You are 3 Weeks and 4 Days Pregnant


3 Weeks, 4 Days

255 days to go...

empty egg follicle in the ovary

Your baby today

To embed itself in the lining of the uterus, the embryo-to-be needs the help of progesterone, secreted after ovulation by the empty egg follicle, the corpus luteum (shown in pink in this cross section of an ovary). Progesterone helps the lining thicken.

Do you feel different? You'll find yourself analyzing every twinge in your body as you look for signs that you're pregnant.

If you are anything like me, you know your body well. While you may not be able to put your finger on the reason for feeling different, something is clearly off. With my second son, I took a home pregnancy test knowing full well that I was pregnant. Even after a negative result, I was sure that he existed. However, before a missed period, our minds can sometimes play tricks on us.

Many women want to be pregnant so badly that they convince themselves that they are experiencing symptoms when there is really no change. For those wondering what to expect if they are three weeks and four days pregnant, we break down what is happening to your body and the lifestyle changes that you need to make in order to help your baby's development.

Fetal Development: Weeks One Through Four

A lot happens in the first month of your first trimester. The initial two weeks are the time in which your body prepares for a potential pregnancy. It all starts with the first day of your last period. This is when your body evacuates the unfertilized egg from the previous month and sheds your old uterine lining. Once this is complete, you wait for a mature egg to be released from your ovary (this process is known as ovulation).

During your third week, if the sperm and the egg meet during your ovulation window (otherwise known as conception), it will take another six to twelve days for the fertilized egg (called a zygote) to travel through your fallopian tube. In this time, the zygote will divide into a ball of cells (called a blastocyst), which then implants into your uterine wall. Voila! It is at this point that you are officially pregnant!

Can I Be Pregnant At 3 Weeks And 4 Days?

Yes! However, while you may be exhibiting early signs of pregnancy at this point, it could take a bit longer before you get a positive test result. Why? Let's say for general purposes that you have a 28-day menstrual cycle. This means that ovulation occurs around day 14 and implantation occurs between days 20 and 26.

At three weeks and four days, you will be 25 days along. Thus, it is feasible that you could be having early pregnancy symptoms around this time frame. Nonetheless, in order to get a positive home pregnancy test, you must have enough of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your system. It can take a few days for these levels to rise, so it may be a bit longer for those double lines to appear. This is why it is important to listen to your body and watch out for signs of pregnancy.

Early Pregnancy Symptoms (3 to 4 Weeks Pregnant) Implantation Bleeding

Implantation Bleeding

Some of the first symptoms that you may notice in your fourth week of pregnancy are light spotting (see You are 3 Weeks and 5 Days) and cramping. This is the result of implantation. However, implantation bleeding will greatly differ from a regular period. The blood will range from a light pink to a brown color, but it will not be bright red. Moreover, the amount of blood will be minimal. If you have heavy bleeding, it is likely that your period has just started early.

Sore Breasts

Another tell-tale sign of early pregnancy is breast tenderness and sensitivity. Why do sore breasts occur even if you do not notice immediate changes in their size? This is all thanks to the surge of hormones that are being produced following implantation. In fact, you will produce more estrogen in a single pregnancy than you will for the entirety of the rest of your life!

Over the next nine months, your breasts will develop to accommodate your little one's dietary needs. Not only will they become larger as they begin to produce milk, but your nipples will get bigger and darker. This change occurs to allow your baby to easily locate their food source.


Fatigue was one of the main reasons why I knew that I was pregnant with my second child. I was sleeping eight to ten hours a night and I would wake up feeling like a freight train had knocked me off my feet. I was experiencing morning, afternoon, and evening slumps that even caffeine couldn’t remedy.

Why does this happen? Once you become pregnant, your body goes into hyperdrive to create a home for the developing fetus. During this time, your blood volume drastically increases, your body builds a brand new organ, and it begins to redirect resources to the baby. This means that your energy is rapidly drained, hence why dietary changes are so important.

Morning Sickness

Some women will not experience this symptom at all, while others will be plagued with the constant feeling of nausea throughout the first trimester. The Mayo Clinic notes that this unfortunate symptom of pregnancy is “often triggered by certain odors, spicy foods, heat, excess salivation or — oftentimes — no triggers at all.”

Those who are prone to motion sickness and migraines are more likely to have this symptom. Moreover, mothers expecting multiples will also be at a higher risk for nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent morning sickness from occurring. The best practice is to just avoid triggers and treat the symptoms when they arise.

Missed Period

This is the most obvious sign of pregnancy, but it is also the one that requires the most patience. Thankfully, most home pregnancy tests can give you an answer up to six days before your missed period. However, if you suspect pregnancy and are still coming up with a negative result, be patient and test again in a few days.

For women who experience sporadic periods, this sign may not be as apparent. That is why paying attention to the culmination of your symptoms is so important. Your body is changing and there are many subtle indicators to watch out for that can help to steer you to the conclusion of pregnancy.

While the only definitive way to know whether or not you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test (see How to use a home pregnancy test), if you have a feeling that you could be expecting, it is imperative that you make changes to your diet and daily habits until you confirm with either a positive pregnancy test or a blood test at your doctor's office.

Lifestyle Changes To Make When Signs Of Pregnancy Arise

Take A Prenatal Vitamin

The first trimester is a critical time in your baby's development. This is when their brain and spinal cord develop. It is also when their organ systems form. Without the proper nutrients, birth defects are more likely. This is why taking a prenatal vitamin is crucial -- not just when you find out about the pregnancy, but before it is even a thought in your mind.

Therefore, if you are sexually active and in your reproductive years, it is always best to take this supplement daily. It will not only keep you healthy, but it will also make sure that your sweet baby gets what they need the moment you conceive. Folic acid is essential for preventing neural tube defects and other congenital anomalies. Furthermore, calcium is a vital mineral to add to your diet. Your baby's skeletal structure depends on it!

Prenatal Vitamin

Change Your Diet

Another important step is to add color and high protein foods to your diet! You want to make sure that you are getting plenty of beneficial nutrients to aid in your baby's growth as well as your developing body. Moreover, limit your caffeine intake and stop smoking and drinking immediately.

Additionally, make sure to drink plenty of water. The American College of Obstetricians And Gynecologists note that consuming 8 to 12 cups a day "aids [in] digestion and helps [to] form the amniotic fluid around the fetus".

While digestion may not seem like the most important thing to worry about in this moment, the increase in progesterone during early pregnancy relaxes your gastrointestinal organs, causing constipation in many expectant mothers. This will not only cause discomfort, but it can also bring a slew of problematic symptoms.

Stop Weight Loss Regimens

If you were dieting before you conceived, it can be beneficial to continue eating a healthy, balanced diet (see Your recommended daily intake) and avoiding junk foods. However, limiting calories and engaging in strenuous workouts can cause your baby to become undernourished. It can also have detrimental impacts on their development and lead to both premature birth and low birth weight.

If you are overweight or obese, your doctor may recommend that you gain less weight than other pregnant women. A normal-weight woman should gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy, but the recommended weight gain for overweight women is 15-25 pounds. Conversely, for obese women, the advised weight gain is only 11-20 pounds.

In an ideal world, you should lose excess weight before conceiving because obesity makes you more prone to diabetes and high blood pressure. This can make the need for a cesarean more likely. However, things do not always go the way we plan. Therefore, talk to your healthcare provider when you become pregnant about the ways to stay healthy during the next nine months.

pregnancy day by day information book cover

Pregnancy Day by Day

By Consultant Editor, Paula Amato, MD

Original source: Pregnancy Day by Day.

Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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