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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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