by Patricia Hughes
Your baby continues to grow and develop in the fourth month. By the end of this month, he will weigh between three and six ounces. He will be about eight to ten inches long. Your baby is starting to look more like a real baby. The facial features and outer ears are developing. The head is about half the size of the body. Baby’s skin is pink and transparent.
The placenta is fully functioning this month. The baby is making insulin and urinating. The teeth are formed inside the baby’s gums. The fetus moves and kicks more this month. As he grows larger, you will begin to feel these movements. Your baby will have periods of sleep and more active periods when he is awake.
The fourth month is an exciting time for you. Around the end of this month, you may feel the quickening. This is the first fluttering movements of your baby. Women describe it like the sensation of fluttering butterflies or bubbles. At first, you may not be sure it is the baby. After you feel it a few times, you’ll recognize the feeling. If this is your second pregnancy, you may feel this earlier than with your first. Since you know what to expect, you may be aware of movements a bit sooner.
When you feel the baby move for the first time, note it on your calendar and in the baby book. Your doctor will want to know when you feel the baby move. Mention this at your next visit. Feeling the baby move is one way to confirm the due date you have been given.
At this visit, the doctor will check the baby’s heart rate and measure the fundal height. You will be weighed and a sample of urine will be tested for the presence of protein or sugar. The doctor will keep track of your weight gain, as sudden gains can be an indication of certain complications.
Many women report feeling very well during this stage of pregnancy. For most, the symptoms of morning sickness have subsided and you may have more energy. The discomforts of the first trimester are still a few months away. You will begin to feel pregnant during this month. Feeling the baby move this month makes it even more exciting.
You may have trouble with clothing this month. This time is a clothing limbo for pregnant women. Your regular wardrobe may not fit, but maternity clothes are still too big. Consider buying a few in between outfits in a larger size. Get comfortable outfits that you can wear during the post partum period, when your clothes still don’t fit. Soon you will fit into your maternity wardrobe.
Sign up for child birth classes this month. Don’t wait too long. Classes tend to fill up fast. Depending on the method you choose, there may be many sessions. Bradley classes last for twelve weeks. You want to register early to get the class you want.
Consider other classes that may be offered at your hospital or birth center. Some first time moms find the newborn care classes to be very useful. Other classes commonly offered include Infant First Aid/CPR and car seat safety classes. Take the new parent classes as a couple, if possible. This will help you and your partner feel connected and ready for the arrival of the new baby.
Don't forget to check out our next article: The 5th Month of Pregnancy
Patricia Hughes is a freelance writer and mother of four. Patricia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University. She has written extensively on pregnancy, childbirth, parenting and breastfeeding. In addition, she has written about home décor and travel.
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