Congratulations!! You have successfully completed the first trimester of your pregnancy. The second trimester (for most of the expecting mothers)is regarded as the most comfortable among all the three trimesters. This is because all the early pregnancy symptoms like queasiness, aversion of food, dizziness,etc. start to fade or completely disappear during this month of gestation. All the annoyance due to increased size of pregnancy belly, sleeplessness, blotting and other symptoms of the third trimester have not yet arrived. Not many mood swings happen during this trimester as the first and last trimesters. Therefore, the second trimester is referred to as “pregnancy honeymoon period”.
- The Fourth Month Of Pregnancy
- Fourth Month Pregnancy Symptoms
- Development Of The Baby In The Fourth Month Of Pregnancy
- What Should Be Included In The Fourth-Month Pregnancy Diet?
The Fourth Month Of Pregnancy
The Fourth month of pregnancy marks the beginning of the second trimester. During this month, several significant changes will happen to the mother and child. The danger of miscarriage, furthermore, has now dropped, which lessen the anxiety of the mother to an extent. Among the three trimesters, the second trimester is considered as safest to travel. The gynecologist will recommend your first ultrasound scan and several tests during this month. If you have developed some dental issues during the last trimester, this is the best time to seek the treatment.
Fourth Month Pregnancy Symptoms
The mother’s body goes through several changes during this month.
- Most important physical change is that your pregnancy belly starts to show. If you are tall enough and wear loose clothes, your belly may go unnoticed this month too. Still, you can feel the pregnancy bump this month
- You may be able to feel the baby moving in your womb. If you are fatty, it is quite natural that you may not be able to experience the baby’s movement during this month
- Your frequency of urination decreases as the uterus moves up towards the abdomen, rather than pressing on the bladder
- A symptom that may disturb you during this month is – the vaginal discharge. Elevated estrogen levels and increased circulation in the pelvic region are behind the vaginal discharge
- Even if you have not experienced in your previous trimester, the chances of constipation increases during this month as the pregnancy hormones relaxes the bowel
- Heartburn may appear during this month of pregnancy
Development Of The Baby In The Fourth Month Of Pregnancy
It is during the second trimester the baby grows the most. By the end of the fourth month, the baby will be around 20 centimeters (8 inches) long.
- Baby’s head, which looked more than half of the fetal body during the last trimester, has now become more proportional with the body
- The neck gets longer and chin becomes more prominent
- Eyes, nostrils, and ears will come to its place
- Eyebrows and hair start to grow
- The baby’s full body will start to get covered by a thin layer of hair called lanugo
- The pancreas start to produce insulin in small quantities
- The spleen starts to produce more RBC
- Baby’s bones start to calcify more and become denser,and the limbs of the baby become stronger
- During this phase of gestation, the nervous system becomes more developed and starts to function (partially). The reflexes kick in, so that, the baby starts to stretch, yawn, and even suck its thumb
- Reproductive organ and genitals are fully developed. The doctor can identify your baby’s sex when performing an ultrasound during this month, if laws in your country allow so. In India, fetal sex determination is a punishable offence
What Should Be Included In The Fourth-Month Pregnancy Diet?
During the fourth month of pregnancy, it is important to include the following nutrients and food in the daily menu:
- Iron: As the blood volume increases significantly during this month, intake of iron-rich food is important to meet the greater level of iron requirement
- Vitamin C: Intake of Vitamin C is necessary, as it increases the absorption of iron by the body
- Fiber rich food: Including fiber rich food in the daily menu is advantageous as it cuts down the chances of constipation
- Essential fatty acids: Essential fatty acids are essential for the development and improvement of the child’s central nervous system. Make sure that your pregnancy menu provides adequate measures of Omega 3, 6, 9 fatty acids
- Calcium: As the calcification of the bones of the baby is progressing your body needs to increase the intake of the calcium to avoid the baby absorbing calcium from your calcium reservoirs and leaving you at the risk of osteoporosis in the future
- Protein: Amino acids are essential for the development of body cells. Amino acids are derived from protein, which is consumed by the mother. Hence, protein intake is important during the fourth month of pregnancy
Including the following food items in the daily menu will help you to ensure the healthy development of the baby. Using olive oil for dressing and cooking will help in meeting the requirement of essential fatty acids:
- Whole grain food items: Whole grain foods are food made from food grains that have the barn, endosperm, and the germ. Whole grain foods help to meet the increased requirement of energy. It is also a good source of fiber, iron, and vitamin B. Whole-wheat breakfast cereals, whole wheat bread, pasta, brown rice, bulgur, etc. and any product that marked ‘100% whole grain’ can be included. What you need to understand is that multi-grains are not whole grain
- Beans and lentils: The protein, iron, folate, and fiber content of beans and lentils are very high
- Dairy products:The calcium-rich dairy product should be an important part of the daily menu during the fourth month of pregnancy. Make sure you are having at least one liter of milk/milk products per day
- Fish: Fish is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, and vitamin D. It also provides DHA help with the brain development of the baby.Including properly cooked fishes that are low in mercury level are safe to consume during pregnancy
- Meats and chicken: Meat and chicken (well cooked) are rich in protein and iron
- Vegetables: Cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, leafy vegetables, turnips, etc., provide all the essential minerals and vitamins you needed during this month
- Fruits: Fresh fruits are an unquestionable requirement all through pregnancy as they have heaps of vitamins and minerals; besides, they are high in water and fiber content. The fourth month of pregnancy can set off acidity and heartburn. Thus, fruits ought to be a vital part of your fourth -month pregnancy menu.Apple, banana, orange, apricot, grapes are loaded with minerals and vitamins that are essential during this period of gestation
- Eggs: Eggs are rich in proteins as they contain all nine essential amino acid
- Nuts and dried fruits: Nuts like walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachio are a good source of essential fatty acid, dietary fiber, calcium, iron and a wide range of essential nutrients. Dried fruits like dried fig, dates, and raisins are abundant in iron, fiber, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals. Therefore, intake of a hand full of assorted nuts and dried fruits per day can do wonders during this time of gestation