Pregnancy Tracker: Week 14

Pregnancy Tracker: Week 14




Congratulations! You have now officially entered the second trimester!

 At 14 weeks pregnant, you are in month four and have 26 weeks to go.  Does that sound daunting? It shouldn’t, because it is possible that the worst of your symptoms are over - at least for a while.

This trimester will cover months four, five and six of your pregnancy, and is sometimes referred to as ‘the honeymoon phase’.  Have you ever heard of this? Well, you are in it now! This is what can be referred to as the ‘sweet spot’ in pregnancy – morning sickness has subsided, and your growing baby bump is not yet too uncomfortable.

This period should bring relief from tiredness and nausea, not to mention anxiety about getting through the tricky first trimester, with the constant risk of miscarriage and worry about chromosomal abnormalities at the back of your mind.  Many mums-to-be report feeling refreshed and energised, with a renewed interest in the world around them.

Baby’s Development at the beginning of second trimester, week 14

The foetus is now about as big as lemon, weighing in at ± 45g and measuring something like 9 cm long from head to bottom. Perhaps for the first time your baby’s heartbeat can be heard, using a hand-held doppler, which is a foetal heart rate monitor.

Your baby is very active now, floating about gracefully and fluidly, which is a change from the previous jerky movements he was displaying. It is unlikely that at this stage you will feel the punches and kicks from the flailing legs and arms. Fingers and toes are moving and wriggling about, and wrists, ankles and knees are flexing.

If you could see the little face, you would notice different facial expressions, such as grimacing, smiling and frowning, while the mouth makes little chewing movements. 

The swallowing muscles are now in place which enables small amounts of amniotic fluid to be ingested.  The kidneys process this fluid and pass it out again as urine.  

Baby’s mouth is starting to open and close in response to touch.  This will eventually be the reflex needed for feeding.  

Lanugo is a fine, colourless, soft hair that is starting to grow on the baby’s head and body and looks like peach fuzz! As your baby accumulates more fat during growth in the uterus, this hair will no longer be needed for warmth and will begin to shed.  Some babies, particularly those born pre-term, still have some of this fuzzy hair at birth, but it soon disappears.

Your baby is growing rapidly now, and the body is beginning to straighten out.  Gone is the curled-up position.  As the neck strengthens and lengthens, the baby is better able to support the head, which is growing rounder and more in proportion to the rest of the body.

The tiny genitals, which until recently were little swellings or buds between the legs, are now fully developed, although it is still too early to identify the baby’s sex on an ultrasound scan.

Pregnancy symptoms that may be experienced in week 14

You will be feeling and looking more and more pregnant during this time, with your bump growing and your breasts too, although the uncomfortable tenderness should be waning.  Now is the time to enjoy a spot of maternity boutique shopping as you start to show a bulge.  Happily, with the uterus rising in the pelvic region, the pressure on your bladder is reduced, and less trips to the toilet are needed.

Unfortunately, there are still some pesky symptoms around that can cause a bit of an inconvenience:

  • Round ligament pain is caused by bands of ligaments that support the growing uterus and run from the groin up the sides of the abdomen. The pain can feel like sharp, jabbing growing pains on both or either side of your tummy These aches and pains are often more noticeable when moving position, sneezing or coughing, or getting up and down.  Resting with your feet up should bring relief.
  • Skin pigmentation is the result of hormonal changes in pregnancy and is less common in fairer skinned women. Try to keep out of the sun, as exposure to the sun’s rays makes it worse. This condition usually rights itself after birth.
  • Bleeding gums, also called pregnancy gingivitis, is thought to be caused by hormonal changes that make gums more sensitive to plaque build-up, and the bacteria found in it. Continue to brush gently and floss twice daily.

How much weight should I expect to gain?

With a decline in morning sickness, food aversions and nausea, your appetite will be on the increase in your second trimester. This is a good thing as your body needs lots of energy to aid your growing baby as well as to support your own bodily changes.  Therefore it is a good idea to become knowledgeable about the ideal weight gain in pregnancy.  

Although most of the weight gain takes place from week 20, it is advisable to begin good habits early in the second trimester to avoid putting on too much unwanted weight later on. Body fat is attributed to part of the gain, but other factors include:

  • Baby
  • Placenta
  • Amniotic fluid
  • Increased blood volume
  • Growing breasts
  • Natural fluid retention

Many women report gaining between 10kgs and 13kgs during their pregnancy, but there are no hard-and-fast guidelines because everyone is different and weight gain in pregnancy is variable. What matters is that you and your baby maintain a safe and healthy weight.

Managing your weight

Try to eat a good balanced diet, remembering that everything you eat and drink has an impact on your growing baby. Make a good meal plan that ensures you get the best nutrients without consuming ‘empty calories.’  Reduce your intake of sugar and salt and avoid fatty fried foods, but eat plenty of vegetables and fruit, proteins and grains.  Eat regularly to keep your blood sugar levels in balance.

Get active!  Even if you have never exercised before, look for opportunities to get physical.  Check with your healthcare provider if you are starting a new regimen or exercising for the first time. Walk with a friend, go swimming, practice yoga, or join an antenatal class. 

If you want to take a short vacation with your partner before the baby arrives, there is no better time than now – the second trimester.

Flying is thought to be safe at this point, but it is best to get the all-clear from your healthcare provider, especially if you have had any concerning symptoms such as high blood pressure or spotting.

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