4 Weeks Pregnant
All About You
Are you? Are you not? Are you? Are you not? You can pull petals off a daisy if you like, but only a pregnancy test will give you a definitive answer. If you’re dying, you can take a home pregnancy test (or three or four) even before you’ve missed your period but don’t pay too much attention if it’s not positive. Your body needs to make enough pregnancy hormone (human chorionic gonadotrophin, or HcG) for that second pink line to appear. If the test is negative you may want to try again at the end of this week. One way or another, you’re probably feeling hormonal, obsessing about whether you’re pregnant, and surreptitiously squeezing your breasts like Charmin to see if they’re getting bigger. And distracted. It may be hard to think about anything else, especially if you’ve been trying to conceive for a while.
This Week: Here Comes Morning Sickness!
Remember that queasy feeling during that first rollercoaster ride when you were 10? Hang on. Nausea, inaccurately known as morning sickness (because you can get it morning, noon, or night) is one of the earliest–and most notorious–signs of pregnancy. If you throw up in your purse at the mall, remind yourself it will make a good story to tell your grandkids someday. That’s right—we said grandkids!
(Almost) Everyone Gets Morning Sickness
If you’re feeling queasy, you’re not alone. Up to 3.6 million women get morning sickness every year. “Fifty to 90 percent of women have some degree of [morning sickness],” explains expert Miriam A. Erick, author of Managing Morning Sickness: A Survival Guide for Pregnant Women. But if you’re not sick, don’t worry. Not feeling nauseous is usually not an indication that anything’s amiss.
Are We There Yet?
Usually morning sickness ends with the first trimester, but experts agree that nausea can linger into the second trimester (or even longer).
How Not to Hurl
- Avoid strong smells. The oh-so-odorous smell of onions, fried meats, and heavily seasoned foods may throw you into dry heaves. Even sweet smells like laundry soap and cologne can trigger nausea in pregnant women with sensitive sniffers.
- Eat little bits, often. Low blood sugar can exacerbate nausea. Even if you’re anything but in the mood for food, try nibbling on healthy snacks throughout the day. Whole grain crackers, pickles, or a protein boost like cheese or nuts often help battle the nausea.
- Taking it slow, sucking ginger candy, and trying acupuncture can also help.
When to Worry
If you’re vomiting around the clock, you may have hyperemesis gravidarum. Be sure to let your doctor know if your morning sickness is keeping you from eating or drinking or impeding your everyday life.
You may also already have sore breasts, a tender tummy, and some other aches and pains (bathroom break anyone?) as your body adjusts to the New You (plural). But there’s good news in all this suffering. If this is your first pregnancy, everyone in on the secret—especially your partner—is treating you kindly. Enjoy the attention. Let them feel sorry for you. When you get to Baby #2 you’ll suffer just as much, but without the sympathy.
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