Welcome to the second trimester!
At 14 weeks pregnant, many moms-to-be begin to feel hungrier, more energetic and less nauseous as early pregnancy symptoms start to subside.
Meanwhile, your baby's getting chubbier by the day, and may be starting to sprout some hair.
Your Baby at Week 14
This week your tiny dancer trades in the sudden jerky reflexive movements of last trimester for smoother, more fluid moves. Think more ballet and less hip hop. In just a month or two, you’ll get to experience those tiny dance steps for yourself, in the form of those very first flutters! Baby’s posture is improving, too — his neck is getting longer and his head more upright. He may still be the size of a fist, but he’s not shaped like one anymore.
There’s another important development afoot as your little Sasquatch sprouts hair not just on his head but all over his itty-bitty body. Called lanugo, this downy coating covers the fetus, primarily to keep him cozy and warm until he packs on a few pounds. Once he accumulates some insulating fat and fills out over the next few months, most of the lanugo will shed. But don’t be surprised if your honey’s still kind of hairy at birth, especially if he arrives early. The real locks that are growing on top of his cute head will stay put, though hair color may change right up to birth.
Underneath that emerging head of hair is your baby’s rapidly growing brain. As those amazing cells multiply, the brain develops into two distinct halves — the left and right hemisphere. Each one controls the opposite side of the body...so if you see your little one sucking his right thumb — something he can do now — it’s the left side of his remarkable brain telling him how to do it.
And thanks to all that new brain power, your baby has started developing reflexes. If you were to poke your belly, for instance, your little wiggle worm will wriggle away from the intruding finger. If a loud noise shakes the comfy confines of his restful roost your little chicken will actually startle. Talk about reflexes at work!
At a Glance
14 weeks pregnant is how many months?
If you're 14 weeks pregnant, you're in month 4 of your pregnancy. Only 5 months left to go! Still have questions? Here's some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.
How big is my baby at 14 weeks?
At 14 weeks, your baby is growing and developing rapidly, measuring between 3½ and 4 inches long and weighing around 2 ounces, about the size of a navel orange.
Baby is standing up straight
Growing by leaps and bounds, your baby is leaping and bounding. Now the size of your clenched fist, she's on the move almost constantly — and those movements are a far cry from those jerky twitches of last trimester (though you won't feel any of them for weeks to come). They are now ballet-like, smooth and fluid.
Speaking of ballet, it'll be years before you'll start nagging your offspring to stand up straight — but unbelievably, she is doing it right now, without any prodding! No slouch anymore, your baby's neck is getting longer, helping her head stand more erect. This gives your fetus a more straightened-out appearance.
Baby's sprouting hair and lanugo
By week 14 of pregnancy, your baby could be sprouting some hair and those eyebrows are filling in too.
Hair growth isn't limited to baby's head, though. She is also covered with a downy coating of hair called lanugo, largely there for warmth.
But it won't be there forever. As fat accumulates later on in your pregnancy — the baby's fat, not yours — it will take over the function of keeping your little bean toasty, so most of the lanugo sheds. Some babies, especially those born early, still have a fuzzy coating at delivery, but it disappears soon afterward.
Other developments this week include a roof of her own — inside your baby's mouth, that is — as well as some digestive system activity: Her intestines are producing meconium, which is the waste that will make up her first bowel movement after birth.
Your Body at Week 14
One down, two to go!
Welcome to the second trimester — (almost) every pregnant woman's favorite, and for good reason! As many first trimester pregnancy woes wane, you're most likely feeling a bit peppier and a lot more human. With any luck, your breasts aren't quite as tender as they were last trimester and your energy level is making a comeback.
More good news on the horizon: less morning sickness and fewer trips to the potty to pee. Even cooler is the fact that it may be time to start hitting those maternity boutiques, because you may be starting to show — instead of looking like you've eaten too much for lunch.
That's because your uterus is finally rising out of the pelvic region and into your lower abdomen. You might even be able to feel the top of your uterus, called the fundus, if you press down right above your pelvic bone in your lower abdomen. How amazing is that?
Your 14 weeks pregnant belly
Now that you’re officially in your second trimester, it may be time to go maternity clothes shopping for real, as right around now many women go from looking a little bloated to actually “popping.”
But remember: Your 14 weeks pregnant belly is normal no matter how big or small it is. All expectant women carry baby differently depending on their height and figure, and whether this is their first pregnancy or not. So breathe a sigh of relief and know that your baby bump at 14 weeks is perfect, no matter what it looks like! And of course, if you have any questions, check in with your provider.
