4 Months Pregnant: Symptoms and Foetal Development
Four months pregnant is an eventful time, with a potential welcome energy boost and many more exciting milestones coming up now that you’re in the second trimester of your pregnancy.
Your early pregnancy symptoms may be wearing off now, but others could be taking their place. Read on to find out more about the changes you might experience and how your little one is shaping up at around four months pregnant.
Common Pregnancy Symptoms at 4 Months Pregnant
As you enter the second trimester, a few of the early symptoms of pregnancy may be subsiding, although some may linger for a little while longer.
Meanwhile, new symptoms may be appearing. Although you might not experience all of them, here are some of the more common pregnancy symptoms at four months pregnant:
Food cravings. Are your taste buds behaving a little oddly at four months pregnant? It’s fine to give in to your cravings from time to time, as long as you stick to a balanced diet overall. If you feel the urge to eat really weird things, like earth or coal, call your doctor or midwife straight away. This could be a sign of iron deficiency that may need treatment.
Dull or sharp abdominal pain. Temporary bouts of stomach pain during pregnancy aren’t usually anything to worry about. At around four months pregnant your growing bump may be stretching the ligaments that support your belly. The resulting sharp cramps, often felt on one side of your lower abdomen, are often referred to as growing pains. Stomach pain can also result from trapped wind or constipation. Often just changing position, passing wind or going to the toilet can relieve your discomfort. Call your midwife or doctor straight away if you have stomach pain that is severe or lasts more than half an hour, or if it’s accompanied by bleeding or spotting, regular cramping, unusual vaginal discharge, lower back pain or painful urination.
Sensitive teeth and gums. Swollen or bleeding gums could be a symptom of a gum disease that’s sometimes called pregnancy gingivitis. Pregnancy hormones can make your gums more sensitive to the plaque that builds up on your teeth, causing inflammation. This is why it’s especially important to take good care your teeth and gums at four months pregnant and for the rest of your pregnancy. Brush at least twice a day with a fluoride-based toothpaste. Try to avoid or cut down on sugary drinks and sweet or acidic snacks. Dental care provided via the NHS is free while you’re pregnant, as long as you obtain a maternity exemption certificate, so now might be a good time for a check-up. Your dentist can also give you personalised tips on oral hygiene.
Varicose veins. Swollen veins near the surface of the skin can affect you at any time in life, but you may find they strike during pregnancy. If you get varicose veins, you’re most likely to find them on your legs. They aren’t usually harmful, although they might be uncomfortable. There’s not much you can do to prevent or get rid of varicose veins, but you can ease the symptoms by not standing or sitting in one position for too long. Put your feet up whenever you can! Gentle exercise is not only good for your circulation, but it can also help you maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.
Stretch marks. Narrow streaks appearing on your tummy, upper thighs or breasts are a sign that your skin is stretching faster than it’s used to, to accommodate your changing body shape. The colour of these lines can vary from red, pink and purple through brown, depending on the tone of your skin. You might also notice some itchiness, perhaps even before the stretch marks themselves appear. You can’t do anything to prevent stretch marks altogether, but gaining weight at a gradual pace during pregnancy may reduce the likelihood of them appearing. Apart from that, the best advice is to stay hydrated and use a non-scented moisturiser to keep your skin supple as possible. In time, after your baby is born, the stretch marks will usually fade and become far less noticeable.
Nasal congestion. The hormonal changes you’re experiencing can cause the blood vessels and tissues in and around your nose to swell, giving you the sensation of a blocked or runny nose. If you’re bothered by the symptoms of nasal congestion at around four months pregnant or any other time during your pregnancy, ask your doctor or midwife before taking any nasal decongestants or other medicines.
Painful urination. A burning sensation when you pee could be a sign that you have a urinary tract infection, or UTI for short. Other symptoms of a UTI may include smelly or cloudy pee, traces of blood in your urine, or a pain in your lower abdomen. You may also feel more tired than usual, or generally unwell. If you think you have a UTI it’s important to see your doctor straight away as an antibiotic may be prescribed. In the meantime, drinking plenty of water may ease the pain by diluting your urine.
