Both your baby and your body are growing and developing throughout your pregnancy. After as little as 14 weeks, you’ll have noticed some huge changes and will have hopefully settled into the pregnant lifestyle. After a tricky first trimester, let’s take a look at how both your baby and your body are doing 14 weeks down the line.
Where are we up to?
At 14 weeks, you’ve now completed your first trimester, and your body should be settling down after all the hard work it’s gone through. Believe it or not, your baby can now suck its thumb! Not only this, but it’s grown to approximately 1.52 ounces and is 3.4 inches long. That’s about as heavy as a golf ball!
You’ve also gained a whole new organ that you didn’t have at the beginning: the placenta. This is full of oxygen and nutrients for the baby and can also get rid of the carbon dioxide it doesn’t need. With this addition, your body is all ready to go, and will just continue to grow until the end.
While your tummy’s been growing, your baby’s been getting bigger too. The baby has come quite far at this stage, and now has a functioning spleen producing bile. It also has red blood cells thanks to its new liver which has been developing. These are vital organs in the human body, bringing your baby that bit closer to functioning fully.
The baby has also had a few muscular developments. In particular, the facial muscles have started to move, meaning that they can frown. They aren’t quite able to smile yet, but some expressions are starting to appear on your child’s face, such as a cheeky squint, although you won’t be able to see it.
One thing you definitely won’t be able to see is lanugo. This word might be new to you, but don’t worry about that. When babies are born, they have thin hair covering their body. This downy coat of hair has started to grow already, and will appear head to toe. With this comes the first sprouts of hair on your baby’s head too. Week 14 sees the emergence of these hair follicles on the head, and in a week or two they’ll start to form a pattern to grow properly.
One favorite thing to look out for is when your baby starts kicking inside your tummy and at 14 weeks it’s already started! Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to feel it yet, but it’s there. It is possible that your doctor will hear a heartbeat at least, but that will still require a handheld monitor.
Your Growing Body
Fortunately, the second trimester indicates the start of a more relaxed period, as your body as developed all the bits it needs and will start to rebalance itself. Hormones usually die down a bit, and the sickness and tiredness you’ve probably experienced will become much less of an issue. Overall, it seems like fantastic news, but there’s still a long way to go.
There are still a few health issues to keep an eye on, and some problems will persist for a long time yet. For starters, it’s perfectly normal to still experience morning sickness. Yes, its true that nausea dies down during the second trimester, but not everything can get better straight away. It’s just one of those things you have to put up with, and there shouldn’t be too long left. If you still suffer from morning sickness in a couple of weeks, ask a doctor about it. Otherwise, just power on through.
Similarly, your usual coughs and sneezes aren’t going away quickly. One of the downsides of your body reaching this stage is that your immune system is weaker due to all the changes. If you’re prone to colds and flus, talk to a medical professional before taking any medication in case its harmful. Otherwise, just try to relax and let it pass and stay hydrated.
Inside your body, your uterus will be moving and growing to give the baby room to move. As it does so, it can cause you some bother through ligament pain. It’s best to avoid any sudden movements to stop the sharp pain from coming through, and exercise should keep it away too. Exercise can also prevent varicose veins, which can develop as your blood volume gets bigger. These can be nasty, so try to stay active, and don’t cross your legs or wear uncomfortable clothing.
Last but not least, you’re going to start gaining a fair bit of weight from now on to accommodate the baby in your tummy. The amount you grow will depend on your usual BMI, but you can expect about a pound per week until the baby’s born.
You’ve made it through the first trimester, and now that your body has calmed down a bit, you can take advantage of the increased stability and get some important tasks ticked off. Of course, the most important thing is to make sure you’re enjoying yourself, so if you feel like you have it in you, try to go out for a nice meal or spend more time with friends to celebrate your increased comfort, and how much you’ve achieved so far.
One of the best ways to enjoy yourself while keeping the baby healthy is to get healthy yourself. Most women will have missed out on some exercise during the first few months, but now is a great time to get back into it a bit if the nausea has died down. Obviously don’t go crazy with it, you’re still pregnant after all, but some light activity can keep you healthy, relieve you of pain, and help you enjoy your time that bit more.
You can start preparing for the rest of your pregnancy too by sorting out your career. If you haven’t told your colleagues about the baby yet, now would be a good time, as it’s going to get pretty obvious soon. It’s also a good idea to plan your maternity leave to help stay a few steps ahead.
All of these tips are useful, but the most important thing is to stay happy and healthy, and make sure you are having a good time. If you feel nauseous, take a break and relax. Otherwise, try to celebrate your pregnancy more, and enjoy what’s about to come.