The fourth month of pregnancy brings with it the first flutters of movement. Still a very exciting time and lots of things are happening to you and your baby. And with your ever expanding bump you will have to make sure you make the most of the sight of your toes!
Activities such as putting on your shoes could soon become a job for the man in your life, as your ability to bend in the middle gets hampered by Junior. You may be lucky enough to be on the receiving end of lots of lovely foot rubs from here on in too!
With this stage comes renewed energy as the fatigue from your first trimester subsides. That said, don’t be fooled into thinking you can dance the light fantastic – the tiredness monster will raise its head again with a vengeance in the last stage of your pregnancy. This middle trimester will simply give you relieve from the tired feelings for a little while.
Your uterus at 4 months pregnant has now expanded to just below your belly button and is now the size of a cabbage.
With renewed energy comes a renewed appetite and with the huge amount of growing that your little one will be doing it is wise to listen to your stomach whenever you are hungry – just remember which foods to avoid!
Expect to gain more weight now, between eleven to fifteen pounds is normal and a healthy amount to put on, try to eat lots of green vegetables and salad, fruit and plenty of proteins and carbohydrates. It’s important not to forget to carry on taking those prenatal vitamins, especially for those lacking appetite or a balanced diet.
It can be a good idea to eat a meal and then set your mobile phone alarm for 5 minutes afterwards as a reminder to take any vitamins or pregnancy tablets that you may be taking. This is particularly good for those supplements that are best taken on a full stomach.
If headaches are still the bane of your life then there are natural remedies you can try such as rubbing peppermint or lavender oil onto your temples or try running a hot bath with lavender in it to totally relax.
Make sure you drink plenty of water as this can help. You may find that your baby will have its own routine and will be more likely to give you a kick if you are relaxing, this can be particularly helpful at night when all you want is to sleep. For most though, this event is very comforting and lots of women fall asleep rubbing the little bump.
Other things to remember at this stage: try to keep meals small but regular to avoid heartburn and try to avoid spicy or fatty foods. Also if you have cats make sure someone else deals with their poop trays as pregnant women are susceptible to toxoplasmosis. If you have to change the litter wear rubber gloves and a mask to avoid contamination.
Your little one is now looking more like a human as their eyes now face forwards and the eyelids now allow them to blink.
The baby now weighs about 5 ounces and measures approx 5 inches from crown to rump at 4 months pregnant. As the baby makes practice breathing movements, it swallows small amounts of amniotic fluid which is eliminated naturally and passed out in the urine.
One of the amazing facts is that if your baby is a girl then she will already have all her eggs inside her ovaries. This is doubly fascinating as that means that the egg that led to you was actually inside your Grandmother! As the bones harden, the baby will be using its arms and legs a lot more which explains sports event that appears to be occurring inside your belly!
The immune system becomes susceptible during pregnancy. Some ladies become confused about what food to remove from the diet. Foods to continue to avoid are blue veined and soft cheeses – but we don’t mean Philadelphia types, by soft cheese we mean brie, camembert, feta, goats cheese etc.
Another ‘active’ food to be avoided includes pate and home-made ‘fresh’ mayonnaise – supermarket mayonnaise does not carry risk because they use pasteurised eggs, not raw eggs. Raw and shell fish should not be consumed and any other deli foods that use raw eggs include tiramisu, fresh ice-cream and always check the label if you are unsure.
One more thing – try to encourage the man in your life to go to a midwife appointment with you. Hearing the baby’s heartbeat can help him feel less left out of the pregnancy.