The baby’s skin in pink, somewhat transparent and is covered with fine hair called lanugo. His tiny fingernails are now visible. The baby’s face continues to develop. Eyebrows and eyelashes begin to appear in this month. Buds on the side of the head begin to form into the outer ear and he can hear your voice now.
The tail has disappeared from the fetus and the head makes up about half of the baby’s size. The baby’s neck is long enough to lift the head from the body. The baby moves, kicks, sleeps, wakes, swallows, and passes urine. By the end of the fourth month, your baby will be 5 to 6 inches (13 to 15 cm) crown to rump in length and weigh about 5 ounces (about 140 grams).
You may start to feel a slight sensation in your lower abdomen (called quickening). This feels like bubbles or fluttering. When you feel the baby’s movement, write down the date and tell your health care provider. This helps determine when your baby is due.
You will probably be noticeably pregnant now, as your waistline disappears and your muscles and ligaments begin to relax. Your appetite may increase as you begin to feel better, and rapid weight gain may follow. Eat carefully to ensure optimal nutrition for you and your growing baby. You may want to switch to looser clothing, but be sure your maternity bra is properly fitted and provides adequate support. At this stage of the pregnancy, you may notice changes in skin pigmentation on your face, breasts and arms, and your nipples and areola may darken.
Tests and Scans: At about 16 weeks, you may undergo a blood test to check the level of alpha-fetoprotein in your blood (called an AFP Screening), an indicator of Down’s syndrome or spina bifida. The Triple Test, also known as the Bart’s triple test, is similar to the AFP screening but measures other hormones in your blood, such as oestriol and human chorionic gonadotrophin. If you are over 35 or there is a history of chromosomal abnormalities in your family, you may be offered an amniocentesis test at about 16 weeks.