Your baby is no longer a zygote or a single cell. The cells have multiplied rapidly and now the embryo is taking shape. There is not yet a clear sac on ultrasound scan
Ultrasound image of thickened endeometium and possible tiny gestational sac at 4 weeks.
Week 4 of pregnancy is usually when the mother begins to notice symptoms. It is also the week in which most pregnancy tests take place as women wait for their period due date or realise they are slightly late. It’s an important week in your pregnancy, as it may be the one when you have your pregnancy confirmed by a doctor, making the expectant bundle of joy a reality.
Many people wait until the second trimester to tell friends and family as this is when the risks of miscarriage reduce. Of course, the decision is entirely up to you. Some women feel that even if the worst does happen, they’d be glad their family knew, as they’d be able to offer the support that’s obviously needed at such a trying time.
Your baby is no longer a zygote or a single cell. The cells have multiplied rapidly and now the embryo is taking shape. The baby is actually no bigger than a mustard seed but there is a lot going on in there, as the three layers of cells have important functions crucial to the baby’s body and brain development. Early facial features such as nostrils are developing and retinas are formed and in week 4 the first part of the eyes to develop.
Implantation is still taking place during this week, but the placenta and umbilical cord are forming and the placenta is attaching itself to the uterus lining.
Known as a blastocyst your mustard seen now has three cell layers. The top layer of cells forms the neural tube from which the brain, spinal cord and nervous system will be formed. The middle layer of cells holds the beginnings of the heart and circulatory system. The heart starts to beat during this week and the heart rate will quicken and become more regular over the next couple of weeks. The third layer of cells contains what will later become the lungs, intestines and urinary system.
By now you maybe noticing subtle changes as your body prepares for supporting another life. Your breasts may feel tender, as they store fat ready for breast feeding. You may also notice small lumps which are perfectly normal and known as Montgomery’s Tubercles. These secrete a fluid that prepares the nipples for breast feeding.
If you do feel uncomfortable invest in a good sports bra. Choose cotton to ensure you wear a breathable fabric. It may also be an idea to have your breasts measured again, you may need to do this at different stages throughout the pregnancy to ensure you wear the correct sized bra.
As the pregnancy hormone, HCG increases, you may also notice an increased urge to urinate. This is good, as it shows the pregnancy hormone is encouraging your kidneys to work at their maximum efficiency. It is important to stay hydrated and to not compensate for the extra bathroom trips by decreasing your water intake. The reduction of diuretics however, such as coffee and some herbal teas, may help with the frequency.
If you’ve confirmed your pregnancy with a home pregnancy test it is now time to schedule an appointment with the doctor. Although your GP has little to do at this stage in your pregnancy he/she will refer you to the relevant antenatal clinics to ensure you have access to the NHS services available.
If you are concerned about the health of your baby or have previously had a triploidy pregnancy you may be impatient for a blood test to rule out certain life restricting conditions such as Down’s syndrome. This test can now be performed much earlier than it was previously however, you must still be patient as it is not available until you reach week 9 of your pregnancy.
' Professional and reassuring 'Helen Campbell
The sonographer was ready as soon as I arrived, and she was extremely calming, personable and professional. The scan and blood test where efficient without feeling rushed and all very easy. These appointments can feel uneasy and make you feel anxious but I felt reassured and in professional hands the whole time
I saw Kate throughout my first pregnancy and am now doing so again with my second. She is absolutely amazing, she explains everything really clearly, and has answered all sorts of bizarre questions and worries I have had. On top of being clinically excellent she is also just the loveliest person and always a pleasure to see.Sarah Elliott
We had the harmony test with the Birth Company and had a reassurance scan with sonographer Kirsty McGarry who was absolutely lovely and really put our minds at rest. We had been scared by our NHS dating scan and left feeling like there was something wrong. We explained the situation and was treated very professionally and with good care. Also speedy appointments also as I had phone in the morning and got an appointment by afternoon. So thankful.Ashley and Tom
Really friendly, efficient service. Great experience overall. Had the Panorama. My appointment was with Kate who was absolutely fantastic. The results came really quickly. Have a comparison with private healthcare elsewhere and must say that The Birth Company was just how I would like to be treated when I pay for medical services - attentively, calmly, friendly, in a pleasant environment that doesn't look like hospital. Top marks!Anna
' Efficient, friendly and always on hand to provide last minute appointments 'Hannah Murphy
The Birth Company has been excellent, providing timely scans and blood tests during my IVF treatment abroad. Staff are always friendly and extremely efficient. I would highly recommend coming here.
' Professional and friendly 'Lyndsey Dilla
When I first contacted the Birth Company I spoke to Danielle. She was fantastic. She went above & beyond to put me at easy & make the journey from Kent as stress free as possible. Every staff member that myself and my husband have come into contact with have been approachable, professional and friendly. Kate scanned me the first time and put me completely at easy. Lisa on reception is professional and very approachable. Highly recommended
' Highly recommended 'Emelie
Donald was so lovely! I was so nervous as I have a bad history and he was super quick and confirmed my baby's heartbeat as quickly as he could. He spent time showing me the baby and the anatomy and it was the best money I have ever spent! The reception girls were lovely too - considering they deal with babies day in day out they were super excited for me! Thank you so much one and all! If only I lived in London and could have all my scans with you!
Great Portland Street