What’s Going on in Your Belly at 4 Months Pregnant?
At four months pregnant your foetus’s facial muscles can move, although any expressions are random.
The eyes aren’t open yet, but they are sensitive to light. The ears are also working. This means your little one may be able to sense bright lights outside your belly and hear the sound of your heart, and even your voice.
Now is a great time to start bonding by singing or talking out loud to your bump.
This isn’t all that’s going on inside your belly at four months pregnant.
Your foetus’s ovaries (if she’s a girl) or testicles (if he’s a boy) are now fully developed inside his or her body, and it won’t be long before the external genitals are visible too, so you may soon be able to find out whether you’re having a boy or a girl, if you wish.
Keep in mind that gender predictions made during an ultrasound scan are not always reliable. Added to this, your foetus may not be lying in a position where the ultrasonographer can easily get a clear view of what’s between his or her legs.
Also, be aware that the main purpose of the scan is to monitor foetal development and screen for abnormalities, so the ultrasonographer may not be able to devote too much time to finding out his or her sex.
Some hospitals have a policy of not disclosing gender predictions at all. So, if you’re keen to know, it’s best to ring ahead and check that you’ll be able to ask for this information.
If you don’t yet know your foetus’s gender, why not have a little fun with our light-hearted ‘Guess Your Baby’s Gender’ quiz.
4 Months Pregnant: Your Body’s Changes
Now that you’re in the second trimester of your pregnancy, you may start to feel a little better as the symptoms of early pregnancy start to ease up.
In fact, this stage is often referred to as the ‘honeymoon’ of pregnancy, as many mums-to-be enjoy a burst of energy and start to ‘glow’ around this time.
Every pregnancy is different, however, so don’t be surprised if your early pregnancy symptoms seem to be hanging around for a bit longer.
At around four months pregnant your little one is receiving all his or her oxygen and nutrients from your placenta, via the umbilical cord.
Those nutrients come from the things you eat, so you really are ‘eating for two’, but – perhaps surprisingly – this doesn’t apply to the number of calories you need to consume.
In fact, there’s usually no need to eat any more food than usual at four months pregnant. Quality over quantity is a good maxim when it comes to eating while you’re pregnant: keeping to a healthy, balanced diet is the most important part of ensuring that your little one gets all the nutrition, vitamins and minerals he or she needs to grow and develop into a healthy baby.
Keep in mind that not all foods are safe during pregnancy. For example, certain cheeses, pâtés, raw or undercooked meats, liver and some cold cured meats should stay off the menu for now. Read more about what not to eat when pregnant.
How Far Along Am I at 4 Months Pregnant?
You may be finding it tricky to work out how many weeks along you are at four months pregnant, or vice versa, and that’s hardly surprising: The weeks of pregnancy don’t fit neatly into months, so there’s no hard and fast conversion method.
FAQs at a Glance
How we wrote this article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the National Health Service (NHS).
The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.
Checklist for When You’re 4 Months Pregnant
Ask your doctor or midwife to help you apply for a maternity exemption certificate. You’ll need this to claim free dental care and prescriptions while you’re pregnant.
Think about where you’d like to give birth. Whether you want to have your baby at home, in a birthing centre or at hospital, there are plenty of options and plenty of factors to consider when making your choice. Ask your midwife or doctor to fill you in on what facilities are available in your local area, and on the pros and cons of each option.
Start shopping or just browsing for maternity clothes. There might be some specialist boutiques in your area, or selling online. Also, many of the major high street clothing chains have a maternity section that could be worth checking out. Your belly might not be that huge at four months pregnant, but you could still start researching what’s out there, so you’ll be ready once the time comes.
If you’re enjoying a second-trimester energy boost, now might a good time for a last-minute getaway, or ‘babymoon’. You’re usually good to fly until about the time you’re 37 weeks pregnant. If you’re pregnant with twins or triplets it’s probably OK to fly until you’re about 32 weeks pregnant. Still, it’s best to get the all-clear from your doctor or midwife and check the airline’s policy on flying when pregnant before you book any tickets. Read more about travelling while you’re pregnant.
For more information, sign up to get our regular emails: