Pregnancy Week 14

(10 minute read)

Pregnancy Week 14

Week 14 of pregnancy marks the beginning of the second trimester, a period often associated with a decrease in early pregnancy symptoms and an increase in fetal development and maternal changes.

How Big is Baby at 14 Weeks

At 14 weeks, the foetus is now about the size of a kiwi fruit, measuring approximately 8.5cm from crown to rump and weighing around 45 grams.

Around this time, your baby will start swallowing bits of amniotic fluid. This goes down into the baby's stomach, the kidneys start to work, and then this fluid is passed as urine back into the amniotic fluid.

Your baby is growing and developing rapidly, and your midwife may now be able to hear the baby's heartbeat using a handheld monitor.

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Your Body at 14 Weeks

By week 14, your uterus has grown significantly, typically reaching the size of a grapefruit. This growth can cause your abdomen to start showing a noticeable bump, which is a very exciting sign of pregnancy.

The placenta is working, pumping out nutrients, oxygen and hormones, while removing waste products such as carbon dioxide. This is all done through the umbilical cord which links the placenta with your baby.

Breast Changes

Breast changes continue as they prepare for lactation. Increased blood flow and hormonal changes may make your breasts feel tender and look fuller. You might be producing colostrum now, which will leave yellow stains in your bra - this is your first breast milk.

Circulatory System Adjustments

The circulatory system undergoes significant adjustments to accommodate the growing foetus. Increased blood volume and hormonal effects can lead to changes in blood pressure and may contribute to symptoms like dizziness or lightheadedness.

Decrease in Early Pregnancy Symptoms

For many women, the second trimester brings relief from early pregnancy symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. However, each pregnancy is unique, and some may continue to experience these symptoms.

Increased Energy and Appetite

As hormone levels start to stabilise, many women report a boost in their energy levels and appetite. It's important to focus on a balanced diet to support the baby's growth, although you will probably still be experiencing food cravings.

Digestive System Changes

Digestive system changes, such as slower digestion and relaxation of the muscle valve between the stomach and oesophagus, can lead to heartburn or constipation. Eating smaller, more frequent meals and staying hydrated can help alleviate these symptoms.

Emotional Changes

Emotional fluctuations are common due to hormonal changes and the psychological impact of pregnancy. Feelings of excitement, anxiety, and mood swings are typical during this period.

Leg Cramps and Varicose Veins

Some women may experience leg cramps and the appearance of varicose veins, caused by increased blood volume and pressure on the veins.

Nasal Congestion and Gum Sensitivity

Increased blood flow can lead to nasal congestion, known as pregnancy rhinitis. Hormonal changes may also make the gums more sensitive and prone to bleeding. Just be sure to maintain good dental hygiene.

Prenatal Care

Continued prenatal care is crucial. This typically includes routine check-ups, blood tests, and ultrasounds to monitor you and your baby's health and development.

Diet and Nutrition

A balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients is vital. It's important to include foods high in folic acid, iron, calcium, and protein. A multivitamin is a good idea.

Exercise

Moderate exercise can be very beneficial. Activities like walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga can help maintain fitness and alleviate some pregnancy symptoms.

Mental Health

Paying attention to mental health is as important as physical health. Stress management techniques can be invaluable, such as meditation and support from family, friends, or a professional.

Avoiding Harmful Substances

Obviously, you want to avoid drinking alcohol, smoking, and other harmful activities. Certain medications and foods, such as tuna fish and mackerel, should also be avoided or consumed with caution.

 

Understanding the changes and symptoms that can occur around the 14th week of pregnancy can help you better prepare and care for yourself and your developing baby, as well as alleviate any fears. As always, it's essential to stay in close contact with your doctor or midwife throughout your pregnancy, and especially if anything is worrying you.

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