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Exciting Times! Find Out Why The 4th Month Is Called The 'Sweet Spot' Of Pregnancy
  • At 16 weeks, you've just started the fourth month of your pregnancy. Your first-trimester symptoms may ease up, and there are exciting firsts to look forward to. Pregnancy's fourth month, from 16 weeks to 19 weeks of the pregnancy, usually marks the sweet spot of your pregnancy. 

    You're going to be feeling more like yourself, but don't forget to take it easy because you're pregnant. You'll start showing but you'll look more busog, so you might want to wait a few more weeks before you buy body-hugging maternity clothes. 

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    Pregnancy symptoms and signs at four months

    The first trimester is riddled with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sleepiness. Four months into the pregnancy, these lifestyle-changing symptoms start to subside for many pregnant women. Many preggos go back to their pre-pregnant routine easily at four months. 

    Still, there are new symptoms you might encounter, which may be more easily managed. Here are some:

    Increased appetite and weight gain

    Since you're feeling better, you will see an increase in your appetite that may result in some weight gain. Make sure you eat healthily and not for two. You only need about 500 calories more, not twice your daily calorie intake. 

    Constipation, bloatedness, burping, and gas

    The rising levels of progesterone make your muscles relax, even your digestive muscles. Eat high-fiber food, so you don't want to have trouble passing bowel movement. Expect also to feel bloated, pass a lot of gas, and burp a lot.

    Heartburn and indigestion

    Your growing uterus is pressing on your stomach, causing the acids to go back up to your esophagus. To prevent heartburn and indigestion, eat small meals, don't lie down right away after eating, and avoid eating spicy, greasy, and fatty food.

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    Nasal congestion, nosebleeds

    These are due to the increased blood volume that your body produces to sustain your growing fetus. It's also the culprit behind the rise of other bodily fluids, which may cause stuffy or runny nose and nosebleeds. 

    Bleeding gums

    Your veins are carrying more blood when you're pregnant, so preggos are more prone to gingivitis or bleeding gums when brushing or flossing. It's also normal to have swollen gums or small bumps on your gums.

    Skin discoloration

    You may find discolorations on the face called the mask of pregnancy and a faint dark line on your lower abdomen called linea negra. Experts suspect the linea negra marks the part where your abdominal muscles separate. It will become more pronounced as your belly grows. 

    Stretch marks

    You're eating more, and your belly is starting to show, which also means your skin is beginning to stretch, which can be itchy.  Some moms say lathering moisturizers helps, but having stretch marks does not really depend on your genes.

    Baby's development at 4 months in the pregnancy

    At four months, your baby will start out four and a half inches long and weigh in between 3 to 4 ounces, and grow to about six inches long and weigh in at about eight and a half ounce. 

    Your little one's nervous system is also maturing rapidly. Your baby's brain nerve cells are now covered by a myelin substance, which helps make connections and send messages to each other more efficiently. By the end of the fourth month, your baby's senses will be in full blast.

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    Your baby can already hear your heartbeat very well, and eventually, your grumbling stomach and your voice, too. His sense of smell is developing, and your baby can now taste his food, feel the amniotic fluid around him, "see" light. Your baby is also starting to move around, though you may not feel it yet because there's still a lot of room in your womb.

    Your little one is now covered with vernix caseosa, a greasy, white, cheese-like coating that keeps him warm. His facial features become more defined, and he's practicing different facial expressions. He's also learning how to suck and swallow and may even start thumbsucking. 

    What to do in your pregnancy's fourth month

    Aside from managing your pregnancy symptoms, this is the time to 

    • Manage your weight gain.You need to be smart about your food choices to help you manage some pregnancy symptoms. Do low-impact exercises for about 20 to 30 minutes every other day.
    • Prioritize comfort. You may need new underwear, such as panties, maternity or nursing bras, and new clothes to accommodate your growing belly. You want to be as comfortable as you can. 
    • Schedule your congenital anomaly scan (CAS). This is typically scheduled between 18 to 22 weeks of the pregnancy to check your baby's overall development, rule out any abnormalities, and address any issues early.
    • Scout for birth classes, and start window shopping. You have five months to go, but it can go by fast. Start looking at birth and baby care classes, and make a shortlist of the baby essentials you will need.
    • Relax and enjoy. You're feeling more like yourself, so book a prenatal massage or go on a babymoon! Try not to stress about what lies ahead and concentrate on your baby or being healthy.

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