At 4 months pregnant, you are beginning your second trimester. It’s an exciting time with lots of noticeable changes happening with mom and baby. One of the most noticeable milestones at 4 months pregnant is that this is the point when most pregnant women’s bellies begin to show visible signs of being pregnant. Read on to learn more about what to expect at 4 months pregnant.
How will my body change at 4 months pregnant? What symptoms may I experience?
One thing to look forward to at 4 months pregnant is a reduction in or disappearance of annoying first trimester side effects of pregnancy, such as morning sickness, nausea and dizziness. You are likely to feel more comfortable than you did during the first 3 months of pregnancy, but new symptoms will also appear. Some side effects of being 4 months pregnant may include:
Constipation: Most women experience difficult or delayed bowel movements and constipation during pregnancy. To help relieve this uncomfortable side effect, try drinking more water and other fluids to keep your system moving. Additionally, a high fiber diet full of fresh vegetables and fruit can help alleviate constipation and help your digestive system function better.
Frequent urination: As your uterus expands it puts more and more pressure on your bladder. At 4 months pregnant the need for frequent trips to the bathroom becomes more noticeable and will increase as the pregnancy proceeds.
Heartburn: Your growing baby also puts pressure on your digestive system, which can lead to heartburn at 4 months pregnant that is likely to last until 9 months. One way to comfort heartburn is to make diet changes that reduce the stress on your digestive system.
Shortness of breath: Your growing uterus also puts pressure on the nearby lungs, leaving less room for expansion. Because of this, shortness of breath is common beginning in month 4 of pregnancy.
Edema: Edema describes the common pregnancy symptom of swelled feet, ankles and face. It often begins in the fourth month of pregnancy and will likely last until your due date. Alleviate the swelling by avoiding standing or sitting for long periods by taking frequent breaks to move around.
Skin changes: Hormone levels cause pregnant women’s skin to change, usually beginning around 4 months. Skin care products like cleanser, toner and moisturizer can help keep skin in healthy condition.
Changing breasts: At 4 months pregnant the areola and nipples may begin to darken. The veins in your breast will also become darker and more visible around this time.
Nosebleeds: Pregnancy causes an increase in the amount of blood found in a woman’s body, making her more susceptible to nosebleeds from the third month of pregnancy on as the increased blood volume makes the smack blood vessels in your nose easier to break.
Bleeding gums: Pregnancy hormones can increase the softness and sensitivity of gums causing them to bleed or bruise with normal brushing. This is normal and does not call for a change in dental hygiene habits.
Nausea and vomiting: Though most common only during the first trimester, some women experience nausea and vomiting, often referred to as morning sickness, into the later months of pregnancy.
How is my baby developing at 4 months pregnant?
- Size: By the fourth month of pregnancy your baby weighs about 6 ounces and measures about 5.5 inches long.
- Face: At 4 months pregnant your baby’s facial features become more pronounced. Ear bones start to harden, but the fetus will not begin to clearly hear until around 7 months pregnant.
- Skin: At this stage, your baby’s skin is quite transparent and veins are easily visible. Fat cells begin to form below the baby’s skin and will continue to do so until birth. These fat deposits under the skin help keep baby warm once he or she is born.
- Organs: The baby’s lungs are developing at 4 months, but do not begin functioning as a respiratory organ until he or she is born with the lungs staying collapsed until the first breath.
- Bones and muscles: Each subsequent month of pregnancy leads to strong bones and more muscle development as your due date approaches.
- Hair: At 4 months pregnant, eyelashes start to develop. A type of fluff called lanugo covers all of the baby’s body and disappears after he or she is born. The lanugo offers protection for the baby’s soft skin while it lives in the amniotic fluid.
What health steps should be taken at 4 months pregnant
At the beginning of the second trimester your doctor will likely call for a panel of tests to be performed. These blood and urine tests will measure things such as levels of protein, sugar and antibodies in your system. You will also likely take a glucose test to check for gestational diabetes, which is manageable under a doctor’s care.
Regular, low impact workouts such as walking, swimming and other aerobic activities as well as the continuation of a healthy diet are recommended during this time.