Month four of your pregnancy is when a lot of mums-to-be get new batteries (hurrah!) but also complain of a sore bottom! At four months pregnant, you're 13 - 16 weeks pregnant and your nausea and digestive problems should begin to calm down and your little foetus will grow up to 12cm.
The four-month stage is usually when your little bump begins to pop and you will really start to look pregnant! As your belly begins to grow, new symptoms will start to appear as your early pregnancy symptoms (finally) disappear.
What is happening in your belly at 4 months pregnant?
Your little foetus can now move their facial muscles. Here are the typical side effects and symptoms of being four months pregnant...
1) They can hear you
By the fourth month, your little one will be able to hear muted sounds, your heartbeat (cute) and the sound of your voice.
2) Sensitive to light
Babies reaching the four-month mark will also become sensitive to light at this point.
3) Moving eyes
Although their eyelids are still shut, at this point, they can now move.
4) Finger prints
Your baby now has their very own fingerprints, and, if you looked at your baby's skin at four months it would look wrinkled.
5) They're on the move
Your little one will still be doing plenty of moving around inside of you and will continue to twist and turn until they get too big to move. Once they get this big they will get in position ready for birth but until then your very active baby will be in all sorts of positions.
Your body and symptoms at four months pregnant
Here are common symptoms you may be experiencing at this milestone:
Boost in energy
"Tiredness, what tiredness?” will be your cry as you rush around manically whipping your knicker drawer into shape and making plans for every night of the week. That’s right, you may be able to stay up past 8 pm with your newly-found energy. You’re back, baby and you’re going to make the most of it! As you edge towards the middle of the second trimester hopefully, you will have a period of feeling on top of the world.
A sore bottom
Anyway, whether you’re bouncing around or staying firmly seated, watch out for your bum, won’t you? You might find it’s a little bit sore. Well, go on and take a peek because there’s a chance (and we’re just going to say it) you’ve got piles. Or haemorrhoids if we want to get serious about it. Haemorrhoids are an unfortunate side effect of your body doing something super cool - keep telling yourself that while you wriggle on the sofa.
Make sure you're eating enough fibre like wholemeal bread, fruit and vegetables to ease any constipation. If you're struggling you should ask your midwife or doctor to recommend a cream to you to ease the pain. Don't use a cream before consulting your doctor or midwife first.
Your sex drive might have climbed to 5th gear by now so all that energy is being put to good use. Your partner can’t believe his luck as you snuggle up to him night after night for more than just a goodnight kiss. Good old hormones! And no, you won’t hurt the baby, and he or she has no idea what you guys are up to.
Mothering instinct kicks in
It makes sense that your femininity comes to the fore around now. You are a goddess, right? So when you’ve finished being amazing in the bedroom, you might find that your mothering instinct kicks in at some time from this point, plus that overwhelming feeling to make sure everything is just right for your precious cargo’s arrival (whether or not you actually get around to doing it all is quite another thing but you definitely like the idea of being perfectly organised).
Belly and bump
At this stage of your pregnancy, it's normal not to see much of a bump yet. If you have been blessed with twins however, you might find that your two babies are showing a little earlier that you'd expect with just the one. Expectant mum of twins, Sian, 24, has shared her bump journey at the four-month mark here.
Midwife Marley's top tips for when you're 4 months pregnant
Start thinking about antenatal classes. It’s good to be informed about what to expect and to help prepare for a positive birth experience. Most couples will book onto these in their last trimester but it’s good to start looking around now as some do get booked quick!
If you are working and have told your employer you are pregnant, ensure they carry out a risk assessment on you as soon as possible. This will ensure any adaptions or changes you may need at work can be made. Your employer may ask you for a MATB1 maternity certificate but your doctor or midwife can’t sign it until you are at least 20 weeks pregnant so let your employer know that.
You should have an appointment with your midwife at around 16 weeks. This is usually just to check on how you are and to go over your blood results. Write down any questions you want to ask as you probably won’t see her for a while. If you are a first-time mother, your next appointment won't be until 25 weeks and 28 weeks if you have had a baby before!
You may find that you become more thirsty as your pregnancy progresses and your baby grows. It’s recommended by the WHO to drink around 3 litres of water per day when you are pregnant. That’s 6 x 500 ml bottles in a 24 hour period
Try and set aside some ‘me’ time each day if you can. Time to read a book, have a bubble bath or even go for a short walk are all good ways that help your body to relax and release ‘feel good’ hormones that will have a positive effect on you and your baby.
Surely one of the best things about bringing a little person into the world is that you get to give it a totally awesome baby name - or a tidy, traditional one, whichever you prefer. But who knew it was so complicated?
You think of a name and then remember that person at school who was called the same and it’s a goner, another one is struck off because your third cousin removed called her baby that, the next suggestion meets with a grimace from your mother so that one’s gone, nobody can pronounce the next one on the list and let’s face it, your partner’s never going to go for that Disney Princess name you’ve been dreaming of calling your daughter for years….this could take some time.
Where should I give birth?
There are plenty of options to decide from when considering where to give birth these days so it's a good idea to have a look into what could work for you. Whether you fancy a home birth or you're not sure which hospital to go for, have a chat with your doctor or midwife to get their expert opinions.
With your new boost of energy, now is a great time to have your babymoon as you're still safe to fly. There are so many places you could spend your final getaway as a two with your partner - here are some relaxing ideas.
Maternity exemption certificate
Now is a good time to ask your doctor or midwife about applying for a maternity exemption certificate - this will allow you to claim free dental care and prescriptions while you are pregnant.
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Lorna is the digital executive and regular contributor for Mother&Baby. After running the Yours magazine website which specialises in content about caring for kids and grandchildren, she has now brought her expertise to the UK's #1 leading pregnancy and parenting magazine. Lorna specialises on a range of topics from potty training and nutrition, to everything and anything that will keep your tot occupied!