Week 14

Your baby this week

43

GRAMS IN WEIGHT

Your baby’s nervous system is playing catch up.

Your baby's legs and arms are becoming more co-ordinated.

Your baby's eyes are starting to make small movements.

How big is your baby?

By week 14 your baby measures an impressive 8.9 cms (3.5 inches) and he weighs about 43g (1.5 ounces). He’s come a long way – he’s now roughly lemon sized – but there’s a lot ahead of him still.

How big is your baby?

By week 14 your baby measures an impressive 8.9 cms (3.5 inches) and he weighs about 43g (1.5 ounces). He’s come a long way – he’s now roughly lemon sized – but there’s a lot ahead of him still.

What does your baby look like?

Contrary to the first few weeks, your baby’s limbs and body are now growing faster than his head. This means that he is looking much more in proportion. Obstetrician Dr Gibb from The Birth Company explains about lanugo: “Lanugo will be starting to form and cover the skin. These are fine, downy hairs that will eventually cover the entire body….. The function of lanugo is to keep the foetus warm until body fat is developed enough to take on the role.” But don’t worry, he won’t be born looking like a gorilla, it’s usually fallen out by birth, though small traces can remain.

Changes in your body this week

You’re moving onwards and upwards through your second trimester and by now you may notice the nausea and tiredness diminishing and your breasts are feeling less tender. This is because the placenta is now fully-functional and consequently the pregnancy hormones are diverted. Your uterus is also changing position; it’s going higher up inside the abdominal cavity, away from your bladder, meaning less late night loo trips and more relaxed sleep.

How your baby is developing

This week, your baby’s nervous system is playing catch up. His legs and arms are gradually becoming more co-ordinated and tiny impulses are darting through his brain making him twitch in numerous areas of his body.

Your foetus is also preparing to see the world; behind his miniscule eyelids, his eyes are starting to make small movements. By week 14 he has begun swallowing the amniotic fluid and his kidneys are processing urine.

How your baby is developing

This week, your baby’s nervous system is playing catch up. His legs and arms are gradually becoming more co-ordinated and tiny impulses are darting through his brain making him twitch in numerous areas of his body. Your foetus is also preparing to see the world; behind his miniscule eyelids, his eyes are starting to make small movements. By week 14 he has begun swallowing the amniotic fluid and his kidneys are processing urine.

Health concerns

Tissues at the ready! You might notice a few nosebleeds in your second trimester and although they’re perfectly normal, they can seem frightening at the time – especially if you’re not used to them. These nosebleeds are the result of an increased blood volume being pumped around your body and putting pressure on delicate blood vessels already weakened by pregnancy hormones. If your nose becomes too dry then there’s the risk of these blood vessels rupturing, which is what causes a nosebleed. The key to prevention lies in drinking lots of water to stay hydrated and smoothing a moisturising cream around your nostrils.

Are there any symptoms you should be looking out for?

As your body’s ligaments stretch and prepare for the rest of your pregnancy, you may notice a few aches and pains, especially in your back. Exercising gently will help ease your body through these changes. Pregnancy yoga is ideal for this muscle strengthening, or you can build specific, pregnancy-safe, abdominal exercises into your usual fitness routine. Just remember to be kind to your body – it’s doing a huge amount of important work.

Safety first

It’s often a delicate subject for some women, but now that you’re feeling a bit brighter and less sick, you may notice your enthusiasm for sex returning. Many people (male and female) worry that having sex will somehow impact on, or harm, the baby, but unless there are complications he will be just fine. Your cervix is firmly closed by a mucus plug which won’t go anywhere until birth and this means that nothing can get in or out of your uterus. You may have heard that sex can bring on early labour, but this isn’t true – your body will only begin that process when the time is right.

However, there are some circumstances when having sex may not be appropriate. If you’ve had bleeding or spotting in early pregnancy your GP may advise no sex. Or if:

  • You’ve had two or more episodes of bleeding
  • You have placenta praevia (a low-lying placenta) which can sometimes cover the whole neck of the womb
  • You’ve had any incidence of cervical weakness
  • You have a vaginal infection

Important issues this week

Teeth and gums. NHS guidelines state that: “Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make your gums more vulnerable to plaque, leading to inflammation and bleeding. This is also called pregnancy gingivitis or gum disease.” To combat this, keeping on top of your oral hygiene is very important, and you should be:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Avoiding sweet, sugary drinks
  • Snacking on vegetables or other low-sugar foods
  • If you’re smoking then you should try and stop immediately as smoking aggravates gum disease

The good news is that all of your dental care is free during your pregnancy and for one year after your due date. You’ll need a maternity exemption certificate from your midwife to claim the free care.

Keeping fit, staying healthy

During pregnancy your pelvic floor takes a bit of a battering. Pelvic floor is the term for the hammock-like band of muscles that run from the top of your pubic bone to the back of your tailbone and they are responsible for supporting everything in this area of your anatomy. Pregnancy can place a huge strain on your pelvic floor and it’s common for women to leak urine if it is stressed too much during exercise or when sneezing or basically if anything puts pressure on it. It’s a good idea to start strengthening these muscles early on by clenching tightly around your anus and vagina and holding for ten seconds. You should aim for three sets of eight squeezes, if you can’t manage it at first then build up to it more gradually.

Looking forward; planning ahead

Pregnancy can often be a complex and confusing time for some women. Your body is going through a very demanding period and it’s good to know who’s there to look out for you. Here are a few of the people who are going to be important in your pregnancy journey.

  1. Midwife. This person is your pregnancy and birth expert. She will look after you in the community both before and after the birth. Your midwife should be your first port of call for any concerns or queries during pregnancy (unless you are extremely unwell and then you should try to see your GP or go to A&E). Whenever possible your midwife will attempt to be present at your labour, at least at some point.
  2. Obstetrician. A doctor who is an expert in caring for women during pregnancy, labour and birth, especially if you have antenatal complications, or a pre-existing chronic illness. You will usually only see an obstetrician if you are referred for some reason, although in some hospitals you may see one automatically.
  3. Anaesthetist. Otherwise known as your best friend in labour! An anaesthetist is a highly specialised doctor who is responsible for your pain relief during birth. Whether you are having an epidural, spinal block or a general anaesthetic, they will all be administered by this doctor.
  4. Paediatrician. A doctor who specialises in children’s medicine. If there are complications for your baby during or after birth, a paediatrician will oversee treatment and, in most circumstances, carry out the standard 24 hour newborn check.
  5. Health Visitor. A highly trained children’s nurse who will be on hand to help, support and advise you with your new baby, once you have been discharged by the midwifery team. In the early days you will usually be seen at home, and as your baby gets older you’ll have the option to attend weekly weighing-in clinics for weight measurement and general wellbeing.
Important – If you or your child are unwell you should seek medical advice from a professional – contact your GP or visit an A&E department in an emergency. While My BabyManual strives to provide dependable and trusted information on pregnancy and childcare 24/7 via our website pages, we cannot provide individual answers to specific healthcare questions.
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