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Pregnancy At Week 14

Pregnancy At Week 14
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How the Baby is Growing

You have now entered your second trimester and your baby is making large developments. Your baby can now perform facial expressions such as squinting, frowning and grimacing. Thanks to your baby’s brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting strong as they move from one expression to the next.

Your baby measures about 3 and ½ inches and weighs about an ounce and a half—about the size of a lemon. Your little lemon is mostly growing his muscles and bones. They can likely grasp, which means by this week they will be able to suck their thumbs. Your baby’s hands and feet are more flexible and active, and it is only a matter of time before you start to feel those punches.

lemon-baby

    Your little lemon’s body is growing faster than his head. He is starting to look more proportional. By the end of the week, his arms will have grown a length that is in proportion to the rest of the body, but the legs will still have some growing.

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    During pregnancy week 14, your baby is starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy covering of hair all over his body. The spleen is starting to make red blood cells which carry nutrients and oxygen to the baby. The liver is starting to make bile—a sign that it is doing its job right.

    Mother’s Body Development

    This is the first week of your second trimester. You can rest easier as the risk of a miscarriage drops substantially—75 percent of miscarriages occur in the first trimester. You should start feeling more energetic as your levels of HCG drop; estrogen and progesterone shift again.

    Your breasts should feel less tender and you should start to feel less queasy. If not, do not worry, chances are that it will soon pass. If you are still feeling nausea and fatigue, be aware that unfortunately, some women will continue to experience these symptoms into their 16th or 20th week of pregnancy.

    As your baby and placenta grow, you will continue experiencing a slight weight gain. Now is the time to hit those maternity boutiques you have been dying to go to because you are starting to show more. Your uterus is starting to rise out of the pelvic region and into the lower abdomen giving you the coveted pregnant belly.

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    As your uterus grows, you might start to feel some discomfort—this is known as round ligament pain. The thick bands of ligaments that run from the groin up the side of the abdomen are being stretched and thinned out to accommodate the increasing weight.

    The increasing weight can cause a sharp pain or dull ache in the lower abdomen. The best way to get rid of the pain is to rest in a comfortable position with your feet up.

    As the baby pushes out, you should feel a decreasing need to urinate. You might be able to finally skip some steps to the bathroom, but enjoy it now because bladder pressure increases in the third trimester when the baby drops into the pelvis again.

    Common Symptoms Experienced During Pregnancy Week 14

    Along with the older symptoms of nausea, fatigue, sore breasts and varicose veins, you will experience a stronger appetite and a stuffy nose.

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    As your nausea, morning sickness, and fatigue decrease you will rediscover your appetite and learn that you are trying to feed two. Do your best to eat healthy and regular food. Eating spicy or fatty foods can cause indigestion and heartburn. Try snacking and eating throughout the day to keep your blood and energy stable.

    Your hormones are starting to change again. High levels of estrogen and progesterone increase the blood flow to mucous membranes in the body such as your vagina and nose. You will experience swelling and softening causing heavy amounts of discharge from your nose and your vagina. Try running a warm-mist humidifier while you sleep to make breathing easier.

    Activities This Week

    As your nose runs more and your body suppresses your immune system during pregnancy week 14, now is the time to stay healthy. Engage in germ warfare by washing your hands often, do not share drinks or food with sick people, and avoid sick people like the plague. If you think you have caught a cold, check with your doctor.

    It is also a good idea to consider starting a regular workout routine. Prenatal classes are an excellent way for soon-to-be mothers to bond with and get support from other pregnant women. Some good exercise routines include water exercises, yoga or a walking group.

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    Tips This Week

    This is the week many people find out the sex of their baby. Discuss with your partner if you want to know the sex of your baby. Knowing the sex of the baby can help mothers build a bond with their baby, prepare an older sibling for their arrival, down the list of baby names, and it allows you to pick out gender-specific baby items. Waiting to know the sex of the baby can be a great surprise, the desire to know the sex might motivate you during the toughest parts of labor, and you will be following tradition.

    Featured photo credit: Jerry Lai via flickr.com

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    Published on July 22, 2021

    20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

    20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week
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    It’s 5 p.m., and you’re exhausted. The kids are hungry, but no one knows what they want to eat for dinner. With very little energy, you force yourself into the kitchen and look through every cabinet, hoping for a spark of inspiration. Eventually, you toss a few ingredients together and hope for the best. It won’t win any prizes and falls short of what you consider “healthy,” but it fills everyone’s stomachs.

    Feeding a family can be stressful, even tiresome. It’s hard to find the energy and creativity needed to cook healthy but simple family meals. It’s easy to fall into the “anything goes” mentality. When you’ve got a busy lifestyle, meals become more about survival and less about nutrition.

    Here are 20 quick and healthy—but tasty—recipes followed by tips on making these family meals more nutritious. These recipes can help you have a healthy family meal on the table in an hour or less. Remember, swap ingredients out if someone in your family has dietary restrictions or if you avoid certain foods.

    1. Mini Meatloaves With Green Beans and Potatoes

      These miniature meatloaves come together quickly and cook faster, too. You can have a family favorite on the table, paired with seasoned potatoes and fresh green beans, in just 40 minutes.

      Get the recipe here.

      2. One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta

        This classic will taste like you spent hours cooking, but the preparation and clean-up couldn’t be quicker. One-pot cooking makes this dish practical, while fresh basil, parmesan, and garlic add a special touch.

        To try this recipe, go here.

