food is healthy and nutritious. It is also important to talk to your gynaecologist and take any supplements necessary, such as Vitamin D, to keep your vitals up. Food should typically be home-cooked to keep it hygienic and can include grains, fruits and vegetables. Food that is rich in protein, like fish and chicken, can also be consumed. Every meal should include all the three things mentioned above to ensure optimal foetal development.

Diet Tips For The 4th Month

  • Be careful of what you eat and how much you include. Include enough vitamins and supplements in your diet since the growing baby requires proper nourishment.
  • Include iron-rich foods such as fish, meat, liver, tofu, soybeans, nuts and seeds, brown rice, dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, and dried fruits. They help in meeting the increasing iron requirement.
  • Eat fiber-rich foods such as oatmeal, barley, flaxseeds, chia seeds, almonds, pistachios, pecans, broccoli, green peas, sweet corn, raspberries, strawberries, apples, bananas, figs, and pears.
  • Calcium foods, including milk, yogurt, cheese, kale, watercress, okra, broccoli, and almonds, are essential for fetal bone development.
  • Zinc-rich foods include lamb, beef, wheat germ, spinach, mushrooms, squash, and pumpkin seeds. They help in the development of a healthy immune and nervous system.
  • Vitamin C foods include bell peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, leafy greens, and cabbage. It is a key nutrient for iron absorption.
  • Have foods rich in omega fatty acids, including vegetable oils, soybeans, walnuts, almonds, sardines, chia, and flax seeds.
  • Have at least five portions of fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Include protein foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, meat, chicken, soybeans and quinoa, and carbohydrates, including rice, bread, pasta, and potatoes.
  • Avoid refined flour (Maida) as it can increase blood sugar levels.
  • Avoid ocean fish such as king mackerel, white tuna, and swordfish that contain mercury. Include freshwater fish (trout and salmon).
  • Avoid soft cheeses (Brie) and blue cheese (camembert) as they might cause food listeria poisoning. Include only hard cheeses such as cheddar and parmesan.
  • Do not include raw or undercooked eggs. Eat only properly cooked or pasteurized eggs.
  • Avoid having excess tea or coffee as overindulging in caffeine is harmful.
  • Drink enough water – pregnant women need to have at least two to three liters of water every day.
  • Avoid spicy foods, fried foods, and foods containing excessive salts and sugars

You will see your doctor more frequently from the fourth month onwards to ensure that you and your baby are healthy. The top tests and check-ups that are necessary are,

  • A Physical Check-Up– Your gynaecologist will physically check parts such as the vagina, breasts and abdomen.
  • 4th-Month Pregnancy Scan– An ultrasound will be conducted to see the changes to foetal development.
  • Fetal Heartbeat– Your doctor will check if the baby’s heartbeat is too slow or too fast using a Doppler Ultrasound.
  • Edema Test– Your doc will check for swelling in the legs, ankles and feet. Abnormal swelling may indicate preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or a blood clot

4 months pregnant checklist 

You still have plenty of time to prepare for your baby’s arrival (and decorate the nursery … and take a childbirth class … and reject all of your partner’s name suggestions), but here are some things you can do at 4 months:

  • Start building up your maternity wardrobe. The days of looping a hair elastic around the button on your pre-pregnancy jeans are numbered: You’ll have to give into the sweet, cozy embrace of a stretchy panel sooner or later, so you might as well look around for chic but comfortable pieces while you still have the energy.
  • Settle on a birthing location. If you don’t know yet where you’ll be giving birth, this is a good time to commit. You want to make sure your insurance covers the location, that you’re comfortable with the staff there, and that you have enough time to schedule a tour before delivery.
  • Enjoy healthy eats. Many women gain a lot of their pregnancy weight during the second trimester, because they don’t have morning sickness anymore but they’re not so cramped and swollen yet that they’ve lost their appetite. This is fine. You should eat about 300 extra calories per day during the second trimester! But there’s a healthy and a less-than-healthy way to gain pregnancy weight. Choose foods that are:
    • rich in fiber, whole grains, vitamins, iron, and antioxidants
    • full of healthy monounsaturated fats, like those found in nut butters and avocados (not the unhealthy kinds found in fast or fried foods)
    • high in protein and calcium, for extra bone- and muscle-building power
  • Stay hydrated. Your body’s working overtime and needs all the fluid it can get. It’s easy to become dehydrated during pregnancy, which can cause fatigue, headaches, and dizziness.

When to see a doctor 

Usually, you’re feeling pretty good during the 4th month of pregnancy but, if you experience any of these symptoms, you should give your OB a call ASAP:

  • any new spotting or a significant increase in spotting
  • bleeding that soaks through a pad
  • severe back or abdominal pain
  • fever of 102 or higher
  • pain with urination
  • blurred vision or extreme dizziness
  • watery vaginal discharge (as if your amniotic sac has broken)
  • severe or persistent headache
  • persistent vomiting or diarrhea

Having one of these symptoms may not be a sign that something is wrong with your pregnancy — you could have picked up a run of the mill virus, or simply be dehydrated. Still, your doctor will want to hear from you to rule out anything serious.

Ultrasound During The Fourth Month Pregnancy

The ultrasound scanning determines the fetal gender as external genitals would have developed by this stage. It can also show the facial features the baby had developed, including the forehead, eyes, and nose. It could, therefore, determine the major physical defects in the baby.

Tips For Dads-To-Be

The dad-to-be also has to do certain things. A few things he can do include:

  • Help with household chores, as it might get difficult for you to manage home and work.
  • Understand how the baby progresses by the and talk to your doctor for any suggestions.
  • Communicate with your partner to ensure you are both on the same page about the pregnancy.
  • Also, discuss with other dads or dads-to-be about his fears and feelings and get some helpful tips.

Read Also:


Sources:

  • https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/4-months-pregnant
  • https://www.momjunction.com/articles/4th-month-pregnancy-care-expect-dos-donts_0077368/
  • https://www.webmd.com/baby/4to6-months
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