Pregnancy Month Four
Her thyroid gland has matured and is now able to produce hormones. The digestive system is mature enough to produce and eliminate urine into the amniotic fluid. Not only does she drink the amniotic fluid, but practices breathing it too.
His eyes and ears are almost in position now. If he will have dark hair, hair follicles may begin to make the pigment. As his hair comes in, a scalp hair pattern is developing. His bones and muscles continue to mature, and he is developing new skills. By now he can make a fist.
Your baby is beginning to gain control of her muscle movements. She can even make facial expressions in response to changes in the uterine environment. An experienced mother may be able to begin recognizing the feelings of movement as she exercises her muscles. First time mothers may need to wait a few more weeks before they are certain they are feeling movement. Baby is now big enough that his heartbeat can be heard with a regular stethoscope.
The placenta will continue to grow throughout the pregnancy to meet your baby’s increasing demands for oxygen, nutrients and elimination of waste. At this point, the placenta is about 1 (25 mm) inch thick. To help your baby maintain proper body temperature, he is developing a special type of fat called brown fat. It will make up about 2.5% of his weight at birth, and will slowly go away after he is born.
Around this time you may notice some changes in your skin. Your nipples may darken, and the veins will be more prominent. You may also begin to see blotchy skin on your face. Some experts say this is normal, others say it may signal a deficiency in your diet.
Your uterus and skin need twice as much blood as usual, and your kidneys need 25% more blood than usual. This means your heart is working twice as hard just to meet your bodies regular demand. Your uterus has outgrown your pelvis and will be forced into the abdomen, which will decrease your lung capacity. If you engage in regular activity, you may find that you are breathless easier and fatigue easier than you did before you were pregnant. It is important that you begin using this as an indicator of when to slow down or end an activity.
Some mothers are able to recognize the baby's movements during the fourth month, although it is normal not to recognize it until the fifth month. It may feel like bubbles or butterflies fluttering in your belly.
The following symptoms are commonly experienced during this month. Please click on a symptom to learn why it happens and what you can do about it.