        3. Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

          Skip the restaurant and make fajitas at home. The ingredients go on one sheet pan, meaning you won’t spend all night cleaning. Zesty chicken, bell peppers, and warm tortillas can be on the table in 40 minutes. Add sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, diced tomato, and any other favorite toppings.

          Check out the recipe here.

          4. Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

            Lose the carbs but keep the cheesesteak flavors with this quick family meal. Kids will love the pepper “bowls,” and you’ll love giving them a meal full of veggies and protein to keep them healthy.

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            Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

            5. Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

              This veggie-packed meal adds an extra boost by using the superfood quinoa instead of rice. Flavorful yet simple, this meal makes an excellent packable lunch or dinner for your whole family.

              Find the recipe here.

              6. Spinach and Chicken Skillet With Lemon and Parmesan

                The complex flavors of lemon and parmesan come together nicely in this gourmet-like dish, but you don’t have to exert the effort or spend as much as a gourmet meal.

                Get the recipe for this dish here.

                7. Oven-Fried Fish and Chips

                  Fish and chips can also sometimes be healthy as evident in this oven-fried version. You won’t miss the calories with this favorite family meal.

                  You can find the recipe here.

                  8. Pineapple-Teriyaki Chicken

                    Tangy pineapple and sweet teriyaki will have everyone coming back for seconds. Frozen vegetables make this simple family dish even easier to make and enjoy.

                    Find the recipe here.

                    9. Mozzarella, Basil, and Zucchini Frittata

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                      This egg dish is usually served for breakfast, but a frittata can make a fantastic dinner, too. High in protein, packed with zucchini, and delicious, there’s no reason to wait until morning.

                      Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                      10. Chicken and Sweet Potato Grill Packets

                        Skip the pans and throw everything into foil with this fun family recipe. Kids will love loading ingredients into their pack, and you’ll love its versatility and simplicity.

                        The recipe for this meal can be found here.

                        11. Chicken and Spanish “Rice”

                          Cauliflower takes the place of rice in this low-carb family meal, but it’s so flavorful and filling, no one will miss it.

                          Find the recipe here.

                          12. Honey Chicken Stir Fry

                            This honey chicken stir fry is the healthier version of a restaurant favorite that can be served up quicker than you can order it.

                            Find the recipe here.

                            13. Chicken Skewers With Tzatziki

                              Greek chicken and tzatziki sauce will have you yearning for the Mediterranean, but you can make this recipe at home for your family to enjoy.

                              This easy recipe can be found here.

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                              14. Healthy Walking Tacos

                                Traditional walking tacos are a party favorite, but they’re not usually healthy. However, this recipe keeps it fun while making it more nutritious.

                                Find out how to make it here.

                                15. Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

                                  This classic comfort meal can be ready when you walk in the door. All you have to do is add noodles, and it’s ready to serve.

                                  The recipe can be found here.

                                  16. Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

                                    This usually takes a little over an hour, but the preparation time is only 30 minutes. You’ll love how easy it is, and the cheesy rice is sure to please.

                                    Find the recipe here.

                                    17. Crockpot Rotisserie-Style Chicken

                                      Skip the checkout line and have a rotisserie-style chicken ready at home. A staple in many quick meals, you might find this family meal recipe among your most-used.

                                      Get the recipe for this flavorful chicken here.

                                      18. Santa Monica Street Tacos

                                        Named after a simple taco found on the streets of California, you’ll be surprised that something with only a few ingredients can be so flavorful. Your kids will surely enjoy them.

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                                        Find the recipe here.

                                        19. Pizza Pasta Salad

                                          Enjoy the flavor of pizza without the hassle of making a crust. Use a fun pasta shape to make this even more appealing to your family, especially kids.

                                          Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                          20. Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

                                            Everyone loves lasagna, but it can be time-consuming and messy to make. However, this soup version has the taste you want but with the ease of a crockpot.

                                            Get the recipe here.

                                            Bonus: 3 Simple Ways to Make Meals Healthier

                                            Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of money, time, or thought. Any improvements are a big step in the right direction.

                                            Here are three easy ways you can make meals healthier for your family.

                                            1. Lose the Sugar

                                            Are you looking to improve your health? Cut processed sugars from your diet—the more, the better, and that includes artificial sweeteners.[1] Why? Studies show that sugar increases the risks for weight gain, heart disease, acne, type-2 diabetes, depression, cancer, fatty liver disease, cellular aging, and low energy levels.[2]

                                            2. Avoid Highly Processed Foods

                                            Many processed foods are fine to eat. Even fresh fruit and vegetables go through some processing to stay fresh longer. However, highly processed foods have added salt, sweeteners, saturated fats, preservatives, and artificial colors. These types of food have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.[3]

                                            3. Replace Simple Carbs for Complex Carbs

                                            Lowering daily carbs can do wonders for your health. Studies show that low-carb diets lead to lower insulin levels, lower bad cholesterol levels, visceral fat loss, weight loss, reduced appetite, and can be therapeutic for many brain disorders.[4]

                                            When eating carbs, choose complex carbs over simple carbs. Simple carbs, such as white flour, rice, and degermed cornmeal, lack nutrients and spike blood sugar levels. Complex carbs, such as sweet potato, brown rice, and oats, are usually more nutritious and aren’t digested as quickly, giving more sustained energy and less of an insulin spike.[5]

                                            Enjoy Family Meals With Less Stress!

                                            Dinner can be enjoyable again now that you’re armed with simple and nutritious recipes for your family. These healthy and tasty family meal recipes can help you feel even better about what you serve. Best of all, you’ll have the extra time and energy you saved from cooking and spend more time with your family.

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                                            More Healthy Eating Tips

                                            Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

                                            Reference

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