Round ligament pain
For some women, a possible side effect of uterine growth is what your OB/GYN would call round ligament pain. Basically, these are pregnancy growing pains that feel like achy or sharp pains on one or both sides of the abdomen that begin to appear around 14 weeks but can strike at any time during the second trimester.
Here's why: The uterus is supported by thick bands of ligaments that run from the groin up the side of the abdomen. As your uterus grows, the supporting ligaments stretch and thin out to accommodate the increasing weight. This weight pulls on the ligaments and causes a sharp pain or a dull ache in your lower abdomen. It’s often more noticeable when you change positions suddenly or quickly get up from sitting or lying down or when you cough or sneeze.
The best way to bring relief? Put your feet up and rest in a comfortable position, which should ease the strain and the pain.
As if you didn't have enough pregnancy symptoms to contend with, you're also more susceptible to colds, flu and other bugs when you're expecting. That's because nature wisely suppresses your immune system during pregnancy to keep your fetus — a foreigner to your body — from being rejected.
The key to staying healthy is to engage in some germ warfare. More than ever, the best defense is a strong offense, especially when germs are being passed around your office or home like canapés.
Wash your hands often — and carry liquid sanitizer for times when a sink's not handy — don't share drinks or food or toothbrushes and avoid sick people like the plague. It's okay to banish a sick spouse to the couch.
If you think you've caught something, check with your practitioner ASAP, who will treat what you've got with your special needs in mind. If antibiotics are prescribed for a bacterial infection — they're useless against viruses like colds — don't hesitate to take them because you've heard medications aren't safe during pregnancy. Many are — and getting better fast is the best medicine for your baby.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 14
Tips for You This Week
It’s not unusual for moles to develop or change right about now, thanks to pregnancy hormones.
But it’s still a smart move to have them evaluated by your doctor. Always check in with your practitioner about any skin changes you notice just to be safe.
With your second trimester comes a burst of energy. Take advantage! Get your light-to-moderate exercise game on to cut your risk of gestational diabetes and keep yourself and your baby-to-be healthy.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends getting at least 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise per day, at least five days a week. Just remember to avoid exercising on your back now that you're past the first trimester.
Are you so busy that you sometimes forget to eat? Put a few "have you fed your baby?" reminders wherever you spend a lot of time — like on your dashboard, your computer screen and the bathroom mirror.
If you're afraid to eat because you're still feeling queasy, know that nausea can actually be made worse by an empty stomach. Fill your tummy slowly, starting with fluids like water, fruit juices, smoothies and soups, then move on to solids once you think your tender tummy can handle it.
Try eating small meals or snacks every two to three hours to help regulate your blood sugar levels and digestion, especially if you're still dealing with morning sickness.
Thinking of commemorating your pregnancy by getting a tattoo? Think again. While not much of the ink or its particles will enter your bloodstream, there is a risk of infection any time you get stuck with a needle. Not a good risk to take when you're trying to stay healthy for two.
Plus, a new tattoo that looks symmetrical on your skin might become lopsided or distorted after you regain your pre-pregnancy shape!
If you already have a tattoo, no problem — just sit back and watch it stretch! Your bikini-line butterfly might just start soaring like an eagle!
In your second trimester, your baby starts to grow in earnest. Your weight gain should pick up so that if you started your pregnancy with a normal BMI of 18.5 to 24.9, you’d gain a total of about 14 pounds.
For the best weight gain results, keep an eye on the scale within reason — no need to get too obsessive. But what you don’t know can throw your weight off-target. Try to weigh yourself at the same time every day (or every few days) before getting dressed or while wearing the same clothes.
When shopping for groceries, think fresh, not processed. Fresh foods naturally provide more vitamins and minerals, and they contain less sugar, salt, calories, fat and additives than their processed counterparts.
A notable exception to fresh-is-always-best: Frozen fruits and vegetables that aren't packed with sugar or salt are often at least as nutritious, or even more so, than fresh produce. Ditto for the canned variety.
The heat's on when you're expecting, thanks to a metabolism boost. So when dressing for exercise success, play it cool. Wear loose, breathable, stretchable workout clothes during pregnancy, right down to your undies (which should be cotton).
Choose a bra — perhaps a sports bra — that provides plenty of support for your larger breasts but that doesn't pinch once you get moving.
If your sneakers are showing their age, replace them now to minimize your chances of injury or falls. While you're at it, make sure you're wearing the right sneakers for your fitness routine.
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